Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Noir Owl

By awoodall
Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 5:27 pm in Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland.

palacefistsite.gifThe salsa tunes echoing through Washington Street lured me out last night after I finished the Noir Owl for today’s paper. The salsa was coming from the first installation of the Old Oakland summer music series, which is supposed to be a street fest with libatations, food, music and community.
Kind of pump up Old Oakland, or New Old Oakland as the organizers are calling it.  (Notice that the area was a big support center for Sean Sullivan, who gave Councilmember Nancy Nadel a ride for her money during Tuesday’s elections? His was the only after polling party that was not a freaks and geeks scene.)
There are nine more Thursday night shindigs planned this summer — every first and third Thursday. The crowd last night was a bit sparse compared to what I imagine the expectations were, although I ran into Kenyan artist Githinji Wa Mbire who turns up everywhere including in The Oakbook last month. 
But the street could have used more artists, vendors, food and…pizazz. The band, Julio Bravo y su orquestra Salsabor, was smokin though. So was one of the couples dancing in the street. (YAY!)
Even my 12-year-old daughter was grooving to the rythms.  My girls and I stopped at Kai’s Japanese Restaurant, which opened a few months ago, for a Sake-tini (for me) and some Hamachi rolls (for them). Good stuff but strange service from the hombres behind the bar.  
BTW, the first installation of the Temescal District summer street cinema series kicked in Thursday and runs until July 17. Mostly short films. I’m hoping to catch “Girls Rock” on June 26. Cheers until then.

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