Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for March, 2009

Good news: Verse is open and healthy

By awoodall

But boy were those guys unhappy with me for mistakenly saying otherwise. I heard that the store was closing from a usually reliable person and went by to check that night, but the store was not open that hour and two big moving trucks were outside. And the store was again not open when I went by the next day in the afternoon. I did not hear anything to the contrary in the meantime so I trusted the info was correct. BAD REPORTER! In any case, my many apologies and I am glad the store is staying open and I deleted the offending blog post. Certainly there was no maliciousness behind the error. So let’s celebrate. We need some good news these days.

Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Artist show: Peter Tonningsen

By awoodall

Descent
A Solo Exhibit by Peter Tonningsen
March 27, 2009 – May 1,  2009 Opening Reception: Friday, April 3, 6pm – 9pm
A Different Day Gallery, 1233 Solano Ave. in Albany
 (510) 868-4904 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Under: Night Owl | 1 Comment »
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Downtown parking: have your say

By awoodall

Hey you early birds. Today’s Night Owl was about the unseemly schedule – midnight to 3 a.m. — for street sweeping in the entertainment district downtown along Broadway and Telegraph. “The city has talked about changing the street-sweeping schedule to keep up with the changes downtown, and officials are amenable to shifting the hours, perhaps to 3 to 6 a.m. The next step is to discuss the matter with merchants associations to make sure everyone is on the same page…” Well, here’s the next step: The Oakland Merchants’ Leadership Forum is sponsoring a forum 8 – 10 a.m. Wednesday (March 25) at City Hall Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Uptown | No Comments »
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THE PARKWAY SPEAKEASY CLOSES ITS DOORS

By awoodall

AND GOES DARK FOR GOOD THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2009: THE END OF AN ERA
Dear Loyal Supporters: This is a sad but true message… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Parkway Speakeasy | 3 Comments »
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Oakland homicide ranking

By awoodall

A new ranking of cities by homicide rates that, unlike FBI and other reports, “adjusts each city’s homicide figures by differences across the cities in poverty, median income, male unemployment, race composition, and female-headed families.” The researchers say that the model produces a more meaningful comparison of city homicide levels, especially for providing insight into the effectiveness of criminal justice policies and programs.

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
Under: Crime/Courts | 8 Comments »
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Geoffrey’s Inner Circle: Press Conf tonight

By awoodall

Maybe this is already all over the blogosphere but just FYI: Geoffrey’s Inner Circle is holding an attention getter (aka press conference) on the steps of City Hall this evening at 5 p.m. to “voice concern about OPD’s destruction of the Black Entertainment District in Downtown Oakland.”  The police are supposed to say a few words afterward. Geoffrey Pete decided to close Geoffrey’s Inner Circle on 14th after OPD started leaning on him after the last fight broke out in front the clubs entrance in January. But he had skirmishes with Jerry Brown back when the Attorney General was our mayor. More recently, I heard OPD blocked an event Geoffrey Pete was to host at Sweet’s Ballroom. We’re working on a larger story about the issue.

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: Night Owl | 7 Comments »
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What’s wrong with this picture?

By awoodall

Okay, this is a little off the beaten night owl flight path but seriously — Edgerley is still in the photo. And where’s Kaplan or Lindheim?

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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SF Salsa Festival

By awoodall

Dance away those economic blues at the very first SF Salsa Festival happens March 26 – 28.

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Historic Telegraph Avenue photos to be displayed

By kbender

Whatever protests, demonstrations or civil unrest happens in Berkeley these days, it will never compare to Berkeley’s 1960s scene. Photographer Elio De Pisa was there and he took thousands of photographs of happenings in and around  Telegraph Avenue’s Caffe Mediterraneum.

De Pisa, a native of Rome, managed Telegraph Avenue’s Caffe Mediterraneum between 1960 and 1972 and  again from 1978-1990. He was seldom without his Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera. At that time the owners  had a strictly enforced policy of no photography inside the cafe, with De Pisa being the only exception.
De Pisa, died in 2002 at age 68 but his pictures live on. Between 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, his wife Diane De Pisa, will discuss some of the photographs that will be on display through June 18. A book, De Pisa’s “photo diary” of the times, is being compiled by his wife with the help of designer Lucien Delia and photographer Nick Cedar.
For more information contact ddepisa@att.net. Caffe Mediterraneum is at 2475 Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
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Ave and Somar: new clubs on Telegraph

By awoodall

I’m going to have to start getting used to taking openings in stride after this weekend. Both Ave and Somar opened Saturday night on Telegraph Avenue, and Van Kleef’s was packed inside and out. They were about to start turning people away. It’s kind of a good sign that I’ve already started nagging about what Oakland doesn’t have — late night diners, infill between businesses, late night BART. Let me back up though. 
Ave’s sweet narrow room with art on the walls and a substantial bar near the kitchen was fuller than full Saturday night, the grand opening. Among the crowd were, of course, Mr. DTO510 and V-Smooth, she all glam in black skirt and high heels. Naturally Jonathan was not wearing heels or a skirt but looked very dapper nonetheless.  My own appearance was less than stellar but that’s another story. Co-owner Gairy Jacques of Air Lounge and soon to be Era was looking pretty relaxed for an opening night, which entailed some hectic moments inside.  We had some sort of mixup with our drinks, and my boyfriend (who sported a casual look) even got chided by a bartmaid for ordering twice although he hadn’t ordered twice. But the crew smoothed things out and we sipped our Manhattans, 7&Sevens and Stolis at a slender wood bar outside (genius!) with the beauty supply store that squats on the corner for a view.  It’s just a matter of time before that thing goes or (hope, hope) gets turned into a late-nite retro diner or something.  
A little way up the street, Somar was hosting its soft opening. The place was absolutely throbbing with loud club music and mostly  20-something Asian customers. Somar is slick (but the brick wall that lines the far side of the lounge keeps it cozy) and loungey with very friendly owners whose bartenders were slinging the drinks as fast they could pour ‘em. For the first time, I felt like I could have been on the path of a nightclub crawl like SoMa’s, which I am wondering has anything to do with the name Somar. The place went up quietly and still doesn’t have a sign but it won’t open officially for a couple weeks. Crews were working like maniacs trying to get ready for the soft opening: when I walked by Tuesday night they were out at about 10:30 p.m. sawing a big sheet of plywood. Now I understand why.
Ave at 20th and Tel put down some much-needed footprints in the still-dark north side of the Uptown lounge, extending the entertainment row to start linking up with the heart of the Art Murmur scene on the other side of West Grand  as well as Ozumo, Luka’s, etc. at West Grand and Broadway extending up to Mua and Z Cafe. Somar, meanwhile, in the old vitamin store building at 17th and Tel, brightened up the block and brought people out onto the streets. Even better, you could hear and see them from Broadway across the 19th Street BART walkway between Broadway and Telegraph.  If only the Fox had been lit up the scene would have been perfect.

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | 4 Comments »
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