It’s (still) Hammertime at the Fox Theatre

Oakland native Stanley Kirk Burrell, a.k.a. MC Hammer, but now preferring simply Hammer, brought his dance and rap show to the recently reopened Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland Friday night. The scene on the street outside was atwitter with Hammer talk. Oakland North posed this question to the Hammer faithful: What makes the rapper so great? We asked the fans attending the show talk about what makes their beloved Oakland icon special.

Paddles up! Giant weekend dragon boat races on Bay

Dragon boats converged on the Bay this weekend from all over the Bay Area and way beyond. Teams from Texas and Canada, as well as the newcomer Oakland Renegades, were among the dozens racing in this year’s International Dragon Boat festival. Videos and story by Laurel Moorhead, Mario Furloni and Paige Ricks.

Bar loyalists bemoan the rise of the Internet jukebox

Old-fashioned mechanical jukeboxes, loaded with the records or CDs that reflect the soul of their home establishments, are vanishing fast. Their replacement: Internet jukeboxes, which direct users into the online vastness of “SEARCH ALL MUSIC.” They’re modern, they’re lucrative, and they fill some Bay Area bar patrons with despair. Story by Mario Furloni/Oakland North.

Vendors, visitors invited to Rockridge Out and About

In Rockridge, one can shop, eat, or sit and read a book. One can people watch, meet friends for some drinks, or just take a stroll down the street. On Sunday, Oaklanders will do it all at the 3rd annual Rockridge Out and About Festival. Well, maybe not read a book, but they will certainly shop, enjoy live music, attend cooking demonstrations, view art and even picnic in the street. 150 merchants will flood College Avenue from Claremont to Manila…

A day in the life of Frank Ogawa Plaza

We’re only a few short hours into the autumnal equinox, which can only mean one thing: summer has arrived in Oakland. The sun beams high overhead the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. Pigeons dive to the concrete and back to the sky, swooping past two small children, a brother and sister, who laugh loudly and run in circles around the birds. Their father waits patiently nearby until the pigeons fly away, then steers the children to their next…