Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Fun Stuff to do in Oakland

The New Parish: a place to worship hip-hop

By awoodall

Meanwhile, I was en route this weekend from the Fox to Layover and decided to make a stop at The New Parish on 18th Street. Alas I was too early for the show, hosted by rapper Common, inside the first segment to open in the complex that was once Sweet Jimmie’s. Now it’s a sprawling building that will contain the dance hall-lounge, a boutique and the restaurant Hibiscus. The project is noteworthy because of Sweet Jimmie’s past, the location (extending the nightlife boom down to San Pablo) and the owners: Michael O’Connor of The Independent, Namane Mohlabene and his sister Goapele.

Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009
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Open mic at Farley’s Cafe

By awoodall

Farley’s East Cafe, which opened an Oakland spot a few months ago at West Grand Ave and Broadway, is hitting the East Bay spoken-word open-mic scene beginning Oct. 30. The “Uptown, Downtown, and Around Town” open mic will take place on the fourth Friday of each month, from 7 to 9pm. Each fourth Friday will feature one or two artists, followed by an open mic session. Bring prose, poetry, or musical scores and lyrics—instrumentation is encouraged. Alas, who can survive on words alone? Beer, wine, coffee, teas and panini  also are served. Good to see people branching out instead of clinging to the First Friday vine.

 

Posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2009
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Museum of Historical Makeovers

By awoodall

The Tragic Kingdom of Gwen Stafani lasted until her death in the mid-21st Century, according to Kathy Aoki, who walked an audience through the reign of the pop pharaoh at SWARM gallery Thursday night. Pharaoh Gwen took the reigns of pop power after the death of Michael Jackson, Cher and “The King.” (Cher, Aoki tells us, never actually conceded power.)
You can see the show, Museum of Historical Makeovers,” for yourself. Aoki went to pains to create a future universe in which cute culture consumerism triumphed and ultimately led to Pharaoh Stefani’s demise. Maybe the universe is not so distant future. Aoki makes her point about gender, beauty and our own worship of pop through consumerism in several ways besides the Stefani “burial artifacts” (stellae, burial objects etc.). She also tweaks 19th century medical illustrations and art to comment on our pursuit of beauty. But my favorite, the one piece that stopped me in my tracks, was her picture of data painstakingly “recovered” by historians of the future from a USB pin drive: a picture of a cutsie doll figure with some insipid inscription. I will let you draw the conclusions and read better accounts than I can provide about Aoki’s show that is subtle and funny but packs a punch. The show runs until Oct. 25.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/16/NS5D19LA3M.DTL
http://www.theoakbook.com/MoreDetail.aspx?Aid=3438&CatId=8

Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009
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ProArts teams up with Oakland’s tamale princess

By awoodall

10,000 Steps Exhibit Special Event: Mexican Lunch Con Poco Dinero

Friday 10/2/09 12-1:30pm at Pro Arts Gallery located at 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza (Kahn’s Alley)

The food: Cooking demo in the gallery and tamale lunches will be sold with proceeds donated to ProArts.

$6.00 in advance, $7.00 day of event

The show: 9.08.09 – 10.09.09: A PROFILE OF 4 SQUARES

Multimedia exhibit about the 4 Historic Square Parks including Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison & Lincoln, at Pro Arts at the Oakland Art Gallery includes events this Friday.

 
5:30 – 7PM Interactive Neighborhood Ecotour
Tour led by Serena Bartlett, green travel expert and creator of GrassRoutes Travel. Meet at the Pardee House, 672 11th Street FREE

6 – 9PM First Friday Reception in the Gallery

Also:

5:30 – 7:30PM Arts community appreciation reception with music and launch/live demos of 510Arts.com and OaklandArts.org. Light-based and kinetic art show Preview of “Luminous Oakland” public art vision for the Uptown District Centered in and around the ProArts Oakland Gallery

7:30 – 10:00PM Free motorized cable car shuttle running up and down Broadway from Frank Ogawa Plaza through Uptown and Old Oakland.(Last shuttle returns to Ogawa Plaza at 10pm)

 

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
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A Paramount problem

By awoodall

I loved the Friday night showing of “On the Waterfront” at the Paramount Theatre. I’d never seen Marlon Brando utter those magic words “I could’a been a contender” on the big screen before. It was especially poignant with the recent passing of Bud Schulberg. The organizers do a great job of recreating the old-time movie magic…EXCEPT…the Paramount could do better than selling packaged popcorn and the like. For such a gorgeous venue the offerings at the Friday-night movies are anything but classy. I hate to even complain because I appreciate the film nights so much. I LOOOVE them.  But I can’t ignore the improvements that would really make a big difference especially the fact that every man, woman and child is required to check in their bags at the coat check…which turns into a nightmare when it’s time to reclaim the bags after the show. Why is this necessary on movie night but not when the ballet or symphony is performing?
Everyone who had just had a great time watching the movie Friday night and was all warm and fuzzy got thrown into a line that stretched from the coat check past the foyer. No big deal at first but then people started getting annoyed after 10-15 minutes, including the women whose job it was to fish out bags from a dark, crowded space. They and patrons ended up being rude and ruining what could have been a mellow after-movie setting. At least the bar could have brought in some extra bucks from people forced to wait. But it was already shut down. I hate to see good opportunities go to waste.
Speaking of which, the still-empty restaurant space in the Fox Theater complex is supposed to be filled by a deli run by Another Planet ( rather, they are in charge of finding someone to run it as I understand the arrangement). I haven’t confirmed with Another Planet but that’s why there has been some activity finally in the space on 18th and Tel. That’s good news for OSA students especially with the taqueria opening across the street next to Flora and run by the same owners.

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009
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Coochie-licious Oakland

By awoodall

Bench and Bar, the lounge that brought you the world famous Coochielicious and Gay Caballero etc., is moving to the old @17th space near the Fox. But the owner is not abandoning the little neon boit incongrously placed in the downtown business district on 21st and Franklin. The nightclub is going to become Club 21. This will all happen soon but an exact date is hard to pin down because Alameda County inspections are notoriously Kafkaesque and drawn out.

Posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Uptown | No Comments »
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Sunday bureaucrats on bikes tour

By awoodall

If you see a bunch of bureaucrats on bikes touring Oakland Sunday it’s just a delegation of European officials who are supposed to bring their street smarts to the Bay Area, which would like to be so pedal-friendly as Belgium and Holland. Bikes are popping up all over Oakland these days, especially around West Grand and Tel. But there are no bike lanes or other infrastructure to support the increased use of non-auto transportation or make sure the bicyclists and motorists are doing their part to keep to keep everyone respectful and safe in/on their respective form of transportation.  If you want to chime in or ride along, the event begins 1 p.m. at Bay Area Bikes, 437 Water St., Jack London Square. At 2 p.m. begins the bike tour with the delegation + City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and Jason Patton, Oakland bicycle-ped program director.

Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2009
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Star gazing instead of navel gazing

By awoodall

Oakland has more opportunities to gaze at the stars since we do not battle the evening fog that rolls in all too often in San Francisco, possibly leading to the persistent navel gazing there noted by East Bay Express art critic DeWitt Cheng in a recent (hilarious, I thought) column. To take advantage of our relatively fogless, albeit only occasionally warm, summer evenings Dancing Under the Stars has been extended for a bit longer. Disco night is Sept. 18 with Hustle lessons and music, and the Rumba and Cha Cha are on Sept. 25.
Yes! Dance your heart out disco babes and Latin kings. Oh, excuse me. Anyway…
And since our real summer is starting, the weather should be nice for the Oct. 1 Night Bazaar from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Jack London Square (I like Piazza Jack London better, though). More on that later. For now just enjoy the evening preferably with a glass of wine and a good view.

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
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Oakland Be-In planned

By awoodall

In case you are looking for something to do over the weekend during the Bridge closure…Sept. 6 the Oakland Be-In. I can already feel the love.

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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Home sweet home: TheatreFIRST

By awoodall

I ran into the new TheatreFIRST artistic director Michael Storm at the Art and Soul Festival today. Finally the theatre company will have an abode that they can call home: the black box 19th Stret Theatre in the Fox. Season opens in October with “In His Pockets” by Marie Jones and I’m looking forward to the quality of plays they put when the company was staging their shows in Old Oakland.

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2009
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