Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Old Oakland

Making time for art and salsa

By awoodall

Before you head to one of the hottest tickets come the night of Sept. 4 – Fito Reinoso at the Thursday Night Live street fest — come meet the artist you might have seen putting up the last of the 15-foot multi-panel mosaics on the Market Square II condos in Old Oakland at 9th and Clay streets. The “meet-and-greet” reception has wine, hors d’oeuvres and the artist — Laurie True. The installation, “Craft, Poetry and Innovation,” adorns the front entrance to Market Square II, 599 Ninth St. True will also display and discuss some of her other mosaic work, and offer some “how-to” tips of tile classes which she and 30 instructors lead at The Institute of Mosaic Art, founded by True in 2005 – a one of a kind institution in Jingletown.



Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Crown City in O-Town

By awoodall

Those old-school good boys of rap, the Crown City Rockers, will be hip-hopping over to Old Oakland Thursday for the twice-monthly street fest. The music starts 5 p.m. at Ninth and Washington streets. The sounds are free for all. Now if the weather would cooperate…
BTW, is it just me tripping over the fact that I get nostalgic for the “good old days” of rap and have to do a double take over the thought that there could be such a thing? I never thought I would put rap and nostalgia in the same sentence.

Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland | 3 Comments »
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The Blue Candle stopped burning

By awoodall

Someone blew out the flame on Dorsey’s Locker “Blue Candle” happy hour and spoken word special the club used to host twice monthly. The party’s over, at least for now.
But the “80s Party” is still on at Sweet’s Ballroom, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. August 22. Admission is $30 but the winner of the $500 best dressed contest could chip in. 21+ only.  Too $hort is listed on flyers as a “special invited guest.” 
It’s Havanisimo every Saturday at La Taza de Cafe beginning with dinner served beginning 5 p.m and son Cubano featuring Cubanacan at 7 p.m.  Dance lessons are at 9:30 p.m. A DJ takes over at 10 p.m. 
The next day groove over to the Air Lounge for Jamboree Sundays, a chilled out drumming and drinks jam. The music is supposed to be salsa, merengue, soca, reggae and world beat.  And later — 7 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. —  to Soul Sundays at Arsimona.  (Thank you! Dancing on Sunday night!)



Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Looking for Mr. Right

By awoodall

I wandered over to Thursday Night Live, the twice-monthly street fest on Washington and 9th, to see how the gathering was going since it started in June.  Instead of shutting off Washington, 9th Street was closed, and guards checked IDs because the cocktails were flowing. The music wasn’t my thing but the crowd of about 100 seemed to be grooving along. More vendors with cooler goods were also on hand. My favorite was the Obama ’08 football jersey in the Raiders silver and black.  
Raj, the manager of the Washington Inn, was there sipping something fuschia colored on ice.  The speed dating club, 8Minute Dating, might start holding sessions at the hotel’s restaurant, Seison. But more about that later. 
The first Thursday Night Live was hot. Last week, the mood matched the cool weather, so I headed indoors and ran into Kevin and Dirk, co-owners of B Restaurant and Levende East (respectively), who complained bitterly about the lack of media coverage for Thursday Night Live…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, July 21st, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, restaurants | 1 Comment »
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Fuel for 48-hour film frenzy

By awoodall

There was no room in today’s Trib for my advance story about the Oakland-based film crew — Step 6 Productions — competing in the 48-Hour Film Project. Look for the article tomorrow, unless space restrictions or breaking news bump it again. That said, Ericka Obenar, one of the crew’s filmmakers and an Old Oakland resident, said other teams are playing dirty by flagging Craig’s List posts canvassing for crew, cast and other logistics. So Obener is putting out the word that FOOD is particularly needed. That probably goes for the other 57 teams involved in the competition.
If you want to get involved, visit the Web site www.andactionproductions.net. Contact info is there.

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Old Oakland | 1 Comment »
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Who’s afraid to sleep in big bad O-town?

By awoodall

I have to say that The Trappist was a little too breezy and somber for my mood last night, especially after shrimp ceviche, lychee sangria and salsa at the Cock-A-Doodle Cafe cabaret. So we headed over to one of my favorite hangouts:  The lounge in the Oakland City Center Marriott. The chilled-out bartenders, big screen TVs and brown leather sofas are inviting especially when there are no conventions in town. It was all very cool until a guy who strutted in, quickly attracting the attention of a security guard.  Why, he asked, are the Los Angeles (or let’s be honest, Anaheim) Angels staying in a SF hotel when they are in town to play the Oakland A’s? The A’s play in Oakland (O-A-K-L-A-N-D) not San Francisco and we obviously have plenty of hotels. I was sitting in one of them, for god’s sake. And it’s pretty nice.  Are a bunch of dude jock baseball players afraid of Oakland? Or just Commissioner Selig?

Posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008
Under: oakland a's, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Viva la cock in Old Oakland tonight

By awoodall

The rooster will be crowing after hours tonight in Old Oakland. The Cock-A-Doodle Cafe had a practice run last night for what will be a weekend cabaret. Tonight (July 12) is the official launch. The owners are keeping things modest to start with but chef Blanca Arechiga has plans to put in a stage, dancefloor and sofas (nothing too crazy, though) outside in the section of patio behind the painted gate. For now the patio that is normally open during breakfast and lunch has a bar serving sangria, mohitos (four varieties), wine and other libations to the beat of salsa music. The menu is a collection of tapas from Latin America such as tostones cubanos, papas a la huancaina (Peru), Guatemalan tostadas, pupusas (El Salvador). July has been a helluva month for Arechiga and co-owner/partner Ana Trujillo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, restaurants | No Comments »
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Noir Owl

By awoodall

palacefistsite.gifThe salsa tunes echoing through Washington Street lured me out last night after I finished the Noir Owl for today’s paper. The salsa was coming from the first installation of the Old Oakland summer music series, which is supposed to be a street fest with libatations, food, music and community.
Kind of pump up Old Oakland, or New Old Oakland as the organizers are calling it.  (Notice that the area was a big support center for Sean Sullivan, who gave Councilmember Nancy Nadel a ride for her money during Tuesday’s elections? His was the only after polling party that was not a freaks and geeks scene.)
There are nine more Thursday night shindigs planned this summer — every first and third Thursday. The crowd last night was a bit sparse compared to what I imagine the expectations were, although I ran into Kenyan artist Githinji Wa Mbire who turns up everywhere including in The Oakbook last month. 
But the street could have used more artists, vendors, food and…pizazz. The band, Julio Bravo y su orquestra Salsabor, was smokin though. So was one of the couples dancing in the street. (YAY!)
Even my 12-year-old daughter Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Stop the spray and visit the artists

By awoodall

Okay. These aren’t your regular night owl haunts but there are two evening events that might be of interest to folks. And remember, tonight is the First Friday Art Murmur & Extravaganza. Galleries, clubs, restaurants, cafes, pubs…many of them in Oakland have something going on tonight. I’m caught between the Oakland Museum, the Linden Street Brewery, Awaken Cafe or the Stork Club’s burlesque show. What a dilemma! I have more to tell about the Old Oakland — or rather New Old Oakland as the marketing magicians are touting it now — Thursday night summer concert series. I’ll save it for a little later.

Monday, June 23, 2008 7:00pm-9:00pmLocation: Lakeside Park Garden Center at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Ave. Sponsored by Stop the Spray-East Bay and Pesticide Watch Toxic aerial pesticide spraying by the California
Department of Food and Agriculture is still planned for the Bay Area this summer. Successful lawsuits have stopped the spraying temporarily in Santa Cruz and Monterey but so far not in the Bay Area. For more information: www.stopthespray.org and eastbayinfo@stopthespray.org.

Scores of local artists will be showing their work at the Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios coming up the first two weekends in June. To see a sample of participating artist’s work visit the Pro Arts Gallery, 550 Second St. in Jack London Square – across from Cost Plus. Pick up a brochure for a guide to participating artist’s studios.

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2008
Under: Art Murmur, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, Uptown | No Comments »
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Jesso’s to go

By awoodall

fatlady.jpgYou might have noticed Jesso’s on 9th Street hasn’t been doing too much business lately. That would be because it closed May 13, or rather moved Downtown to 14th Street between Broadway and Franklin.  Jesso said he wasn’t sure what would replace the seafood restaurant in Old Oakland. I couldn’t help yelping at the thought of a take-out joint, which was an idea he said he had considered but dismissed (I think) bc it would not fit with the little gourmet corner of the city. I’m not sure why he moved Downtown. I was reporting on another story  and was in a hurry when we talked a few months ago. But he sounded excited about the new location, which would give him the space for bigger dining and drinking. I haven’t been there yet, though.

Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland | 2 Comments »
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