downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — lakemerritt

A legacy of fun

September 30, 2011

This weekend’s downtown events tie cultural and political heritage to today’s challenges and opportunities, with a healthy dose of old-fashioned fun.

The Oakland Museum presents another installation of O-Zone tonight, an arts-inspired party to celebrate the legacy of John Muir. Revolutionary rappers The Coup headline a party that includes a film screening from 10,000 Steps and a beard and mustache contest.

Oaklandish presents Fairyland for Grownups tonight, offering a rare opportunity for adults to carouse in the storybook amusement park without the usual requisite child. Advance tickets are sold out but there may be some available at the door. Rediscover your sense of childlike wonder at this fundraiser for Fairyland.

Following last night’s lectures, Top Ten Social presents another high-concept dance party tonight at the New Parish with international house-music DJs and personal stories reflecting the connections between the recent uprisings in London and socio-political conditions around the world. Also it’s a fun party.

African-Americans celebrate Western heritage at Saturday’s Black Cowboy Parade. Horsemen in their cowboy finery will parade through downtown to Frank Ogawa Plaza and continue on for an afternoon festival at West Oakland’s DeFremery Park.

This Sunday the League of Women Voters celebrates the centennial of women’s suffrage in California with a reenactment of the state’s first Suffragist parade, held in Oakland during the 1908 Republican National Convention. Don your Edwardian finery for a march around Lake Merritt – and be sure not to use the derogatory term Suffragette to describe these early crusaders for women’s rights.

And in breaking news, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment has found a temporary home downtown, celebrating the legacy of video game design. Find out more about this museum and its upcoming events at

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Second Friday and a busy week

September 9, 2011

The second Friday of the month is becoming a popular alternative opening date to First Fridays, for galleries off the beaten Art Murmur track. Sticks + Stones, in Old Oakland, is hosting a reception for painter Thomas Christopher Haag with locally-produced wine and a few surprises. And if you haven’t checked out Smashbox Contemporary in the Marquee Lofts, it is open every Friday evening at 1727 Telegraph Avenue.

Tonight you can join the East Bay Bike Party as it rolls its way from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Linden Street. They will leave the City Hall area at 8pm, so get there around 7:45 and done’t forget your lights!

Upcoming events

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is hosting a (non-denominational) memorial to the victims of the Sept 11 terror attacks, with the Oakland Symphony Chorus and Civic Orchestra. Attendees can participate in singing Mozart’s Requiem, at 5:30pm on Sunday Sept 11.

The Lake Merrit Specific Plan is hosting a drop-in workshop on the future of the area around the Lake Merritt BART station on Monday Sept 12. WOBO and the EBBC are encouraging bicyclists and pedestrians to attend and emphasize the importance of making the area safer and more pleasant with transportation improvements. You can drop in and share your opinions any time between 4:30 and 7:30 at 900 Fallon Street. More information is available from

Next Friday is Park(ing) Day, a tradition started a few years ago in San Francisco that inspires people to think about more productive uses of urban space by turning street parking spaces into parks or other active spaces during the day. You can find a map of Oakland Park(ing) Day locations at Downtown parklets include outside Oaklandish and the East Bay Meditation Center on Broadway, the Marquee Lofts / Smshbox Contemporary on Telegraph, and Farley’s East on Grand.

Late this month Jack London’s Swam Gallery will host Tilt, a boutique and alternative wedding fair designed for today’s eco-conscious couple. Stay tuned to for more information.

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