downtown oakland

Downtown Oakland circa 1910

February First Friday fetes Fox, vol 3

February 3, 2012

It’s First Friday once again, and the unseasonably sunny weather will probably make it a more happening time than a typical February! As usual, the happenings are concentrated in Uptown, but not exclusively. Highlights of First Friday include:

  • The Third Anniversary of the Fox Theater. Uptown’s landmark Art Deco movie palace – besides that other one – has become a beautiful anchor and symbol of the revitalized Uptown district. The Friends of the Fox celebrate its third anniversary of reopening with free theater tours from 5-9pm; and a party at the Den (1807 Telegraph Ave) starting at 9pm, featuring a DJ set by Lyrics Born, the unveiling of a new Fox-themed T-shirt by Oaklandish, a silent auction, and a book-signing of the new art and history publication entitled Oakland Landmarks.
  • The official hub of the Art Murmur’s First Friday is of course 23rd St off Telegraph, and tonight it will host a poetry wall and lion dance. See the official Art Mumur website for more.
  • Mercury Twenty Gallery (475 25th St) hosts an opening of the works of Mary Curtis Radcliff. You can see a video interview with her on her website.
  • Betti Ono Gallery (1804 Telegraph) hosts a reception from 7-10 tonight for Denver-based artist Joshua Mays, who creates prints, drawings and installations inspired by graffiti and tattoo art.
  • The Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave) again hosts a free show for First Friday, headlined by indie-rockers Birds and Batteries, starting at 9pm.
  • The Hatch Gallery (492 23rd St) shows the ceramic works of Irwin Luckman, a carpenter and draftsman.

There will also be fun times at every downtown bar and restaurant, and if you’re looking for a break from Uptown, Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood (9th and Broadway) is still going strong. Enjoy your artistic evening!

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Saying adieu to Restaurant Week, and bonjour to new restaurants!

January 27, 2012

This is the last weekend of Oakland Restaurant week sponsored by Visit Oakland, the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Eateries throughout the city, including many downtown, offer prix-fix menus and good deals for diners.

The Chronicle reports that changes are coming to Michelin-recommended Uptown spot Hibiscus (1745 San Pablo). The restaurant, currently being remodeled, will switch to a more “family-friendly” menu intended to complement the successful dance club The New Parish, located in the same building. But fans of chef Sarah Kirnon’s Carribbean-inspired cuisine don’t need to despair – she is opening a new spot, called Miss Ollie’s, downtown this Spring. Downtowners don’t have to wait that long, because she’s hosting a special dinner tomorrow night at the Starline Social Club.

In other restaurant news, Ike’s Place (2204 Broadway), a popular gourmet sandwich spot with many vegan and vegetarian options, has joined the crowded intersection of Grand and Broadway, while next door, Bakesale Betty (2228 Broadway) is reopening its downtown location and plans to begin serving four days a week. And the San Francisco Business Times describes Haven in the context of the business plan for its Jack London Market Building.

Downtown’s favorite funkmeisters Damon and the Heathens are playing tonight at Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph) and tomorrow night at the Uptown (1928 Telegraph). And the DTO’s favorite dance party, the People Party, returns to The New Parish (579 18th St) tomorrow night. Swan’s Market (907 Washington St) is hosting a party for the Pop-Up Hood this evening from 6 to 9, and the Oakland Symphony performs Carmina Burana at the Paramount Theater (2201 Broadway) tonight.

Enjoy this sunny winter weekend!

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