Ricky Rodas

A lesson in Cape Verdean cooking, and a taste of home

Jospefina Gonçalves, 75, knows how to cook—and she does it well. On a Sunday afternoon at her daughter’s home in North Oakland, she was leading a cooking workshop on how to prepare a Cape Verdean delicacy called pastel, an empanada-like pastry with a mix of African and Portuguese flavors. “Everything Cape Verdean, I cook,” Gonçalves…

A Lunar New Year museum experience

Kids ran around relentlessly, and parents did their best to keep up. This was the scene at the Oakland Museum of California’s Lunar New Year Celebration, an annual event that drew residents from across the Bay Area. A line of traffic formed on Oak St. just for museum parking. As attendees continuously flooded through the…

Online music company Bandcamp opens shop in Oakland

Last Friday, online music company Bandcamp hosted the grand opening of a new record store and performance space in downtown Oakland. Local artists Sol Development, Queens D. Light, Jazz on the Sidewalk, and MJ’s Brass Boppers performed in front of a packed house. Attendees chatted away while browsing through the store’s diverse music selection. For…

Cypress Memorial Park

Three metal ladders shoot out of the ground at Cypress Memorial Park in West Oakland. They stand as a monument to the Loma Prieta Earthquake that shook the entire Bay Area on October 17, 1989. Ladders like these were used that fateful day to rescue people trapped on the collapsed Cypress freeway. For such an…

Local nonprofit offers support for formerly incarcerated people

Community Works is a nonprofit organization in Oakland that provides services for formerly incarcerated people. These include parenting classes and groups that help men discuss ways they can overcome “toxic” masculine behaviors. For the past year, Community Works has hosted a weekly “restorative justice circle,” also known as a “citizens’ circle,” in their office for people…

As early returns trickle in, Oakland voters and candidates wait

In a packed home in the Grand Lake neighborhood, supporters of Mayor Libby Schaaf and her campaign’s volunteers nibbled on quesadillas and checked back and forth between CNN and the front door to see when the candidate would arrive. Everyone from Jon Sarriugarte, the artist who designed the now-famous snail car, to city hall officials…