Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

A SWARM of changes

By awoodall
Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 4:54 pm in Night Owl, restaurants.

I was looking for some art-world gossip a couple weeks ago so I stopped by SWARM Gallery to find a sleep-deprived Svea in the midst of several new ventures. She is moving the gallery around the corner to a much larger space on Third and Jefferson. The artist studios, however, will stay behind. Hopefully whoever takes over the Second Street space will keep the studios going. She’s also launching a consulting business for new commercial buildings that need art to hang on the corporate walls. And she was preparing for the Art Basel in Miama, an annual art exhibition on a scale the Bay Area could only dream of. That’s the cool thing about Los Angeles and Miami Beach and other brash new-money kind of cities: Adventurous buyers and fearless exhibitionism. Who should stop by but Metrovation developer Merritt Sher, who helped start SWARM and is opening a wine bar on 3rd and Jackson (hopefully I got the location right this time). I think it’s going in the ground level of the condos on the corner there. But I’m not sure and can’t remember the name (sorry!). It struck me how many restaurants are being built into condos. The arrangement makes sense but I’m getting nostalgic for the eclectic free-standing establishments that fill every available crack in New York.   Maybe it’s this weather.

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