downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — December 2011

Early Xmas gift for cyclists

December 16, 2011

This morning bicycle, pedestrian, transit and business advocates celebrated the installation of 18.1 miles of City-wide bike infrastructure, including long-awaited lanes on Franklin and Webster Streets, connecting downtown’s neighborhoods. Full disclosure: I am a Board Member of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, which sponsored the press conference in partnership with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. By the time you read this the lanes will have been fully painted – get out and enjoy them!

While Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood is going strong, and inspiring entrepreneurs throughout Oakland despite the poor economy, Uptown is getting in on the holiday shopping action with a temporary gift fair this weekend at the Betti Ono Gallery (1804 Telegraph) across the street from the Fox Theater. The holiday shopping extravaganza with local artisans and manufacturers kicks off tonight with a party from 7 to 10pm, and continues all weekend from 11am-5pm in conjunction with the Uptown Stroll, when local bars, restaurants and shops (including EntreZ and Feelmore510) offer holiday discounts. And in the spirit of the season, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Covenant House, an organization that works with homeless youth.

There are other great opportunities to contribute downtown. Tonight, The Uptown Nightclub (1928 Telegraph Ave) will waive its cover charge for a donation of a new, unwrapped toy to the Mayor’s Toy Drive. If you come downtown for business, consider bringing canned food to donate to the Alameda County Food Bank, which has donation drop-offs in the lobbies of most office buildings. The Food Bank can stretch your dollars further because of bulk purchasing, so also consider making a cash donation, which you can do online at

Happy holidays!

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Celebrating Old and New

December 9, 2011

Tonight, downtown Oaklanders are celebrating the new and the old this holiday season.

Back in 2001, a group of downtowners took a long-vacant retail space and experimented with a music and culture venue they dubbed the Oakland Box Theater. While the Box did not last forever, its legacy is the Uptown Nightclub (1928 Telegraph Ave) and the music and cultural renaissance of the Uptown neighborhood. Tonight founder Steve Snider hosts a reunion of the Oakland Box’s artists and fans at the Kaiser Center Theater (300 Lakeside), an event featuring music, performance, and art from many of Oakland’s most talented artists.

Old Oakland Neighbors, a wonderful community organization, is celebrating its five-year anniversary with a bash at the Pacific Coast Brewery (906 Washington St) from 5-8pm. You can bring an unwrapped toy for Endgame’s toy drive, or a package of men’s socks or underwear to donate to CityTeam. This is a great opportunity to explore the Pop Up Hood bringing new retail life to the neighborhood with a selection of gift and fashion-oriented shops. And while you’re in the area, Cosecha (907 Washington St) is debuting its Friday night hours, serving food and drink until 9pm, with its soon-to-be neighbor Periscope Cellars pouring wine.

And if you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping by this evening, The Hive Studios (301 Jefferson St) will tonight host a holiday group art show and artisan market for your shopping pleasure. See you in the DTO!

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