downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

From British cooking to bizarre taxidermy – it’s First Friday in June

June 3, 2011

The sun is out and it’s First Friday in June. Never mind that the Temescal Street Fair is postponed from this Sunday due to an approaching storm – this evening is set to be cool and clear. For your art-walking pleasure, highlights from tonight’s events as well as news and views about downtown.

In conjunction with auto-happening Classic Cars West, Femme Cartel features arts, crafts, goods and music from ladies at 411 26th St.

Disco Volante steps up its art game with a “menagerie of otherworldly and hybrid creatures” in mixed media by Jaime Lakatos, titled Beastmaster II. A new happy-hour snack and a New Orleans-based big band called MJ’s Brass Boppers rounds out the evening, and there’s no cover before 9pm. 14th and Webster.

Creative Growth Arts Center will host a literary reading by Oakland School for the Arts students from 5 to 9pm, 24th and Valdez.

Library supporters plan a funeral march for literacy at the Art Murmur starting at 7pm at 20th and Broadway.

Oakland Pride hosts a fundraising dance party at the Bench & Bar tonight.

Jack London Square kicks off its seasons Dancing Under The Stars outdoor event with salsa dancing and instruction from 8:30 to 10pm, and recurring every Friday with a different genre through August.

Anglophiles will be interested to know that two of England’s hottest chefs will be cooking alongside Daniel Patterson at Plum for a special meal benefiting Larkin Street Youth Services, on June 18th.

The East Bay Express’s cover story asks what the City of Oakland is gets in return for giving away public space to farmers’ markets for free.

OaklandNorth finds delectable and disgusting nibbles in Chinatown – whose legendary Shan Dong has the “dish of the week” from the SF Weekly.

SPUR writes about the “hidden history” of the Oakland Museum.

Although Live Art Wednesdays at Levende East have ended, Old Oakland is not to be left out of the First Friday action with galleries and restaurants stuffed with art, centered around 9th and Washington. From as far as Temescal to Uptown to across downtown, art is the on the menu this Friday date night. See you in the DTO!

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Friday the 13th isn’t bad luck, downtown

May 13, 2011

It’s Friday the 13th but the DTO, if anything, is lucky. Though the Swig Company’s bid for a high-rise Lawrence Berkeley Lab didn’t make the cut, the Oakland Indie Awards tonight remind us of the many growing businesses downtown and throughout the city. Restaurant openings and new potential in a key DTO district are something to look forward to.

Oakland’s only Michelin-starred chef will open his mod-Thai casual eatery, Hawker Fare, at Webster and 23rd in Uptown next week.

Xolo Taqueria opened next-door to Flora and is enjoying a great welcome from Uptowners.

Plum is now serving brunch from 10a-2p Saturday and Sunday, with menus based on farmers’ market products.

Downtown’s Art & Soul Festival got a nice mention in the East Bay Express’s summer guide.

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, the largest landlord in Old Oakland, has hired retail consultants to revitalize the moribund Swan’s Market. A cafe opened by a Chez Panisse alum is a taste of what is (hopefully) to come.

Also in Old Oakland, the Cock-A-Doodle Cafe is now open for dinner Thursdays through Saturdays, with a Cuban menu, while B Restaurant has restored lunch service.

What makes today lucky for some is that local favorite downtown-based band, horns-driven funksters Damon & The Heathens, are playing at Cafe Van Kleef tonight – as they do every Friday the 13th. What better way to reclaim bad luck then with a musical surprise?

Next week: Where is the DTO, redux

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