Oakland’s Pop-Up General Store preps for a flavorful Thanksgiving

For the founders of Oakland’s Pop-Up General Store—Chris Lee and fellow chef Samin Nosrat—food is, indeed, a labor of love. Since early 2009, the former Chez Panisse and Eccolo chefs have been selling gourmet goods out of Grace Street Catering in North Oakland. Once a month, Lee, Nosrat and a team of helpers prepare homemade delicacies and, along with a host of other specialty food vendors, set up for an afternoon and sell them to an ever-expanding group of Oakland and Berkeley foodies. Patrons can order beforehand online or buy up whatever is left on the spot.

Paramount Theatre brings back movie classics

About once a month, the Paramount Theatre on Broadway hosts a Movie Classics night, at which patrons can enjoy old favorites at the right price: $5. The movie night began thirty years ago, and has long been a favorite of local cinema junkies and Paramount staff. The theater screened its second-to-last classic of 2010 on Friday night, with another tentatively schedule for December. A January film is already lined up, and as far as general manager Leslee Stewart is concerned, the series will go on indefinitely.

Oakland non-profit awards community service

Each year, Oaklandish, a non-profit organization that focuses on arts promotion and community building, gives out eight grants known as Innovator Awards. The recipients are Oakland-based groups and individuals working to improve city residents’ quality of life. Though this year’s honorees were named earlier in the year, Oaklandish celebrated the winners on Thursday night at The New Parish on San Pablo Avenue with a reception and concert.

Laura Wells, Green Party cheerful despite electoral defeat

The Green Party’s Laura Wells was one of four other candidates who took a stab at the governor’s seat. Wells is a longtime Oakland resident, with a background in both citizen-activism and business. On election night, she gathered with other local Greens to close out the election season at La Estrellita Café and Bar in East Oakland.

Oakland voters weigh in on prospects of Proposition 19

To legalize or not to legalize? On November 2, Californinans will vote on Proposition 19, which if passed, would legalize the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana. Oakland North caught up with Oaklanders in Temescal and City Center to get their take on the controversial proposition.

On Brown’s turf, Oaklanders tell us their choice for governor

As the heated California gubernatorial race moves into its final days, Oaklanders offer their opinions on who should take the seat. Will it be billionaire former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman or 1970s era governor and former mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown? Oakland North went to the Temescal and City Center districts to find out. Check out all of our Oakland elections coverage on our Campaign 2010 page. Connect with Oakland North on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Lavish creations honor cycle of life and death at Fruitvale’s Dia de Los Muertos

On Sunday, hundreds of Oaklanders stepped out into the rain to pay homage to those who’ve passed on. The 14th annual Fruitvale Dia de Los Muertos Festival, put on by Oakland’s Unity Council, was a stunning study in eye-popping color as visitors perused altars set up in booths along E. 12th Street dedicated to the deceased, ate hot churros and watched traditional dances backed by a thunderous chorus of drums. Dia de Los Muertos, which means Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday with roots in an Aztec celebration of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, queen of the underworld. The festivities take place on November 2, the day after the Catholic celebration of All Souls Day.

Popularity of mail-in ballots increases as election nears

Absentee ballots were once used mostly by ex-pats, military families and diplomats strewn across the globe. They voted from far-away locales by filling out ballots at home and mailing them in, while the rest of the population spent a chunk of the day standing in a long line to cast a vote at their neighborhood poll. Now, in California, the mail-in ballot isn’t just for those abroad—it’s for everyone.

Locals chip in on globally popular LGBT support videos

The It Gets Better Project serves as a digital chorus of solidarity and support for LGBT adolescents and teens all over the world. The video project, which in less than a month has turned into an international phenomenon, was spearheaded by Seattle-based advice columnist Dan Savage in the wake of a sequence of gay teen suicides in September. Each teen death has been traced to peer bullying, and to the harsh reality of being a gay teenager in America.

Mayoral candidate Don Macleay sells voters on going ‘Green’

It’s the First Friday in October, and Art Murmur is in full swing. Local ’zines, art depots and thrift shops are peddling their wares in between galleries packed with inebriated merrymakers. The atmosphere is hardly political, and yet mingling with the crowd is Don Macleay, one of Oakland’s ten mayoral candidates. “Let me tell you,” he says, thrusting fliers into the hands of passersby, “say ‘Hi, I’m a politician,’ and people will shy away from you. But say, ‘Hi, I’m with the Green Party,’ and people will take your card.”

Symphony celebrates 99-year-old Oakland music teacher

Bud Cropsey is an institution on the Oakland music scene—a longtime middle school and private music teacher, as well as a patron of the Oakland East Bay Symphony. This week, shortly after Cropsey’s 99th birthday, the symphony is honoring Cropsey with a three-day series of concerts geared at helping children learn about classical music. Read the story of Cropsey’s musical life, and hear more from this week’s concert series.

Oakland Art Murmur illuminates a hidden side of Pixar

While visual art enthusiasts usually stick to the galleries during the Oakland Art Murmur, this Friday the film-heads in the crowd may want to linger in front of the Great Wall of Oakland for “Behind the Pixar Screen,” a nod to the artists who work at the beloved Emeryville animation studio.

Oak to 9th land development project approved

After years of contest, Acting Governor Abel Maldonado signed an agreement Tuesday to expedite the start of construction on the Oak to 9th land development project. Beginning as soon as 2011, the waterfront property along the estuary south of Jack London Square will be rebuilt over the next two decades.

Exhibit reveals forgotten objects, inner workings of Oakland Museum

When conceptual artist Mark Dion needed materials for his new exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California, he headed behind the scenes, or technically, under the scenes. “It was a little bit like raiding the icebox,” he says of his time in the belly of the building. “I began scrounging through the archives, spending a lot of time in storage.” After unearthing an eclectic mix of lost treasures—everything from Reagan campaign buttons to a stuffed baby elephant—Dion constructed “The Marvelous Museum,” which opens Sept. 11.