downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

From comic books to Soul Train, the DTO celebrates this weekend

February 24, 2012

It seems that Spring has permanently sprung here in perpetually sunny Oakland. With First Friday just around the corner, there is no shortage of exciting events and new happenings in our downtown.

After WonderCon decided to decamp from the Oakland Convention Center (at the City Center Marriott, on 10th St) to larger digs in Anaheim, a group of community-loving comics creators decided to hold a gathering here in the DTO. Starting today, the Image Comics Expo runs through the weekend. Tonight, the Uptown (1928 Telegraph) hosts a welcome party, and fundraiser for the Comic Books Legal Defense Fund, starting at 8pm.

Diablo Magazine’s new issue rounds up all the latest restaurant news in downtown. The opening of Bittersweet Cafe on Broadway and the expansion of Beer Revolution are two highlights have haven’t been mentioned in this space before – but seeing everything lined up in one place is quite heartening. Quick update to the list – as of today, Le Cheval is operating from their original, remodeled space at 10th and Clay Streets.

Unmentioned in the magazine is the Night Light, which will open this Spring in the former Clancy’s space at 311 Broadway. The decor is beautiful, following a subtle nautical theme.

After the death of music and cultural hero Don Cornelius, a large Soul Train line formed in Times Square to celebrate his legacy. Inspired by that effort, a local group is asking for music fans to come to Henry Kaiser Park (19th off Telegraph) to mount what they’re hoping will be the world’s largest Soul Train line, on Saturday at noon. Hear from the organizers on their Facebook invite.

Uptown’s charming Entrez housewares boutique (1645 Telegraph) has moved to Walnut Creek, but its spirit will be celebrated this Sunday with a party benefiting the soon-to-open Urban Montessori School. A fundraising raffle will be accompanied by music, wine tasting by Periscope Cellars, and kid-friendly and craft activities. An after-party at Somar follows. Check out the details on Facebook.

Vitus (201 Broadway) and the Bay Area Pinball Blog welcome the debut of a new pinball machine with a tournament and party next Wednesday, Feb 29. The AC/DC machine will be greeted with a performance by the Dolomites. The tournament costs $5, starts at 5pm, and the deadline for registration is 8pm. Vitus’s four other machines, which include all-time best-seller Medieval Madness, will be available for non-tournament play.

See you on the pins!

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February First Friday fetes Fox, vol 3

February 3, 2012

It’s First Friday once again, and the unseasonably sunny weather will probably make it a more happening time than a typical February! As usual, the happenings are concentrated in Uptown, but not exclusively. Highlights of First Friday include:

  • The Third Anniversary of the Fox Theater. Uptown’s landmark Art Deco movie palace – besides that other one – has become a beautiful anchor and symbol of the revitalized Uptown district. The Friends of the Fox celebrate its third anniversary of reopening with free theater tours from 5-9pm; and a party at the Den (1807 Telegraph Ave) starting at 9pm, featuring a DJ set by Lyrics Born, the unveiling of a new Fox-themed T-shirt by Oaklandish, a silent auction, and a book-signing of the new art and history publication entitled Oakland Landmarks.
  • The official hub of the Art Murmur’s First Friday is of course 23rd St off Telegraph, and tonight it will host a poetry wall and lion dance. See the official Art Mumur website for more.
  • Mercury Twenty Gallery (475 25th St) hosts an opening of the works of Mary Curtis Radcliff. You can see a video interview with her on her website.
  • Betti Ono Gallery (1804 Telegraph) hosts a reception from 7-10 tonight for Denver-based artist Joshua Mays, who creates prints, drawings and installations inspired by graffiti and tattoo art.
  • The Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave) again hosts a free show for First Friday, headlined by indie-rockers Birds and Batteries, starting at 9pm.
  • The Hatch Gallery (492 23rd St) shows the ceramic works of Irwin Luckman, a carpenter and draftsman.

There will also be fun times at every downtown bar and restaurant, and if you’re looking for a break from Uptown, Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood (9th and Broadway) is still going strong. Enjoy your artistic evening!

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