downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — September 2011

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 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.


Second Friday and a busy week

September 9, 2011

The second Friday of the month is becoming a popular alternative opening date to First Fridays, for galleries off the beaten Art Murmur track. Sticks + Stones, in Old Oakland, is hosting a reception for painter Thomas Christopher Haag with locally-produced wine and a few surprises. And if you haven’t checked out Smashbox Contemporary in the Marquee Lofts, it is open every Friday evening at 1727 Telegraph Avenue.

Tonight you can join the East Bay Bike Party as it rolls its way from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Linden Street. They will leave the City Hall area at 8pm, so get there around 7:45 and done’t forget your lights!

Upcoming events

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is hosting a (non-denominational) memorial to the victims of the Sept 11 terror attacks, with the Oakland Symphony Chorus and Civic Orchestra. Attendees can participate in singing Mozart’s Requiem, at 5:30pm on Sunday Sept 11.

The Lake Merrit Specific Plan is hosting a drop-in workshop on the future of the area around the Lake Merritt BART station on Monday Sept 12. WOBO and the EBBC are encouraging bicyclists and pedestrians to attend and emphasize the importance of making the area safer and more pleasant with transportation improvements. You can drop in and share your opinions any time between 4:30 and 7:30 at 900 Fallon Street. More information is available from

Next Friday is Park(ing) Day, a tradition started a few years ago in San Francisco that inspires people to think about more productive uses of urban space by turning street parking spaces into parks or other active spaces during the day. You can find a map of Oakland Park(ing) Day locations at Downtown parklets include outside Oaklandish and the East Bay Meditation Center on Broadway, the Marquee Lofts / Smshbox Contemporary on Telegraph, and Farley’s East on Grand.

Late this month Jack London’s Swam Gallery will host Tilt, a boutique and alternative wedding fair designed for today’s eco-conscious couple. Stay tuned to for more information.

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