Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for May, 2009

Good vibes Saturday

By awoodall

House Grooves In The Park with special guest DJs David Harness and Mario Dubbz @ MLK Shoreline Park (Pelican area) 2-8 p.m. Saturday. The address is 7250 Doolittle Drive.

 

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2009
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Kaiser Center update

By awoodall

The most recent report from Tuesday’s CEDA meeting looks intriguing at first glimpse. The bottom line still is about the same as my April 2 story: Live Nation will be the numero uno operator of the auditorium while Peralta Colleges Foundation would be heading up a consortium called the Performance Arts Alliance (incl. the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Oakland Ballet) that would run the Calvin Simmons Theatre. Names like The Crucible, Berkeley Rep., Oakland Interfaith Choirs and “as many as 47 other arts performing organizations” are being thrown into the mix of potential Alliance members or at least performers. It’s still just talk but Live Nation is absorbing into its mega promotions fold venues large and small as part of its strategy to stay ahead (or afloat). It works both ways. I think Oakland definitely wants Live Nation and its big bucks. Then again, what city wouldn’t?

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Adios Cerrito Speakeasy

By awoodall

The Fischer’s are signing out of The Cerrito. Here’s a letter if you haven’t gotten it:

Speakeasy Theaters is signing off. 
Thank you for 14 amazing years.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.  We are proud of what we’ve built and are looking forward to whatever is next.  We’ve built community, lovingly restored two beautiful theaters, met some wild and wonderful people and learned a lot along the way.
Our public demise has been glowingly at hand and we are here to bear witness, rejoice and mourn.  It has been a fitful, exciting, exhausting and eventually frustrating tenure but it was a true representation of us.  Catherine and I had a blast in the process and through the guidance of our genius shrink, learned much about our real selves.
 Catherine and I are mulling over our next adventure.  We need to walk the beach, clear our minds and let the universe speak to us.  That’s how we found Speakeasy Theaters, our publishing company before that and the neighborhood pub.  The beach heals what ails.  Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed what we have offered, who have shared in our vision and who love the idea of building and sharing community.
 It is awesome and often extremely embarrassing to have your life play out in such a public manner.  But you learn that you must strive to be bold in attempting to be true to your realest self.  For better or for worse this has been an expression of our essence and people will judge us as they choose.  Hey – whatever.  We are at the same time amazing and flawed.  Life is a great teacher.  Rejoice.

 Kyle and Catherine
PS.  We had some wonderful employees.  If any of them should pass your way, please offer them your assistance or a job.  They served with very little compensation.

Posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Mellow Musical Mondays

By awoodall

Live music, refreshing cocktails, balmy breezes, Scrabble boards. Sounds like a Jimmy Buffet song. He, however, won’t be among the performers — rock, soul, funk, and jazz – who will try to take the manic out of Mondays beginning June 8 with a musical happy hour complete with cocktails served by Heinold’s First & Last Chance Saloon and board games including Scrabble, chess, pick-up sticks and the all-time classic Candy Land. What a way to ease into the work week. Children and families are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Art space, not car space

By cburt

So it looks like the city is moving a bit closer to the idea of using an empty lot next to the Fox Theater for public art instead of a parking lot.

Which is to say, city staff has not ruled it out as infeasible, anyway, according to an email from Jonathan Bair, chair of the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee. Bair was at Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting when city staff gave an update.

Developer Forest City is supposed to build housing on the lot at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue, but asked for an extension due to the economy. In exchange, the city asked Forest City to construct and operate a temporary parking lot there.

That idea didn’t fly with the community members who want more pedestrians and fewer cars on the streets around the Fox and other uptown venues. They lobbied City Hall and lo and behold, the council voted to let the community come up with an alternate plan.

Right now it looks like the desire is use the space to display large public art….. what better way to get pedestrians to hang around and enjoy the street-level view???

Stay tuned for updates….

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Uptown | 1 Comment »
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Kimball’s Carnival sidewalk seating saga

By awoodall

Kimball’s on Washington Street may finally be close to getting the sidewalk seating they have been after for two years. They have been trying to get permission to put tables out on the sidewalk during lunch and dinner hours since I was hired at The Tribune. I think I blogged about it back then. The delay is due more to run around than any objections about having the seating outside.  
One place that won’t have seating outside is Rico’s Grill that will go into 3830 MacArthur Blvd, near the liquor store and lounge that got shut down last month. Owner Rod Rossi told Planning Dept. commissioners he was glad to see the place go and that he is looking to “turn the neighborhood around.” One of the commissioners was worried that if he got an “ABC” liquor license (Alcoholic Beverage Control) a liquor store would not be able to inherit the license — after one of the commissioners had already made the point that Rossi did not need such a permit.  So no worries there. But the issue of outdoor seating came up repeatedly even though Rossi said he wasn’t going to have outdoor seating. A commissioner asked about it, after which Sanjiv Handa said that 300 places opened in Oakland recently that have flaunted the outdoor seating permit requirements, making it hard for disabled people to get by and creating smoke-filled air. Rossi looked like he was caught in some sort of Twilight Zone episode.

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Emergency broadcast: Rock Paper Scissors fancy benefit

By awoodall

I just got word that Rock Paper Scissors is having a fancy fundraiser party Friday!!! That’s what I get for never checking my office mail. Anyway, the soiree begins 6 p.m. with cocktails in the garden of the Humanist Hall with music, a 7 p.m. dinner prepared by Chez Panisse chef Jerome Waag and Secret Cafe’s Christine Manoux. An artist presentation with Julie Plasencia about the Rock Paper Scissors’ youth interns who created an audio visual project examining patterns of labor in West Oakland. 9 p.m. kicks off with a screening of “Maquilapolis” (City of Factories), a new doc by Sergio de la Torre.  Tickets are $60-$100 or $10-$20 for the film alone. If you can’t make it tomorrow you can always help out by contacting RPSC — www.rpscollective.com. They are doing so fantastic stuff. Some of the coolest teen workshops — from writing to fashion design — are going on over there.

Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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2355 Broadway: aka Mimosa Champagne Lounge

By awoodall

That’s right. All that sleek wood and marble underneath the condos on the cool corner of 23rd and Broadway is shaping up into Mimosa, a wine and champagne lounge with nibbles (such humble nibbles as oysters…). Opening day is supposed to be soon, like two weeks. Stay tuned. I’ll put up some photos and fill in the details.

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | 1 Comment »
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Townhall coming to town

By awoodall

The Planning Commission gave their thumbs up tonight on the Town Hall plan, a combo night club, restaurant, cultural center in the old Sweet Jimmy’s location.  “This is the former Sweet Jimmy’s. But it’s not like Sweet Jimmy’s,“ said David Valeska, who is the Planning Department case manager. The crowd laughed at the reference to the troubled nightclub that once occupied the spot on 18th and San Pablo. 

“This will do for Uptown what Yoshi’s did for Jack London Square,” Valeska said. The plan was approved unanimously by all six commissioners. “I am looking forward to going there to eat and sing and dance,” said commissioner Sandra Galvez. Likewise, fellow commissioner Doug Boxer applauded the plan. “I was fearing that San Pablo was going to be left behind – again. It desperately needs investment,” he said. “I applaud you for taking a risk.” He evidently is eager to eat, sing and dance there. “I may be a white guy but I can dance,” he told his fellow commissioners.
Owner Michael O’Connor, who also operates The Independent in SF, said he has been searching downtown for the past four years for right location. He looked at 10 places before he saw the “for sale” sign on Jimmy’s. “I thought no way. That’s not a possibility,” he told the commissioners last night. But he checked it out anyway and was won over by the possibilities he could see in the multi-chambered building including a courtyard and a brick room in the back that dates back to 1895 and is perfectly designed for live music. He and partner Namane Mohlabene, brother of Oakland singer Goapale and former Nancy Nadel staffer, want to revitalize the street. Most of the people involved in Town Hall are Oakland residents and want to bring quality, diverse entertainment to the city, said Mohlabene, who also is a partner in a groovy West Oakland recording collective. He said Town Hall is not so much about nightlife as it is about a diversity of entertainment: music, clothing, culture, kids events, international soccer broadcasts. “We want to reinvigorate Downtown Oakland with activity besides just at night.” 

 

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Free Waterfront Flicks

By awoodall

What do Richard Dreyfus, Darryl Hannah and Peter Pan have in common? Answer: their films will be shown every other Thursday this summer when the Jack London Square waterfront becomes a screening room for a series of aquatic-themed flicks. Nearby restaurants will feature dinner specials and a pass from any one of them will get you a good spot on the East Lawn across from the Jack London Market building. But bring your own blanket and seat if you want some cushioning. The films begin at sundown but the fun starts at 7:30 p.m. when local magazine The Oakbook hosts Homegrown Trivia – a chance to answer questions about Oakland and win prizes. Submit a question of your own by emailing homegrown@theoakbook.com.

June 11 Jaws
When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | 1 Comment »
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