Community

Gambling for one of Oakland’s small schools

Tamara Arroyo, a young woman with her hair in a ponytail, pulled up the corners of the two cards she’d been dealt, an ace and a jack, and then looked at her dwindling pile of chips. With a gleam in her eyes and a slight smile, she obviously did not know the meaning of a poker face. On the table lay two jacks, a queen, and a king. The dealer dealt the final card-an ace. She cleaned up.

The Book About Books

Eric Lyngen, the owner of Book Zoo on Telegraph Avenue, talks about the mania and the business of book collecting.

Live Wire: Zydeco at Just Dance Ballroom

  Last Friday, I went to an awesome Zydeco show at The Just Dance Ballroom. They welcomed Cedryl Ballou and Corey Ledet for a really great show that got everyone’s feet movin’. This was one show in a weekly series of live Zydeco shows at The Just Dance studio. It is just one of the many styles of dance they offer lessons in to cater to anyone’s style and speed. (http://www.justdanceballroom.com/) Special thanks to Louisiana Sue who has the best…

Keeping it clean: Public art in Oakland

Public art works in Oakland live the good life. While city-commissioned sculptures and murals in San Jose and San Francisco have been targets of graffiti and vandalism, curators working in Oakland’s public arts program say that here, people are mostly content to admire public art without adding their own editorial flair. But even though passersby aren’t a problem, there is another threat lurking the streets.

East Bay refugees have a new safe haven but with different challenges

By Huda Ahmed/Oakland North When I knocked on the door of an apartment building in East Oakland, a woman’s voice nervously asked who I was. The voice belonged to a 45-year-old woman who wishes to be identified only as S. Mohamad because she fears prosecution in her native Iraq; she is a former radiologist who came here as a refugee three months ago along with her husband and their three children. She hid behind the door because she was without…

Everything Old is New Again: Dec-O-Win at The Paramount Theatre

During the Great Depression, lavish movie palaces New York to San Francisco suffered serious financial setbacks. The theaters that didn’t shut down altogether came up with new tricks to lure customers and fill seats. Thus, the Dec-O-Win was born, a spin-wheel raffle game played onstage before the movie feature.

Bucking the myth: There is no upside to the downturn

In tough economic times, you’d think 99-cent stores, pawnshops and thrift stores would be thriving. They’re not. Behind the counter of 41st Discount, a 99-cent store on 41st and Telegraph, stands store owner Omar Alrahimee, surrounded by phone cards, incense oils, microwave popcorn, “God Bless the USA” bumper stickers, and cigarettes (his best selling item). He holds up a stack of bills he hasn’t yet paid. “Today is the 12th, I have not paid the rent, I used to pay…