downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

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Oakland wants YOU to help downtown

January 16, 2009

As the Oscar Grant / protest / riot situation simmers, City Councilmember Pat Kernighan, who represents part of downtown, expressed her outrage at the vandals and her sympathy for the residents and businesses who have been working to transform the DTO, only to see their property destroyed by out-of-town “wannabe revolutionaries.” Her balanced essay is a must-read for concerned citizens. She highlights the unfairness of negative media attention when the vandals were not residents, and promises to help spread a more positive message of Oaklanders coming together to support their community.

To show solidarity with local businesses damaged by this and last week’s rioting, Oaklanders have organized two events designed to bring folks to the DTO. Tonight, blog commenters have declared a Night Out, and are encouraging everyone to spend the evening at one of downtown’s many restaurants, discos, and cultural venues. Tomorrow (Sat Jan 17 2009), merchant groups throughout the city have organized 17th on 17th, a mini-festival celebrating downtown’s charming block of shops between Franklin and Webster Streets, from 2 to 5p. When was the last time buying a smoothie and a handbag was such a good deed? I look forward to seeing you there.

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Dining out for life

April 24, 2008

Today is the annual fundraiser Dining Out for Life. Participating restaurants will donate a portion of their receipts to AIDS charities. That means that donating to charity is as easy as going out to eat! Of course, that’s because it’s the restaurant, not really the customer, who’s donating, but why quibble? It’s a good cause. Participating restaurants in and around the DTO are:

B Restaurant, 499 9th St

La Taza de Cafe, 3909 Grand Ave

Mezze, 3907 Lakeshore

Milano, 3425 Grand Ave

Tamarindo, 468 8th St

Zza’s Trattoria, 552 Grand Ave

Also, downtown Vietnamese eatery Pho 84 was victim of a takeover robbery recently (as was Milano, above), so that’s another great destination this week to show some support. Bon appetit!

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