Jiyun Tsai

Fruitvale community prepares for El Día de Los Muertos festival Sunday

With marigolds, banners, altars and sugar skulls, El Día de Los Muertos observations are underway in Oakland, where a festival is planned for this weekend and altars already are up in homes and gathering places. During Sunday’s downpour, in a kitchen strung with intricately patterned papel picado banners, visual artist Daniel Camacho delicately separated the marigold petals he made with orange tissue paper. It is believed that the strong scent and vibrant gold of marigolds can lead loved ones back…

Artists paint murals on boards that Chinatown shopowners put over smashed windows

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Callan Porter-Romero dragged her little red trolley to a restaurant in Chinatown. She unloaded her ladder, placed paint cans and brushes on the ground, then mixed purple and pink on her palette. Atop the spattered ladder, she drew orchids on the restaurant window. The flowers surrounded a sketched hand holding a pair of green chopsticks.  “We need more art in the community to show that people who grew up here are still here, and their…

First Fridays finally returns with food, music, fun in KONO

At his family-owned halal market Thursday morning, Temur Khwaja cut and marinated chicken and lamb for kebab at Marwa Market & Grill. “We need to prepare for First Friday tomorrow,” said Khwaja, anticipation in his voice, sweat on his brow. Local businesses and restaurants in the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) neighborhood are preparing for the relaunching of the Oakland First Fridays festival tonight. First Fridays is a monthly street festival held by KONO Community Benefit District. Eighteen months after the pandemic…

VIDEO: Teen weightlifting champion from Oakland talks about Olympic dreams

Seth Evans, an Oakland middle-school student, won four gold medals this summer at the USA Weightlifting National Youth Championships in Detroit. Oakland North caught up with Seth and his father, Dion, during a weekly training session at SPS Gym in August. Seth talks about competition, his training regimen and his dream of competing in the 2028 summer Olympics in Los Angeles.