downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

Summer Starts in the DTO

May 25, 2012

Memorial Day weekend is considered the official beginning of summer, California’s finest season, and downtown Oakland’s mix of urbane and natural is the perfect place to ring in the season. Fairyland will be open for a rare Monday, for family fun. A picnic by the Lake could be made up of Korean snacks and bottled teas from EM Market (332 14th St), or champagne and cheese from Ratto’s (821 Washington St). With many restaurants, particularly in Old Oakland and Uptown, offering outdoor seating, downtown is a great place to enjoy your holiday weekend!

Weekend events include:

  • Tomorrow is the deadline for artists to submit work for Bay Area Currents, ProArts’ juried exhibition of contemporary works from Bay Area artists. The show will open July 3 at the gallery (15th St at Frank Ogawa Plaza).
  • Sunday night at Era (19 Grand Ave), Kev Choice’s soul band performs with DJ Soul Profess, a unique mix of live music and spinning – perfect for dancing!
  • Monday afternoon, Linden Street Brewery hosts a Jamaican jerk cook-off benefitting My Yute Soccer camp.
  • Monday evening, the Afrorican weekly party will show Ice T’s new documentary The Art of Rap, featuring interviews with many hip-hop legends. The event also features food and happy hour drink specials, starting at 5pm at Liege Lounge (491 9th St).

Next Thursday is the Oakland Indie Awards at the Kaiser Center (300 Lakeside Dr), a celebration of the independent businesses which give Oakland, downtown and the neighborhoods so much vibrancy.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, DTO!

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A diversity of destinations, downtown

March 16, 2012

Oakland’s burgeoning and increasingly famous nightlife scene gets a new addition tonight, the Night Light in Jack London at 311 Broadway. The former Clancy’s Taqueria has been transformed into a nautically-themed, bordello-inspired lounge. Wood panelling (salvaged from ships), sailing lamps, and even a pirate-y chandelier surround leather couches, a DJ booth, and an elegant bar. The spot promises to become another hip Jack London District destination – and is just steps from a Broadway Shuttle stop!

Speaking of easy transportation, the City of Alameda announced that its Estuary Crossing Shuttle, which has exceeded ridership expectations, will operate for at least another year with funding from the Air District.

In more good news for the downtown waterfront, Miss Pearl’s (once Jam House) has reopened, after a long closure, and according to the Express, it’s better than ever. Check it out at Jack London Square’s Waterfront Hotel (1 Broadway).

Despite the rain, downtown events are going strong this weekend. Tonight is the final installment of Tina Tamale’s pop-up stand at Swan’s Market (907 Washington), during which the mexican foods maven will be joined by Little Shop Artisan Box and Boucherie Artisinal Meats. Check out the facebook invite for the details, and stop by between 5 and 9pm tonight.

It’s the two-year anniversary of The Skillet, the Layover’s (1517 Franklin) monthly dance party that combines DJing with live music. Tonight will be an all-vinyl affair, according to resident DJ Crimson.

Though there’s no shortage of hip events downtown this weekend, fans of classical music and jazz can party in Uptown too. Tonight the Oakland Symphony presents Spots on the Orient Express, playing Baroque, Romantic and Modernist pieces with guest violinist John Sords. At the Paramount (Broadway) at 8pm. And on Saturday, the Piedmont Piano Company (1728 San Pablo) hosts a performance by jazz vocalist Daria.

Hip-hop, island music, symphony and jazz – isn’t that what Oakland’s diversity is all about? Enjoy it this weekend, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella!

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