Community

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…

No golden parachute for stores on Piedmont Avenue

Loren Partridge has until February 28 to vacate Cunningham Partridge Gallery and Framing, the Piedmont Avenue business she has run for seven years. “I’ve seen it coming for months,” Partridge said last Saturday afternoon. “Then January came, and boom.”