downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — June 2009

A new blog, but all the same excitement!

June 5, 2009

Yes, it is once again the first Friday of the month! That means open galleries and people out and about enjoying the beautiful weather of downtown Oakland. Artsy events in and around downtown include of course the Art Murmur, but also a Saturday crafts fair at ABCo in West Oakland.

East Bay Open Studios, an annual peek into the studios of the East Bay’s artists and artisans, begins today. Stop by ProArts, the organizer, for more information and a guide, and get started by visiting neighboring Swarm Gallery and Hive Studios.

Not everything to do is indoors, though. Saturday will see the Jack London Aquatic Center hosting their Summer Splash event, and on Sunday the Lake Merritt gardens celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.

Today’s the last day to register for the National Homebrewers’ Conference, to be held at the City Center Marriott June 18 – 22. Nearby beer temple The Trappist will surely be busy that weekend! Though perhaps not as busy as Uptown.

Though not an event, Jack London Square’s handsome The Bond building opened to the public this week. The large apartments include views, services, and that most coveted of Oakland amenities, a dog park.

Saturday, horns-driven funk band Damon and the Heathens releases their long-awaited album with a show at the Uptown. I included the Heathens on my Oakland mixtape for Rebecca Kaplan’s election to the City Council, not just because they are excellent, but because many of their songs touch on the Oakland condition (such as their live cover of Life During Wartime). The lyrics of Trite Life mention one of West Oakland’s most pressing problems, food insecurity:

Ghost Town is a motherfucker

So take your ass to the corner store

It says groceries but you will find

The only vegetables are waiting in line

Check out their high-energy show and great new album, featuring audio samples of disturbing news reports on Oakland compiled by V Smoothe, at the Uptown tomorrow. See you there!

UPDATE: A Better Oakland makes a pitch for enjoying the DTO on Saturday.