North Oaklanders came out Saturday, Feb 21, for the first ever 40th Street corridor Art Quest. There were raffle prizes, great art, and a fun night exploring the neighborhood for everyone who came out.
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.
By Elise Craig and Melanie Mason/Oakland North
Upstairs, cell phones are charging. In the kitchen, snapshots of kids in football jerseys plaster the fridge. And in the living room, auctioneer Danny Green is selling this family home to the highest bidder.
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.
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…