Art Quest along the 40th Street Corridor

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.  

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.

Mail thieves suspected in missing deliveries

story and video by MARTIN RICARD One week last August, Carlos Martinez, a civil engineer who lives in the Temescal district, was expecting a special envelope in the mail. It was his 37th birthday, and his sister from Dallas had told him she was sending him a gift card. She said she was going to send it through the postal service, as most people do. Only the gift card never arrived.

O.N. opines! On politics, on creepy comedy, on Xma$…

In these commentaries, Oakland North writers weigh in on 1) keeping Black Friday in perspective; 2) keeping certain kinds of humor in the back room, where maybe it ought to stay; and 3) how the new secretary of state selection looks through the eyes of a journalist raised in West Africa.

Local merchants: Black Friday slid by sort of gray

by MELANIE MASON and HENRY JONES Dec. 1–While retail sales the day after Thanksgiving exceeded expectations, most independent retailers here in North Oakland were removed from the spending frenzy of Black Friday. It wasn’t because of the economic troubles, necessarily—they typically miss out on the action. “Everyone gets drawn away to the big stores,” said Carlo Busby, president of the Temescal Merchants Association and owner of Sagrada boutique, of Black Friday. “As an independent business, we can’t do the deep…

A fragrant shop helps Ethiopians far from home

by ISABEL ESTERMAN Inside Oakland’s Albo African Gift shop, at the corner of Alcatraz and Telegraph, a deep herbal aroma wafts from a row of colorful bottles labeled ‘frankincense.’  Ethiopian Singer Hamelmal Abate’s mournful vibrato pours out of the stereo, crooning over an incongruously lively beat, while the store’s owner, Genet Asrat, sits behind the counter, her black sweater brightened by a bold patterned scarf with a yellow border.  The phone rings nearly continuously, and Asrat switches back and forth…

Newly-elected Kaplan: “I know we can do it”

By MARTIN RICARD The 100 people who funneled last Thursday into the former downtown campaign office of newly elected at-large city councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan were welcomed by jazz music, food, and a number of familiar faces. They chatted, exchanged hugs and shared laughter during a post-election celebration of her victory. And then about half an hour into the event, here came Kaplan—striding toward a makeshift podium in the darkened room, blowing one long blast toward the ceiling with her signature…