downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — planningcommission

Stargazing in the DTO

September 16, 2011

Today is PARK(ing) Day, an annual event that challenges us to rethink how public space is used by taking over street parking spaces and putting them to alternative uses. Many parklets are in the downtown area, you can find a map at WOBO.org. Parklets, as these miniature parks are called, include seating areas, play areas, and a campfire. This year Oaklandish and other merchants are offering a Parklet Passport – get your passport stamped at four parklets and receive a discount at participating retailers!

Hollywood rolls into town next week with the world premiere of Moneyball at the Paramount Theater on Monday. Brad Pitt’s attendance has not been confirmed, but that’s probably just to keep out-of-towners from crashing Oakland’s party. If you’re excited by the star wattage or the film itself, you can celebrate the film’s release at downtown restaurants and bars that are offering specials for fans.

Project Bandaloop, the vertical dance company that practices and performs on a wall on Grand Ave, will offer free public performances tonight and tomorrow evening in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Check out the Great Wall of Oakland for details.

One new planning process began and one is wrapping up, both with implications for downtown’s future. Check out A Better Oakland and Living in the O’s coverage of the new citywide off-street parking regulations overhaul, and stayed tuned for more about the Lake Merritt Specific Plan as it moves into a decision-making phase.

After all that rethinking and star-gazing, you might want to explore a downtown bar to quench your thirst. Check out the review of new Jack London hotspot Vitus in this week’s East Bay Express.

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Lessons from Librarians

May 27, 2011

Some of downtown’s oldest institutions and newest ventures made the news this week.

The Swig Company’s approval to build the tallest building in Oakland less than a block from Lake Merritt, replacing a fifty-year-old, publicly-accessible garden, was approved and the deadline for appeal has passed. When the job market improves, Oakland will see serious investment in the Lakeside area.

Hundreds of Oaklanders rallied to save the Oakland Library, which runs two downtown branches as well as the Main Library. Although Councilmember Nancy Nadel, who represents most of downtown, didn’t seem to care about decimating the library system, the majority of Councilmembers appeared to get the message and library supporters are hopeful the service will be spared the budget axe – especially since Oaklanders already pay a dedicated parcel tax for library services.

Speaking of the library, the Main branch is offering a Japanese calligraphy class tomorrow.

Today is the deadline to submit a vegan cupcake recipe to the Rock Paper Scissors annual bake-off.

DTO-headquarted Pandora announced strong revenue growth before its IPO.

Rock Block Oakland reviews Hawker Fare on Tumblr.

The Chronicle reviews sweet and pretty West DTO spot Hibiscus.

After meeting fierce resistance from business interests and cities including Oakland and Alameda, the appointed Bay Area Conversation and Development Commission is revising proposed rules that would reduce elected officials’ ability to plan for waterfront development in places like Jack London Square. Meanwhile, tea partiers crashed a downtown regional planning meeting.

The California Assembly passed a bill to give Oakland (and San Jose) a greater voice in regional transportation planning and funding decisions.

With the aforementioned regional transportation body scheduling severely reduced service on both the Bay Bridge and BART this weekend, it’s a great time to explore Oakland! See you at the library.

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