downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — lakemerritt

Freebies on Tax Day?

April 15, 2011

It was Benjamin Franklin who said that there’s nothing guaranteed in life but death and taxes. And monetary theorist Milton Friedman once titled a treatise, There’s no free lunch. This blog won’t disprove either of those aphorisms, but on this Tax Day, there are freebies and deals galore in the DTO.

The Free B shuttle, funded with some of those taxes you’re paying, gives something back this month (in addition to free rides across downtown, that is). Until April 29 you can pick up “Freebie” coupons on the shuttle to use at participating restaurants. Details are available online – take a few-block ride and get your discounts!

Speaking of good deals, Jack London Square winery Urban Legend Cellars holds No Tax, Relax, Release Day this evening from 6-9pm, a charity event supporting Tour De Cure with tastings of newly-released summer wines. $10, 621 4th St.

Those property taxes that you paid two weeks ago include pass-throughs to pay for capital improvement bonds. Some of those bond funds will go to renovating and redesigning downtown’s sad-sack Snow Park. A Better Oakland explains the changes and how you can offer your input – for free!

As if their full bar and well-edited wine list weren’t fun enough, Old Oakland institution B Restaurant is teaming up with neighboring Trappist to offer a series of Beer Dinners, a fixed menu paired with imported Belgian ales. The first dinner is this Sunday, April 17th – check B’s Facebook page for announcements of future Beer Dinners.

The Oakland – East Bay Symphony presents The Height of Romanticism tonight at the Paramount, performing pieces by Tchaikovsky and Alfred Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Hermann, as well as the world premiere of Fade to Orange by Scott Amendola. The cheap seats are $20.

Oaksterdam University’s beautiful, place-making mural is nominated for an Oakland Indie Award. Can award-winning art be seen for free on the streets of the DTO? The answer is yes!

With all these freebies and good deals downtown, maybe you’d like to give some of your time this tax weekend to giving back. Earth Day celebrations across the City include cleanups of public parks. If you’d like to help out the DTO, show up at 9am Saturday at the Lake Merritt Boathouse.

Next week: Placemaking redux

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DTO Reading File, March 2011

March 25, 2011

Stay up to date on the latest news regarding downtown Oaktown, a service this blog has been providing for four years now!

Though the Central Business District real estate market remains in the doldrums, there are some spots of activity. The FBI signed Oakland’s largest lease at downtown’s newest office building, Center 21, reports the Business Times.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is planning to vacate its Oakland headquarters and has put out an RFP for a office space in Oakland or San Francisco. Will Oakland keep this important regional agency, and continue to have the opportunity to provide public input on their decision-making?

Marco Li Mandri, who helped create the Downtown Association’s Business Improvement Districts, is on a mission to revive ethnic commercial neighborhoods throughout California, including Koreatown on the border of Uptown.

The City of Oakland is looking for photographs of bicyclists to create a series of Bike Oakland postcards.

Uptown hotspot Somar Bar celebrated its two-year anniversary yesterday.

Auto Row is seeing more restaurants and bars take over spaces once used for car dealerships or auto repair. The latest, 3000 Broadway, is a sports bar with a comfortable atmosphere, the Trib reports.

The Oakland Museum offers a thought-provoking exhibit on the art of the Missions, where Christianity, colonization, and fine art interacted to lay the groundwork for today’s California, reviewed by the East Bay Express.

Near downtown, NIMBYs have risen up to oppose a long-planned dog park on one quarter acre of Lake Merritt’s 75 acres of parkland. DrakeTalk covers the public meeting earlier this week.

Like many other East Bay cities, Oakland has offered sites to be the new facilities of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A high-rise proposal adjacent to Lake Merritt appears to be the most competitive, and is profiled by the Oakland Tribune.

And on a sadder note, Sistahs Steppin’ In Pride, the annual march and gathering around Lake Merritt to celebrate women who love women, has announced that this tenth year will be the last.

This weekend Oaklanders can watch a marathon throughout the city, but especially downtown. Stake our your spot at the Oakland Running Festival and cheer on the runners!

Next week: First Friday!