This Thursday and Friday, Oakland police volunteers will provide a valuable service to holiday shoppers with cars parked at the West Oakland BART station from 5 pm to 9 pm. They’ll escort people from the station to their vehicles, making the task of trekking through the dark laden with holiday goodies less daunting.
On Wednesday at lunchtime, Oakland’s downtown workforce poured out of their offices and into the City Center Plaza to grab a bite and take in the sounds of the holiday concert series. This week, the theme was Kwanzaa, the celebration of African heritage and culture that is held each year between December 26 and January 1.
Musically Minded, Oakland’s non-profit music school, is holding a series of camps and workshops over the winter break for kids of all ages. The Rockridge academy, which opened early this year, triples as an education facility, community center, and concert venue. Music classes that will be offered this December include a hip-hop workshop and vocal ensemble sessions, and for the lovable but tone-deaf tots out there, there are workshops in topics like jewelry making and science.
At a yarn store at the corner of San Pablo and Alcatraz in North Oakland, a new exhibit will transport visitors to a remote corner of India. The shop, called A Verb for Keeping Warm, is kicking off its third art show today, titled “The Rabari People, Their Culture, and Their Textiles.”
If the phrase “gourmet cheese store” conjures up an image of the food elite batting around unpronounceable words in a stodgy storefront, check out Temescal’s Sacred Wheel. The shop, which opened in January on a quiet corner at 49th and Shattuck, offers mostly local cheeses in a hip atmosphere.
To Michael Davidson, aka The Grilled Cheez Guy, the secret’s in the brick. This local purveyor of gooey, honest-to-goodness grilled cheese sandwiches cooks his comfort food under a brick wrapped in foil—the pressure, he says, ensures the sandwich cooks evenly and has his signature, perfectly crisp exterior.
On a Sunday afternoon in a living room in Berkeley, three fully grown adults are running in circles around a fourth man, wildly flapping their arms and making bird noises. A woman sits on the couch, directing the scene—when she says she wants to see birds, the group complies. Welcome to a rehearsal with Stone Soup, North Oakland’s very own improv troupe.
Musically Minded Academy, a brand new school, community center and concert venue in Rockridge, opened its doors to students of every age this January. Singers, drummers, and classic pianists—and no matter what their experience level—can find a place at this progressive, nonprofit facility.
Oakland kicked off 2011’s Earth Day festivities yesterday with its annual Earth Expo in downtown Frank Ogawa Plaza. For the seventeenth year in a row, exhibitors lined the plaza’s aisles, offering visitors a glimpse of new green technologies and innovative products, and the latest information on local options for sustainable food, energy, and businesses. “Last year it was the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” said Earth Expo organizer Bryn Samuel, who works for the City of Oakland as an Environmental…
If the words “summer camp” conjure up memories of sweating in a gaggle of whiny, Popsicle-covered kids, you’ll be happy to know the children of Oakland have a hipper option. The Crucible, a nonprofit school specializing in industrial arts, is kicking off its sixth season of spring and summer youth programs with classes in subjects like blacksmithing, welding, robotics, and glass blowing.
Starting Thursday night at venues across the city, this year’s Oakland International Film Festival is bringing a diverse selection of film making talent to the East Bay. One film in particular will strike a chord with locals. “Oakland B Mine,” by filmmaker Mateen Kemet, is a 28-minute, dialogue-free love story that takes place at dozens of places in and around Oakland. It’s a story of love at first sight, a story of boy meets girl.
In a tent at Art Murmur, pizza chef James Whitehead is hustling. He darts about, frantically tossing dough into the air, saucing pies, and trying to keep up with the steady stream of hungry customers waiting for a slice.
It can be hard out there for a meat and booze lover. Or it was, at least, until a few weeks ago, when Bar Dogwood opened its door in Oakland. The new watering hole offers a selection of cured meats, cheeses, and fresh cocktails, seamlessly blending old school taste and style with a modern, Bay Area sensibility.
Breakfast and lunch hotspot Mama’s Royal Café is calling all doodlers, amateur and professional, young and old: The deadline for its 29th annual Napkin Art Contest is fast approaching. (Really fast, actually. Entries need to be in by March 31. You can either send them in by mail or drop them off at the café’s 4012 Broadway storefront).
All over the country, and even in states like California where abortion laws are among the nation’s most lenient, many women, particularly low-income women, still have trouble accessing abortion clinics and other reproductive health services, such as finding birth control providers or prenatal care. At ACCESS, a nonprofit located in downtown Oakland, practical assistance is there for the asking.
If winemaking is an art, consider The Punchdown Oakland’s newest gallery. The uptown bar, which opened its doors at 2212 Broadway in December, offers wine connoisseurs and neophytes alike a polished, unpretentious space to sip, nibble and chat. But be warned: there’s no Yellowtail on tap at The Punchdown—the bar only carries natural, sustainably produced wines.