Or maybe we'll just head back into the bookstore for a copy of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's The Mistress of Spices. It's the inaugural selection for Oakland's "One City, One Book" campaign. Oakland Library is hosting a kickoff party at its main branch: go to 125 14th Street from 1-5 p.m. this Saturday for classical Indian dance and Indian hip-hop performances, plus a mayoral proclamation. No word on whether Jerry Brown himself will be the one reading said proclamation. We hadn't realized that The Mistress of Spices was set in downtown Oakland, and we are now quite excited about seeing the East Bay through Divakaruni's eyes. We are also very excited about all the events the Oakland Library's set up through February, which include things like a henna workshop. (SFist also wrote about San Francisco's One City, One Book.)

Other upbeat East Bay goings-on: the Oakland Zoo still doesn't have a panda, it does have a plan to facilitate some hot pachyderm-on-pachyderm action. Elephant breeding programs are somewhat controversial, but SFist is pleased that the four elephants currently living at the zoo now have triple the space they used to.

By SFist Lisa, contributing