downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — nightlife

Tis the Season to Shop

December 2, 2011

It’s the First Friday of December, when artistic and cultural events are joined by local shopping opportunities as merchants try to shake off economic disruptions to offer gifts to Oaklanders who want to support local artisans and entrepreneurs. A full suite of holiday shopping and events can be found in downtown Oakland this weekend.

First Friday art highlights in Uptown include Pretty Pretty, an exhibition of pop culture ephemera reworked into unusual sculpture, at the Hatch Gallery (492 23rd St); Amanda N Simons’s gender-questioning visual artwork at Feelmore510 (1703 Telegraph); and Art vs. Food, an indoor celebration of street food and street art at the New Commodity (474 24th St), featuring a half-dozen food vendors and a dozen muralists. In the spirit of the season, tonight Art vs Food will accept unwrapped presents for Oakland’s Community Toy Drive, and Feelmore510 is offering free flu shots and HIV screenings.

Jack London Square is holding a holiday pop-up market with many vendors, benefitting Wardrobe for Opportunity, and holds their annual tree-lighting ceremony tonight. The Pop-Up Market is in the Jack London Market, 55 Harrison St.

Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood, a great destination for urbane gift-shopping, is featured in today’s local edition of the New York Times. As you shop local this holiday season, don’t forget about the Oakland Grown gift card!

New Uptown watering hole Make Westing is featured in the Chronicle after the debut of their food menu.

Super-fun party rap group Hottub holds their record release party at Vitus, tonight at 9pm, 201 Broadway.

Saturday

America’s Children’s Holiday Parade, a nationally-televised spectacle could be characterized as the PBS version of the Macy’s Parade, kicks off on Broadway and 11th at 2pm.

The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment debuts its first exhibit today, on the History of 3D. Watch a promotional video here. The exhibit opens today at noon and runs for a month. 610 16th St Ste 230.

Jack London Square hosts the annual Lighted Yacht Parade at sundown.

Sunday

Bouchrie Marketplace at La Borinquena (582 7th St at Jefferson) collaborates with Boucherie to bring holiday food and gifts shopping to an Old Oakland mainstay.

With so many opportunities to be a spectator, a shopper, or a giver, this weekend will be one to remember. See you at the Holiday Parade!

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Occupy the Night

November 18, 2011

Downtown Oakland is still going through a rough period but tensions have eased somewhat with the quieting of the Occupy movement. Tonight and the next week offer fun ways to enjoy downtown and support its small retail and entertainment businesses.

Music for all tastes

The Uptown hosts an indie-rock show featuring Mister Loveless, The Hundred Days, Holy Rolling Empire, and Tremor Low.

For different tastes, the San Francisco Funk Fest comes to Oakland with the 45 Sessions at Disco Volante tonight, spinning funk and rare groove at this well-regarded restaurant-cum-nightclub.

And yet another musical direction, hip-hop stars Foreign Legion play with a live backing band at Vitus tonight, 2nd and Broadway.

Art on Saturday

Tomorrow supporters or those interested in the Occupy movement can see an art exhibit featuring works by Occupy protesters in Oakland and SF, with a discussion about the movement and its relationship to the arts. It’s not downtown but Occupy has impacted downtown more than anywhere else, so the reader may be interested. Noon Saturday (Nov 19), at GZ | Soulye Studios, 2615D Magnolia St in West Oakland.

Also Saturday afternoon, six galleries of the Art Murmur open their doors for a curated tour starting at 2pm at Mama Buzz Cafe, 2318 Telegraph.

Though a certain protest movement will try on Saturday to pick a fight in Uptown, many are optimistic that things will have been taken care of by nightfall, and a great way to celebrate peace in the DTO is at the official Goapele record release party at Era Artbar on Saturday night! Pre-sale tickets available at a discount.

Dueling retro gaming tournaments

Next week sees dueling retro gaming nights in the DTO – pick your pleasure, 8-bit video or mechanical pinball! Tuesday, the new Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment hosts its first Fight Night, a tournament of retro fighting arcade games (think StreetFighter).

On Wednesday, Vitus in the Jack London District will host another of its popular, biweekly pinball tournaments. Vitus is fast becoming a regional destination for pinball, with four well-oiled machines and plenty of room to play. Vitus also boasts the most popular pinball machine of all time, Medieval Madness. Scroll down the Bay Area Pinball League’s tournament page to learn more.

Occupy downtown business

Finally, get ready for Oakland’s official holiday Shop Local event in downtown. Recent events have hit downtown businesses hard. Next Friday will be a fun-filled day to celebrate our local merchants and get a start on holiday shopping with local businesses.

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