Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for August, 2008

Raiders after hours

By awoodall

The Raiders are in good form tonight, 7-3 against the 49ers, in their first pre-season and woefully their only (or close to it) night game. When I looked out the office window earlier, the Raider Nation was setting up camp in the parking lost like pilgrims that finally found a place to land. Whatever. I’m tired and trying to be cute. Anyway, my sources tell me the Obama ’08 football jerseys in silver and blackare a hit over at the coliseum. And, what was that? Elvis at the game? Anything is possible, even victory.

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland | No Comments »
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Oakland’s signature cocktail

By awoodall

I got some angry and useful e-mails in response to today’s story about finding Oakland’s signature cocktail. Daniel Schulman wrote that Oakland already has one — the Mai Tai. One of the most famous cocktails in the world was invented at Trader Vic’s on San Pablo Avenue, he said. Excellent! But I think we need a signature drink, a cocktail created for Oakland today.
Mark Nelson was upset that I did not talk about drunk driving in the story, that he said was in poor taste anyway because of the timing… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | 2 Comments »
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Opening: Oyster Reef

By awoodall

The Oyster Reef seafood restaurant is having a grand reopening tonight beginning 5 p.m.  It’s about a mile south of Jack London Square at 1000 Embaracadero. The views of the water are sparkling and I hear from a manager Nichole Watson that the food is fantastic. The East Bay Express voted it the best bar with a view. Granted, I don’t know what year or whether that Best of the Bay stuff is an advertising gimmick, but here is an excerpt from the review: “The dusk takes on a rosy glow, just like you, as the bottle dwindles slowly like the tide. Hip old-school patrons fill in around the small, well-stocked bar in fedoras, bowlers, and baseball caps for familiar conversations with the statuesque bartender. As the dinner crowd disperses, those sated to immobility chat while evening comes and lights dance over the darkened bay. John Coltrane’s Blue Train insinuates from some hidden speaker, when you suddenly realize: This is the grotto prophesized by the late Jazzbeaux Collins in the heady days of bop gone by, and one of the most seductively cool moments you’ve ever had.”

Posted on Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Danger and Despair Knitting Circle

By awoodall

Oakland was quiet enough Wednesday night that I got all the way to San Francisco for a flick — “Cry Tough” set in Spanish Harlem – that’s part of an underground noir series/cocktail salon.  
The films, 16-mm reels shown in a secret location that is disclosed by the Danger and Despair Knitting Circle at its discretion, are “impossibly rare and hard-to-find” titles. And they’re free. But the booze isn’t.
“Can we have a martini?” I asked my boyfriend, who was my guide for the night. Yes, he resplied, we can. In fact, a martini might be considered obligatory at a noir film. Drinks in hand, we settled into our impossibly uncomfortable chairs that were never meant to hold a rear end for an hour and a half. But the City Club was a big step up from the small rooms in dismal basements where the group started five years ago, when the audience was 40 to 50 hard core, noir-files and cinema buffs. The room was near capacity at 115 people last night, according to the Robert Marion.
A guy by the name of Chuck, dressed from the waist up like a rumpled reporter from 1936, introduced the film, which featured zero Puerto Rican actors although it was supposed to be the story of the newest immigrants to the United States in 1959, Puerto Ricans. “This is the story of one of its sons” Miguel Estrada (played by John Saxon), an ex-con trying to go straight who gets caught between his American dreams and immigrants’ hard-luck reality.  ”Do I have to rot here because I was born a generation too son?” he asks his father. “Everyone else busted out before us: Italians, Irish, Jews.”
 The double-crossing dame Santa, played by Argentinian actress Linda Cristal, has some sharp lines: “Nothin’s shakin’ but the bacon and that’s taken,” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, August 7th, 2008
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VanKleevage, absinthe & corn dogs like heaven and hell

By awoodall

I stopped in at Cafe Van Kleef the other night on my search for Oakland’s signature cocktail (that’s a story for Friday’s Night Owl) and learned that the bar is now serving food and absinthe. Peter Van Kleef jumped on the “green fairy” bandwagon with La Tourment, a French Absinthe that he said can be drunk straight.
He’s also serving bar food and showed off his convection oven that looks like a safe but that can turn out a pizza with a Sicilian-style crust in minutes. So he claimed. I never know if the rascal is messing with me or not because he’s always got a mischievous look on his face and a tall tale on the tip of his tongue. He looked especially roguish Monday night with his baseball cap worn backwards and a chunky gold chain dangling from his wrist. Anyway, he said the bar is dishing up shrimp and bread, meatballs “like your mother makes” (I hope not MY mother), baked tilapia fish and corn dogs served with mustard and horseradish mustard “so it’s like heaven and hell.”
He removes the stick and cuts the corn dogs up in thirds served with a little paper fan or umbrella. Peter said he also installed a walk-in cooler so he can have enough beer ro supply giant keg taps. His beer prices are still the same although the Chinese, he continued, have cornered the world market on hops, jacking up the price of beer by 50 percent. “I believe students deserve a break,” he added as explanation for his steady prices — $4.
Van Kleef’s just wrapped up a breast cancer awareness event for which a drink called the VanKleevage was concocted. (Three rums with a splash of half-and-half and grenadine syrup. Shake in a cocktail shaker until your hand freezes and the drink looks like breast milk.) What do you expect from the home of the Catholic-Protestant cocktail?

Posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
Under: Oakland nightlife, Uptown | No Comments »
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Changes at Ashby BART start Today Aug. 18

By kbender

Unless you are disabled or know someone who is, you might not have been paying attention to the fact that the Ed Roberts Campus, a one-stop service center for disabled people, is planned for the east entrance to the Ashby BART station.

 

Well, if you take BART or drive in that area, it’s time to start paying attention.

Beginning today (Aug. 18) BART will close the east entrance to the Ashby station as well as the east parking lot so contractors can spend the next 18 month building the Ed Roberts Campus.

 

That means we expect to see a lot more pedestrians from the east side of the tracks zooming across Adeline Street to get to the west side, hoping for the mercy of those ravenous drivers bound for Berkeley Bowl.

 

Here is how BART is planning to smooth the ride.

 

Vehicle Parking: BART will be offering an attendant assist-parking program in Ashby’s west parking lots on weekdays from 7:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. After the self-park stalls are filled, the agency will give riders the option of leaving their vehicles with a parking operator who will park cars in parking lot aisles. The $1.00 weekday parking fee will remain. Monthly reserved permit holders will continue to park in their same designated spaces. The City of Berkeley will provide BART customers with a designated number of parking spaces on streets around the station.

 

 

Bicycle Parking: BART will relocate bicycle parking that is now on the east side of the station to the west side of the station adjacent to existing bicycle parking.

Passenger Pick Up and Drop Off: BART will allow motorists to use the curb area adjacent to the station entrance while dropping off and picking up BART riders.

The campus, named in honor of Berkeley‘s late Ed Roberts, who had polio and was an early leader in the city’s independent-living movement,  is expected to open in 2010.

The 86,000 square-foot center will serve at least 30,000 people annually and will be a first of its kind in the world.

Organizations will provide housing services, disability benefits assistance, parenting support, health and fitness support services, job training and development and educational services.
 

 

 

Posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
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Free Obama buttons

By awoodall

Someone sent this so here you go.
Click this link to get a free Obama button: http://pol.moveon.org/obamabuttons/?id=-9775643-xr.rikx

Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
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Eating Oakland up

By awoodall

Sounds like the Uptown club booking some hot players. “Here’s to Oakland! My fucking family!” So the May San Francisco Magazine article quoted Matt Pike, singer and guitarist for Oakland-born metal trio High on Fire. Used to be, you’d have to pay the magazine to print a story this city. It was, to quote a freelance SF Magazine writer, a black hole in terms of coverage from that side of the bay — like the only city was THE CITY, San Francisco. Instead, next on the Oakland tour in May’s issue was Flora, Brown Sugar Kitchen, and, as part of the Sabor Mexicano centerfold, the Fruitvale’s Tortas Ahogadas Mi Barrio, Nieves Cinco de Mayo, Mariscos La Costa, Mi Pueblo Food Center, Taqueria La Gran Chiquita, Taqueria Campos.

Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Uptown | 4 Comments »
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Issues at Issues

By awoodall

ISSUES at ISSUES featuring the artists of San Francisco’s Creativity Explored
Opening reception: 5 pm to 9 pm Friday (show runs through Friday, September 19th)
(I love it. SF artists are coming to an Oakland venue for attention. I got no issue with that :)
Location: 20 Glen Avenue — at Piedmont Avenue
510-652-5700

Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
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Elvis’ luau on the planet of the apes

By awoodall

CERRITO CLASSIC: a brand new 40th anniversary print of the original simian sci-fi spectacular PLANET OF THE APES (1968). 6 p.m. Saturday. 5 p.m. Sunday. (All ages welcome weekends at the Cerrito.) 

THRILLVILLE’S ELVIS D-DAY LUAU! Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess festively mark 31 years of Elvis Presley’s mysterious “disappearance” with The King’s 1961 hula-hipster hit BLUE HAWAII (1961) plus live hula dancing by The Wigglin’ Wahines, Elvis prizes, and of course peanut butter and banana sandwiches on the menu! TCB & aloha, baby! 9 p.m. Aug. 14. $9. 
CERRITO SPEAKEASY THEATER, 10070 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, 510-814-2400
 

 

 

  

Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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