downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — transit

A diversity of destinations, downtown

March 16, 2012

Oakland’s burgeoning and increasingly famous nightlife scene gets a new addition tonight, the Night Light in Jack London at 311 Broadway. The former Clancy’s Taqueria has been transformed into a nautically-themed, bordello-inspired lounge. Wood panelling (salvaged from ships), sailing lamps, and even a pirate-y chandelier surround leather couches, a DJ booth, and an elegant bar. The spot promises to become another hip Jack London District destination – and is just steps from a Broadway Shuttle stop!

Speaking of easy transportation, the City of Alameda announced that its Estuary Crossing Shuttle, which has exceeded ridership expectations, will operate for at least another year with funding from the Air District.

In more good news for the downtown waterfront, Miss Pearl’s (once Jam House) has reopened, after a long closure, and according to the Express, it’s better than ever. Check it out at Jack London Square’s Waterfront Hotel (1 Broadway).

Despite the rain, downtown events are going strong this weekend. Tonight is the final installment of Tina Tamale’s pop-up stand at Swan’s Market (907 Washington), during which the mexican foods maven will be joined by Little Shop Artisan Box and Boucherie Artisinal Meats. Check out the facebook invite for the details, and stop by between 5 and 9pm tonight.

It’s the two-year anniversary of The Skillet, the Layover’s (1517 Franklin) monthly dance party that combines DJing with live music. Tonight will be an all-vinyl affair, according to resident DJ Crimson.

Though there’s no shortage of hip events downtown this weekend, fans of classical music and jazz can party in Uptown too. Tonight the Oakland Symphony presents Spots on the Orient Express, playing Baroque, Romantic and Modernist pieces with guest violinist John Sords. At the Paramount (Broadway) at 8pm. And on Saturday, the Piedmont Piano Company (1728 San Pablo) hosts a performance by jazz vocalist Daria.

Hip-hop, island music, symphony and jazz – isn’t that what Oakland’s diversity is all about? Enjoy it this weekend, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella!

Comments Off

Bad luck or good spirits?

January 13, 2012

Some say Friday the 13th brings bad luck, but every Friday downtown brings good times. And on this star-crossed day, we definitely have good luck - in the form of a performance (held every Friday the 13th) by Damon and the Heathens at Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph). The band, which includes a few proprietors of downtown establishments, mixes horns-driven funk with subtle commentary on some of Oakland’s challenges. The Heathens’ performance is postponed until the end of the month. Acclaimed LA-based Spanish-language band Very Be Careful is playing at Vitus (201 Broadway), though.

Last night was Jack London’s 136th birthday, and literary enthusiasts toasted his work at his favorite watering hole, the gloriously distressed Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon (48 Webster). As Andy K. asked on Twitter, shouldn’t Jack London’s birthday be celebrated on a larger scale?

The East Bay Bike Party is leaving from Snow Park this month; its ski-themed social ride around Central Oakland begins at 7:30.

The Oakland Running Festival has also decamped from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Snow Park, announcing its route which has been carefully coordinated with AC Transit to avoid the traffic snarls that paralyzed the city last year. Check out OaklandMarathon.com for the course and to register.

The Wall Street Journal published a nice video on the suprising success of Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood. Check it out!

Just outside of downtown, the Oakland Peace Center opens tomorrow at 29th off Broadway with a weekend of tree-planting, workshops on tolerance, children’s activities, and discussion. Check out the Facebook event for a full list of programs.

Enjoy your DTO weekend! I’ll see you in Uptown.

Comments Off