Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for August, 2009

Tuesday: Parking, National Night Out and Kuwa opens

By awoodall

The news of the day is that the city is throwing parkers a bone by allowing us to use the “pay and display” receipts across town. So if you pay at a meter on College Ave., for example, you can use it downtown as long as there is still time on the receipt. Previously, the (widespread) practice was illegal and treated the same as feeding the meter. I’m on deadline for a story about other parking issues for tomorrow’s paper so I’ll talk about other issues as well as that one.
Secondly, the restaurant/lounge Kuwa on Clay at 10th Street is making its debut today. The cabaret license allows it to open until 11 p.m. I’ll see you all there but since I work days Mondays-Wednesdays now I won’t be at the National Night Out. Another reporter will be covering that. Speaking of which, the Old Oakland N.O.O. block party has moved to Jefferson Square Park, between Sixth and Seventh streets/Jefferson and MLK.  Meanwhile, there are two parties in Dogtown. One is in Union Square Plaza led by City Slickers Farms (anyone hear the radio spot about the farm last week?) and the other at 32nd and Peralta.

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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A weekend of cereal satire, Lakefest and Richard Nixon

By awoodall

Friday night I took a trip to the Land of a Million Cereals at SWARM Studio’s monthly Filmnight 3.0: Extra Lives (I must have missed versions 1 and 2). Friday night’s showcase of “short form experimental videos that use both humor and technology to highlight the disconnect between our fantasies and our day to day lives” was curated by ProArt’s David Huff. The No. 1 crowd pleaser was Ryan Alexiev’s “Land of a Million Cereals,” a psychadelic hip-hop satire involving a Bulgarian peasant-soldier, an evil Frankenberry and William Kellog, the founder of the cereal empire. Alexiev, a designer, said the exhibit examines the ideology of free choice in American culture. The vast array of cereals on U.S. store shelves often leaves immigrants scratching their heads. Do we really need 275 cereals? And is being able to buy 275 different cereals mean free choice when they’re all basically the same crap. Alexiev’s answer isn’t political as mine. But the way he frames the question is a lot cleverer (i.e. “For the Love of God, Revisited” and “The Golden Spoon” and this other video).
I also really liked Jason Cros’ semi Star Wars homage, a Peter Pan version of Michael Jackson lipsynching PYT, and a visual-literal short that consisted of town names being read in a monotone loudspeaker voice. The names written and spoken evoked an image of places I’d never seen, even though I don’t know if that was the point (I didn’t read the instructions…). Besides, I love art that combines words and images. Saturday was busy with chaperoning visiting teenagers on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. But Sunday around 4 p.m. we dropped in at Lakefest and ran into Angela Tsay, now THE driving force of Oaklandish, surrounded by the Oakland booster’s ever-expanding array of T-shirts; Jean Quan’s daughter handing out pamphlets and postcards at one of the tents set up along Lakeshore Avenue; Abel of Habtegeorgis of Ella Baker listening to Kev Choice on keyboards and a few other familiar faces including Oakland Venue Management’s Andrew Jones  (I assume the firm was in charge of the logistics) looking intent on getting some 2×4 planks transported on his dune buggy vehicle he was riding around in. I dropped by Arsimona’s Soul Sundays music night for a drink and some material for a story about Chicago Style Steppin.’ I was almost tempted to go to Somar to check out their Sunday night lounge-lizard event. I think watching 13 episodes in a row last week of Mad Men had something to do with it.  But I was content and wanted to get back to rereading the transcripts of the Nixon White House-Watergate tapes after watching the original David Frost-Richard Nixon interview earlier in the evening.  And now it’s Monday. Let’s see what the culture fairy brings us this week.

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Prepare for Oakland museum closure

By awoodall

For the first time in its 40-year history, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will temporarily close to the public. The hiatus–effective 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 23–will allow the Museum to reinstall the Art and History Galleries, upgrade the common areas, and complete its ambitious transformation. During the temporary closure the Museum will continue to present compelling public programs, at various Oakland venues. Check www.museumca.org to follow what OMCA is up to behind the scenes and in the community.

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland Museum | No Comments »
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Irish artists in Oakland

By awoodall

How Do You Know
An exchange show at Blankspace Gallery on San Pablo of Irish artists curated by Gallery 126 in Galway, Ireland.

August 6 – August 30, 2009

Opening reception: First Friday, August 7th 7-10pm

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2009
Under: Art Murmur, Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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