downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — lakemerritt

Bad luck or good spirits?

January 13, 2012

Some say Friday the 13th brings bad luck, but every Friday downtown brings good times. And on this star-crossed day, we definitely have good luck - in the form of a performance (held every Friday the 13th) by Damon and the Heathens at Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph). The band, which includes a few proprietors of downtown establishments, mixes horns-driven funk with subtle commentary on some of Oakland’s challenges. The Heathens’ performance is postponed until the end of the month. Acclaimed LA-based Spanish-language band Very Be Careful is playing at Vitus (201 Broadway), though.

Last night was Jack London’s 136th birthday, and literary enthusiasts toasted his work at his favorite watering hole, the gloriously distressed Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon (48 Webster). As Andy K. asked on Twitter, shouldn’t Jack London’s birthday be celebrated on a larger scale?

The East Bay Bike Party is leaving from Snow Park this month; its ski-themed social ride around Central Oakland begins at 7:30.

The Oakland Running Festival has also decamped from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Snow Park, announcing its route which has been carefully coordinated with AC Transit to avoid the traffic snarls that paralyzed the city last year. Check out OaklandMarathon.com for the course and to register.

The Wall Street Journal published a nice video on the suprising success of Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood. Check it out!

Just outside of downtown, the Oakland Peace Center opens tomorrow at 29th off Broadway with a weekend of tree-planting, workshops on tolerance, children’s activities, and discussion. Check out the Facebook event for a full list of programs.

Enjoy your DTO weekend! I’ll see you in Uptown.

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First Friday leads to Saturday revelry

October 7, 2011

For some it’s the High Holy Days. For others it’s Fleet Week. In Oakland, we call it First Friday. Here are the highlights of this weekend in the DTO.

To celebrate Fleet Week, photographer Eric Murphy honors the humanitarian work of active servicemen at Old Oakland’s Sticks + Stones gallery, 831 Broadway. Nearby, Oaksterdam Tattoo hosts live music at 811 Washington St.

The author of novel WTF Moment will read and sign copies of his book at Paradiso Lounge with music by Maya Songbird and art by Joanne Ludwig.

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is one stop on a roving tour of the Mobile Plant Ambassador, an artist terrarium known as the Wonderarium. Eventually the artists behind this project hope to plant a large terrarium in the middle of Lake Merritt. Find out more on Facebook.

Era Artbar hosts LA-based soul group Chicano Batman with DJ Joe Quixx, and Foxtail Brigade plays a free show at the Uptown. The Starline Social Club, an new music venue from Adam Hatch of the Hatch Gallery, holds a post-Murmur show featuring Shock, Range of Light Wilderness, and Antonian.

Saturday in Uptown

Saturday sees more action in Uptown. The Art Murmur continues to promote its quieter gallery stroll on Saturday afternoons, with extended hours into the evening. Several bars and restaurants will participate in the second annual Uptown Block Party to raise money for Oakland schools – check out East Bay Loop for more information.

http://www.eastbayloop.com/featured/2nd-annual-uptown-oakland-block-party-oct-8th/

And a bit further up town, the Gardens at Lake Merritt hold their annual Bonsai show for fans of the diminutive trees.

On a more academic note, the City Auditor released a report this week criticizing Fox Theater project – but developer Phil Tagami and the City of Oakland fiercely contest every one of its conclusions. In the end, one can’t argue with success – the Fox has sold out every show since it opened. Go to TheFoxOakland.com for a list of upcoming shows.

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