Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for November, 2007

Swarm’s Little Show

By awoodall

ls_front.jpgEven the most modest art enthusiasts should be able to find something their heart desires at the Swarm Gallery “Little Show” party 6 p.m. tonight.  The gallery asked some of their favorite artists to create new work within the dimensions of 8″ x 8″ x 8″.  Thus the name “The Little Show.” The artists’  work is on display (and sale) from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23.

Just in time for the holidays. There won’t be a price limit placed on the works, but since there is a size limit, they expect most, if not all, the works will be accessible to even the most emerging art collectors.

560 Second Street
Oakland CA 94607
Tel 510 839 2787

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

The Uptown goes to City Hall tomorrow

By awoodall

I just swung by the Uptown Bar on Telegraph, near Broadway, on one of my martini rounds only to find it dark and shuttered. I had heard the place was up for auction a while back but thought the new owners already had the doors open again. Instead the notice pasted to the window said the public hearing for the cabaret license application is 3 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 29 at City Hall.

I can’t say I’m sorry to see the Uptown go. Too skanky and raunchy for me. The place never quite caught on. I don’t know. Maybe you disagree. Right now, though, only van Kleef’s and The Stork Club are keeping the spirit alive on that stretch of Telegraph, near the intersection of Broadway and 16th Street.  The Telegraph side of the city’s uptown, if you will. The Broadway side is doing a bit better as far as cabaret/bars go.  Farther down Tele is the string of Korean shops, Internet arcades and restaurants, as well as the galleries, tattoo parlors and such.

Are there other haunts around there that you night owls aren’t telling me about? Where do you go to hang out around there, or do you go?

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

Art World Striptease

By awoodall

art_primer_logo.jpg Get a behind the scenes look at the art world — that bitchy, snarky, cut-throat universe that hides under a veneer of civility and beauty. Oh, wait. I am getting carried away.  I thought I was talking about a Jerry Bruckheimer pilot.
No less intriguing but much nicer is a peek-a-boo presentation 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 28, by Oakland museum’s senior curator (oooh, fancy), Rene de Guzman.
Part of the Inside the Art World series, Guzman will dish about museums (“If these walls could talk” would be the title of my book if I were a museum curator), Oakland’s blossoming art scene, how it fits into the international scene and how O-Town arts can stay true to their roots while branching out into the big wide arts world.  
Our artists can be Oakland and represent our city to the rest of the world.
Anyway, Guzman is one cool museum maestro.
Entry is $15 at the door. Pre-register online by clicking here.

For more info or questions email nicole@oaklandartgallery.org

map_micro.gif

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

The search for O-Town’s Mr. Foxy

By awoodall

Someone by the name of David was kind enough to drop me a line about finding our own Mr. Foxy, Rodger Collins after my blog plea a couple weeks ago.  Good site for Collin’s music and other funk/soul brothers from the 60s and 70s.  I’m working on a story about Hajj Sabrie — as Mr. Collins is now known – for January and have begun tracking down details. Contributions of memories and mementos of the music, the man and the time memorialized in songs like “Foxy Girls in Oakland” are most welcome.

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

Erotic poetry night

By awoodall

A rather lascivious lady in lavender sang what I think was the hottest version of a Christmas carol I’ve ever heard last night at the Between the Holidays Erotic Poetry Night in Berkeley.  “Come all ye faithful and get an eyeful. Oh let us come together. Oh let us come together…it feeeels sooo good,” went the daring ditty she had written, I presume, for the occasion. Talk about getting your onamonopeia on.  “Oh come ye over me and then come aggaain,” she continued.  There was more that I can’t repeat here. My editors tell me this is, after all, a family newspaper. 

She was lustiest and funniest of the blue bards. Actually, that’s not fair. I expected the equivalent of a nude beach: the desperate voyeurs who wank off while watching naked suncombers who are never the ones you want to see without clothing, anyway. Although they were no Shakespears (try Henry Millers and Anais Nins with a splash of geeks and freaks), some earnest poets read thoughful, well-built poetry minus the smut. It was an affair of the heart and mind for most.  

Nice to see something like a poetry society alive today. The weekly Monday readings started about four years go at the Priya Indian Restaurant on San Pablo Ave. Each week is a different theme, I was told. What a good choice to warm up these winter nights with sensual sonnets. It is, after all, the loveliest time of the year.  

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

Trio Bistro down another player

By awoodall

This weekend I stopped by one of my favorite night spots, the Trio Bistro on Grand, for a martini and chef Chantal’s pommes frites — always crunchy, salty and hot, served with a garnish of french fried herbs in a brown paper bag. Mama Martin — aka Kimala — concocted a “spritzy, fruity drink” for my little owls who were digging into the fries even though we had just eaten dinner. They’re too good to pass up, especially with the Lake Merritt neclace of lights twinkling like diamonds. Turns out, mama Martin is heading for back surgery for ruptured disks as soon as her turn on the wait list comes up. So, send the ladies best wishes.  If you don’t see her red-top behind the bar one night, be understanding.

Posted on Monday, November 26th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

La Estrellita a-ita

By awoodall

1242038315_8526254f80.jpgCame across this lovely photo of La Estrellita – the cute Mexican place I mentioned last weekend – by “VSmooth.” Captures the tequila strength of the Eastlake restaurant/bar. (That was, by the way, Lapiz tequila. Oops!)

Posted on Friday, November 23rd, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

Where are you, Rodger “Foxy Oakland” Collins?

By awoodall

I was just trolling the Internet for what I consider to be one of Oakland’s all-time classic theme songs: “Foxy Girls in Oakland” — “Pretty little girl in Oakland, struttin’ down East 14th…” How can you beat that? He’s also the man behind “You sexy sugar plum” and “She’s looking good.” (“You wear your wig, now, you wear your dresses tight.  You’re wearing your foxy fur when you step out late at night.”)

One reviewer raved about Collins’ 1970 anthem to all the “true, fine mamas in the East Bay,” a record “so powerful that it caused even the whitebread Rolling Stone to sputter, ‘from every possible aspect, this disc is incredible.’”

But I heard the funky 70s soulmaster works a runs a recycling scrap yard in Oakland. Where are you, Mr. Foxy Oakland? 

Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Leave a comment

Ruby Thursday

By awoodall

The Ruby Room over on 14th Street was all strange Thursday night. Usually the slightly skanky night spot is packed with a wide assortment of oddities, especially biker-gear clad men who resemble Klingons. Nice contrast to the library and courthouse across the street. Lake Merritt glows with its neclace of lights nearby. But the Ruby has lighting so dim you always look good.

Thursday was a whole different scene. The music was muted (it’s usually blaring) and a group of young, trying to be hip characters dominated the lounge. I even found an empty table, which gave me a ring-side view of a pool game between a chick in a black T-shirt with the “Godfather” film puppet strings above the words “The Bay Area”  and a guy she was beating the pants off. The buckaroo was dangerous: he sent the cue ball across the room.  200px-godfather_ver1.jpg

It was a one martini stop. They go heavy on the vermouth anyway. A guy at the bar, with four shots of what looked like tequila lined up to his left, was chatting a bit about dirty martinis. He was against them personally because the olive juice gives him a tummy ache. Poor baby. He said he was waiting for a shot. ”All four of those,” I asked.

Nah. He had to drive to San Francisco. But a little buzz was nice, he said, asking “Nothing wrong with that, right?”  

Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment

We are the Warriors

By awoodall

Did the Warriors beat the streak? Nothing is on the wire yet, but from the sound of thumping, hooting and hollering they did. Last I heard, right about 10 p.m. they were 19 points ahead and Baron Davis was walking off the court. So…

I was watching the game on the big screens at La Estrellita over on the Eastlake side of town. The big Mexican restaurant has a big restaurant (serving giant big plates of south-of-the-border fare) and a big bar with pool tables, big screen, juke box and three pages of tequilas to choose from.

I chose Lapis Anejo, served in a tulip-shaped shot glass along with a chaser of spicy tomato juice (big pepper and chili flakes) and a slice of lime. In the Yucatan part of Mexico, Don Julio tequila was the choice of choices among the agave-derived drink. Smooth and deep, it’s hard to find around here. But La Estrellita’s assured me that there are several outlets that sell the sweet, caramel brand. A passenger in the Guadalajara airport (during a layover there) mentioned several other “hot” brands. The Lapis was nice but no Don Julio.

I was nibbling on some of La Estrellita’s various offerings when Baron Davis was knocked off the court in what so looked like a foul. It wasn’t looking good until he made a few freethrows. In the time it took me to get to my Berkeley neighborhood sounds like they won.

Yes! We are Warriors.  

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Leave a comment