A man in red and black costume lifted a woman in matching garb high above his head. She pounced onto his shoulders and then, with the guidance of his hands, slowly stood up. In the background, a woman in stilts strolled by, cooks at a Vietnamese pop-up restaurant grilled meat for bánh mì, and a popcorn vender sold nearly bursting bags to passersby. People bustled in and out of a nearby photobooth on wheels called the “Photoboof!”
These were all a part of the first monthly Jack’s Night Market held last Friday evening. The small festival and market is being held in conjunction with Oakland’s First Friday Art Murmur, a citywide art walk incorporating galleries from 26th Street to Uptown, Old Oakland, downtown Oakland and Jack London. The event will continue on the First Fridays in June and July from 6 to 10 p.m.
The inaugural Night Market was blessed with warm weather and sunshine until the sun set around 8 p.m. Couples, families and people with leashed dogs came to sample food, listen to music and buy art. Food ranged from wood-fired pizza to cocktail-inspired cupcakes. Attendees could buy farmer’s market-style produce, art and clothes, among other items.
A live DJ, carnivalesque acrobats and a spray-painting artist brought a touch of performance art to the event.