downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — art

Tis the Season to Shop

December 2, 2011

It’s the First Friday of December, when artistic and cultural events are joined by local shopping opportunities as merchants try to shake off economic disruptions to offer gifts to Oaklanders who want to support local artisans and entrepreneurs. A full suite of holiday shopping and events can be found in downtown Oakland this weekend.

First Friday art highlights in Uptown include Pretty Pretty, an exhibition of pop culture ephemera reworked into unusual sculpture, at the Hatch Gallery (492 23rd St); Amanda N Simons’s gender-questioning visual artwork at Feelmore510 (1703 Telegraph); and Art vs. Food, an indoor celebration of street food and street art at the New Commodity (474 24th St), featuring a half-dozen food vendors and a dozen muralists. In the spirit of the season, tonight Art vs Food will accept unwrapped presents for Oakland’s Community Toy Drive, and Feelmore510 is offering free flu shots and HIV screenings.

Jack London Square is holding a holiday pop-up market with many vendors, benefitting Wardrobe for Opportunity, and holds their annual tree-lighting ceremony tonight. The Pop-Up Market is in the Jack London Market, 55 Harrison St.

Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood, a great destination for urbane gift-shopping, is featured in today’s local edition of the New York Times. As you shop local this holiday season, don’t forget about the Oakland Grown gift card!

New Uptown watering hole Make Westing is featured in the Chronicle after the debut of their food menu.

Super-fun party rap group Hottub holds their record release party at Vitus, tonight at 9pm, 201 Broadway.

Saturday

America’s Children’s Holiday Parade, a nationally-televised spectacle could be characterized as the PBS version of the Macy’s Parade, kicks off on Broadway and 11th at 2pm.

The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment debuts its first exhibit today, on the History of 3D. Watch a promotional video here. The exhibit opens today at noon and runs for a month. 610 16th St Ste 230.

Jack London Square hosts the annual Lighted Yacht Parade at sundown.

Sunday

Bouchrie Marketplace at La Borinquena (582 7th St at Jefferson) collaborates with Boucherie to bring holiday food and gifts shopping to an Old Oakland mainstay.

With so many opportunities to be a spectator, a shopper, or a giver, this weekend will be one to remember. See you at the Holiday Parade!

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Back in Black

November 25, 2011

Downtown Oakland’s independent merchants have come through an extraordinarily difficult several weeks. While not everyone will fully weather the storm, and not all the damage has been done, choosing to do a little more shopping downtown can go a long way toward maintaining the DTO’s positive momentum. Pro tip: wear some plaid for surprise discounts!

In addition to scattered discounts for plaid-wearing local shoppers, several stores are offering discounts and promotions today. Farley’s East (31 Grand Ave) will give a 10% discount to everyone who shopped at a local independent retailer – show your receipt to get your discount. Oaklandish customers spending over $75 will get a free classic T-shirt (1440 Broadway), and a discount from Fivetenburger’s truck parked outside. Last but not least, EntreZ Open House, a store selling gifts and home furnishings in Uptown, will have a raffle for today’s customers. The store is definitely a must-see this holiday season, as it has been a retailing pioneer but is nearing the end of its lease.

Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood, an ambitious attempt to seed a thriving retail district in what is arguably downtown’s most suitable shopping corridor, officially begins on December 5 but several shops are already open for business. Check out Manifesto Bicycles (831 Broadway), Marion and Rose’s Workshop (416 9th St) and Sticks + Stones Gallery (815 Broadway), housed in some of the oldest buildings in the Bay Area. Nearby, the Bookmark Bookstore (721 Washington) is offering discounts today.

Blackout Oakland, an anti-corporate local shopping celebration, combines an artisans’ fair and local shopping promotion with a heavy dose of radical rhetoric. Nonetheless it should be a fun and crime-free event at Frank Ogawa Plaza this afternoon.

In a similar vein, the Catholic Church is sponsoring a fair trade holiday market with free hot cider at the Cathedral Plaza (2121 Harrison at Grand). Ad while you’re downtown, don’t forget about the charming shops of 17th Street, and Chinatown’s unique gift selections centered on 10th and Webster.

Last Looks

Two art exhibitions worthy of a look are up for one last week in Uptown. Machine Language, mixed-media collages depicting Oakland scenery as urban robotics, is at Era (21 Grand) for one more week. A selection of Day of the Dead-inspired ofrendas at SMSHBX / Betti Ono (1804 Telegraph) will hang only for this weekend.

Shopping Indie in the City

For Oakland to get back some of its tax revenues lost to Occupy-related business loss and security expenses, shopping across the city needs to get a healthy bump for the City to see a significant rise in tax revenues. Fortunately, local indie merchant collaborative Oakland Grown is offering an easy gift solution – a gift card redeemable at numerous local businesses. Check out OaklandGiftCard.com for a list of participating stores.

And the started-in-Oakland tradition of Plaid Friday is encouraging merchants throughout the city to offer discounts and promotions today and through the weekend. See a full list of Plaid Friday deals at PlaidFriday.com.

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