Tag Archives: Art Murmur

Another magical night in downtown Oakland

6 Jul

Two and a half years ago, right after the Fox Theater had finally opened and on an Art Murmur night, I experienced a magical night in downtown Oakland. Here’s what I wrote about it in February, 2009:

…There was always something that bothered me about downtown Oakland – most people just didn’t seem to get how great the DTO is. I’d practically have to beg friends to meet me downtown for a drink after work. And forget dinner downtown – even many of my friends who work in the DTO never stuck around past dark.

Slowly, I’ve noticed a change in attitudes towards downtown, but on Friday night, the DTO finally felt like it was reaching its potential.

There were people everywhere! From 14th Street all the way down past the Art Murmur on 23rd, there were thousands of people on the street and inside art galleries, music venues, bars, and restaurants. People on foot, people on bike, and people in cars. At many points, I witnessed gridlock on the streets, something I’ve never seen downtown at night….

As the Art Murmur dwindled down, many headed to the Uptown to catch a free night of music. Though it wasn’t overly crowded, there was always a wait to get a drink, and the energy was high. I sat for a while near the front door and watched the rain fall, illuminated by a lamppost on the sidewalk outside. I sat back and smiled and I think a few tears welled up in my eyes. This was downtown as I always saw it – vibrant, fun, and sometimes unpredictable – but now this was the downtown so many others were experiencing, and I knew they would return.

Since then, I’ve seen downtown crowded and just as vibrant many times at night, particularly on special occasions, like Uptown Unveiled. But I’ve yet to have those same feelings again. I’ve yet to recreate that distinct realization that downtown has reached another night-time milestone or cleared another hurdle to reaching its full potential.

That changed on Friday night. Continue reading

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Art Murmur revisited

9 May

After going for the first time in September of 2008, I went to the Art Murmur regularly for the next year or so. I loved taking in the art, hanging out with friends, and seeing a part of Uptown that was often near deserted filled with people.

But at some point, I lost interest in it. Many of the galleries were so crowded that I barely could enjoy the art. Even on the streets, it was often hard to move around. So I stopped going. I never made a conscious decision to stop going. I just didn’t prioritize it, and somehow more than a year went by before I returned.

Fittingly, when I did return this past Friday evening, I didn’t really plan to go but figured since I was walking home from work and didn’t have anywhere else to be, I might as well stop into a few galleries on my way home. I’m glad I did, as my experience reminded me of what drew me to the Art Murmur initially. Continue reading

May 3-9 Oakland Political & Community Events

2 May

Monday, May 3rd – Baffled by the Ballot?

Still unsure how to vote in June? Come hear pro and con speakers on the many important initiatives on the June ballot. Please plan to arrive at 6pm so you can order your dinner before the program begins. This event takes place from 6:00-8:00pm at Buttercup Grill, 229 Broadway at 3rd Street. The event is sponsored by the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Tuesday, May 4th – Oakland City Council Meeting

At this week’s meeting, the Council will be discussing an appeal of Nic Nak Liquor Store’s permit (which you can read a ton about at Fight Blight), a resolution denouncing Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, the Countywide Transportation Plan and the merging of ACTIA and CMA, funding for IRV voter education, and more. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, May 5th – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Every month, the Central Committee meets to discuss party business and to make plans for the future of the Democratic Party in Alameda County. This month, we’ll be discussing California Democratic Party convention, the June primary, and voting on an endorsement for Alameda City Measure E. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Democratic Party, this is a great way to do so. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm in the San Leandro Main Library, Dave Karp Room, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577.

Thursday, May 6th – Friends of Oakland Parks Taste of Spring 2010

Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation is holding its annual Taste of Spring event on May 6th at the Rotunda building in downtown.  This event raises money to improve Oakland’s parks and provide scholarships for sports, aquatic and other recreational activities for Oakland’s youth. This year’s seventh annual event will feature great food and wine, live and silent auctions, and special entertainment including acrobatic aerialists. The event will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Rotunda Building, 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Tickets are $50 advanced and $65 at the door. Find out more and purchase tickets at the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation website.

Thursday, May 6th – League of Women Voters Candidate Forum

At this forum, there will be presentations by and questions for candidates for Alameda County offices on which Oakland residents will be voting in June: District Attorney, Supervisor District 3, Superintendent of Schools, Board of Education Area 3. The forum takes place from 6:00-8:15 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1.

Thursday, May 6th – Community Workshop on Draft Energy & Climate Action Plan

The Draft Oakland Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) was released on Earth Day, April 22nd. Visit the City’s website to download a copy of the draft Energy and Climate Action Plan. Two identical Community Workshops will be held to provide an overview of content in the draft Energy and Climate Action Plan and receive public comments. The workshops will be held at 3-5pm and 7-9pm at The Elihu M Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street, Meeting Room 1. To assist with planning for needed space, please RSVP, identifying which workshop session you plan to attend, to climateaction@oaklandnet.com.

Friday, May 7th – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday & Sunday, May 8th & 9th – The Sweet Shoppe

This indoor confectionery festival will take place Mother’s Day Weekend in Jack London Square. The two-day event celebrates our regions pastry chefs, confectioners, cupcake fairies, local restaurants, specialty vendors, cheese makers, vintners and more. On Saturday, the event runs from 11am-10pm and on Sunday it runs from 11am-6pm, in Jack London Square. For more info and to buy tickets, visit the Sweet Shoppe website.

March 29-April 4 Oakland Political & Community Events

28 Mar

Monday, March 29th – East Bay Young Democrats Endorsement Meeting

EBYD’s first endorsement meeting of the year will be this Monday, and you won’t want to miss it! We will discuss the various June state and local races as well as the candidates for CYD office, hear from the local candidates, and vote to endorse. Candidates from all of the local races have confirmed, and you can now read their questionnaires on EBYD’s website. Join us for free food and to learn about all of these important races! The meeting takes place from 6-9 pm at the Washington Inn, 495 10th Street in Old Oakland. Check out the Facebook event page for more info and to RSVP.

Tuesday, March 30th – Climate Action Plan Rally & Hearing

On March 30, the Oakland City Council will have its first major hearing about the city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. To make sure it’s strong and uplifting for all of Oakland, the Local Clean Energy Alliance and the Oakland Climate Action Coalition are throwing a rally to show the broad-based, cross-sector coalition that’s standing together. The rally takes place at 4:15pm on the front steps of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the hearing starts at 5:30 in the Council Chambers inside City Hall. RSVP and find more info at the Ella Baker Center’s website.

Wednesday, March 31st – Libby Schaaf for City Council Campaign Kick Off Fundraiser

I am working on Libby Schaaf’s campaign for Oakland City Council, District 4 (the seat Jean Quan is vacating), but even if I wasn’t, I’d definitely be attending her kick off fundraiser this week. She’s incredibly experienced, knowledgeable about how the city works, and committed to improving the City. Please come show your support for Libby, enjoy great refreshments, and spend time with fellow Oaklanders who are ready to Let Oakland Shine. The kick off will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm at the home of Robert Kidd & Joan Story, in the District 4 hills. RSVP for the address and directions.

Thursday, April 1 – Special Oakland City Council Budget Meeting

At this week’s special meeting, the Council will continue its seemingly never ending budget discussions. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The meeting starts at 7:00pm (there are no ceremonial items or consent calendar items) in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Friday-Sunday, April 2nd-4th – Oakland School for the Arts Spring Exhibition

Oakland School for the Arts annual Spring Exhibition spotlights the amazing artwork created by OSA’s Visual Arts students. The show opens Friday, April 2, in the Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre and features hundreds of student-generated prints, paintings, drawings, digital artworks, sculptures, jewelry pieces, and more. Prices start at just $10. Opening night runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and coincides with the monthly Oakland Art Murmur and Midtown Art Walk. The event will also feature the musical talents of OSA’s gifted instrumentalists. The Spring Exhibition continues Saturday, April 3, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Marion E. Greene Black Box Theater is located at 531 19th St. near Telegraph, in the same building that houses the OSA campus and the historic Fox Theater in Oakland’s revived Uptown district. You can read a review of a previous OSA art show and sale at Oaktown Art.

Friday, April 2nd – Edible Art: Works from the Artists of Edible East Bay

This will be a fabulous evening of food art by a dozen local artists whose work has graced the cover and pages of the stellar local periodical, Edible East Bay. Exhibiting artists include: Zina Derestsky, Kieren Dutcher, Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Lorrie Fink, David Lance Goines, Helen Krayenhoff, J. Panter, Linda Pedersen, Francesca Preston, margo Rivera-Weiss, Luz Marina Ruiz and Cheryl Angelina. Great tastes and drinks from Nibbler’s Eatery and Lev’s Kombucha. Music by the Healing Muses. The art will be on display through June 25, 2010. The gallery is open M – Th 9-5; and 2nd and 4th Fridays. This opening event takes place from 7-9pm at JanRae Community Art Gallery at Women’s Cancer Resource Center, 5741 Telegraph Avenue. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Friday, April 2nd – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, April 3rd – Taste for Artisans

Presented by the East Bay Express in collaboration with Mini Marzipan, the Taste for Artisans party will be an urban ho down of epic proportions. The event features over 75 Bay Area artisans selling their wares Live bands and DJs Mechanical bull riding Cream corn wrestling Pie eating contests Square dancing demonstration/instruction Demos from Artisans and Artists Beer, wine, and food Urban and family farmers Amazing raffle prizes Swag bags for the first 200 guests Free Bike valet, courtesy of East Bay Bike Coalition. This event is a fundraiser for DrawBridge – Bring art supplies for donation and get raffle tickets! The event takes place from 5-11pm at Jack London Square Pavilion, 98 Broadway. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

March 1-7 Oakland Political & Community Events

1 Mar

Monday, March 1st – Public Ethics Commission Meeting

Tonight, the PEC will be hearing complaints about mayoral candidates Don Perata and Jean Quan. The complaint about Perata stems from an Oakland Police Officers Association endorsement made for him at a city-funded event, while the complaint against Quan centers around her use of her email list and city website for transmitting campaign information. The Perata complaint was held over last month, and the Quan complaint was heard but brought back for further discussion. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can read the meeting agenda here. I tweeted the last PEC meeting and should be tweeting tonight’s meeting as well.

Tuesday, March 2nd – Oakland City Council Meeting

At this week’s meeting, the Council will continue its budget discussions and hopefully make some more progress. They’ll also be discussing instant runoff voting implementation, the 12th Street construction project (see V Smoothe’s blog post for background on why this is controversial), amending the times of Council meetings to run from 5:30pm-midnight, applying for a broadband grant, and misuse of disabled parking placards. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, March 3rd – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Every month, the Central Committee meets to discuss party business and to make plans for the future of the Democratic Party in Alameda County. This month, we’ll be discussing the June endorsement process and the California Democratic Party convention. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Democratic Party, this is a great way to do so. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm in the San Leandro Main Library, Dave Karp Room, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577.

Thursday, March 4th – Special Public Ethics Commission Meeting

There are not one, but two PEC meetings this week, and the second one should be just as contentious as the first. The PEC will be discussing a proposal to raise the candidate contribution limit from $700 and raising expenditure limits, which vary by office. The City Attorney has recommended doubling contribution and expenditure limits because there is now only one long election, instead of two shorter elections (in the past, a person could donate the maximum for both the June and November elections). There are a range of opinions on this proposal from City Councilmembers, so it should be interesting to see what the PEC decides. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can read the meeting agenda here.

Thursday, March 4th – Residential Rezoning in the Grand Lake – A Town Hall Meeting Hosted by Grand Lake Neighbors Community Group

The Grand Lake Neighbors (GLN) community group will host a town hall meeting at Barnett Hall behind Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave, starting at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2010. The topic will be residential zoning concepts for the Grand Lake neighborhood that are being proposed as part of the city-wide zoning update. Planners from the City’s Planning and Zoning Department will be available to answer questions. This meeting will focus primarily on residential zoning update proposals. A well-attended meeting was held by GLN in December which focused on commercial zoning proposals and there may be a brief time for follow-up questions regarding commercial zoning, but it will not be the focus of this meeting. All property owners and residents are invited and encouraged to participate.

Friday, March 5th – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, March 6th – Oakland Kidical Mass

An opportunity to get to know families who get around Oakland by pedal power. Bring the kids on the trail-a-bike, the trailer, the Xtracycle, on their own bikes or however you happen to make it work. No kids? No problem! Come out and share the joy of a casual social ride. We’ll hopefully spend a few minutes talking about the future of Oakland Kidical Mass, so please be ready to share ideas for future rides. Rides normally meet up at 10 am and begin at 11 am. Destination is Union Point Park. Questions contact Mark@walkoaklandbikeoakland.org.

Saturday, March 6th – Greening Oakland Homes Fair

This educational fair will feature exhibitors with solutions to help you save energy, water, and natural resources. It will include presentations on the benefits provided by various types of retrofits and also offer information on financial aid and programs that will save you money. This fair takes place from 11 am-3 pm, at Montclair Women’s Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain Blvd. Learn more at Greening Oakland Homes.

Sunday, March 7th – Women of WOBO: International Women of Mystery Ride

The next Women of WOBO (WOW) ride is in honor of International Women’s Day. Join us to tour around San Leandro Bay, mostly following bicycle paths that are part of the Bay Trail. And the “International Mystery” part means you should bring your favorite international snack to share! Depending on the weather, we’ll stop and share on the edge of the Bay, or somewhere more protected. Any and all female-identified people are invited to participate. Please RSVP to shannon@walkoaklandbikeoakland.org by Wednesday, March 3rd with your name, email, and phone number in case there are any last-minute updates. All participants must sign a waiver and wear a helmet – no exceptions! The ride will take place from 10am-1pm, and starts and ends at Fruitvale BART station (by the bike racks). Approximately 10 miles and pretty darn flat. See the route map (subject to change).

Sunday, March 7thNWPC-AN Susan B. Anthony Celebration

The National Women’s Political Caucus, Alameda North will be hosting their Susan B. Anthony Celebration, honoring Susan Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator; Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney; and Nancy Nadel, Oakland City Councilmember. Drink wine, eat hors d’oeuvres, and participate in a silent auction. This event will be held from 3-5pm at the Montclair Women’s Cultural Arts Center, 1630 Mountain Blvd, in Oakland.  Tickets are $50 and benefit the NWPC-AN PAC.

February 1-7 Oakland Political & Community Events

1 Feb

I didn’t have time this weekend to write an events round up, but there’s plenty to do this week so below is an abbreviated listing with links for further info.

Monday – The California Budget: Where Does the Money Come From and Where Does it Go?

Tuesday – City Council Meeting

Wednesday – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Friday – Art Murmur

Saturday – Walking Tour: New Era/New Politics

November 2-8 Oakland Political & Community Events

1 Nov

Monday, November 2nd – Town Hall with Mayor Dellums and Police Chief Batts

Come hear Mayor Dellums and Chief Batts share their vision of public safety. Topics include:

  • Mayor Dellums — public safety strategy: PIES (Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, Sustainability)
  • Chief Batts — vision for the Oakland Police Department
  • Crime statistics: crime is down double digits citywide,but more must be done
  • Community policing: how can OPD work with the community to enhance public safety?

The meeting will be held from 6:30-8 pm at Prescott Elementary School, 920 Campbell Street in West Oakland. Additional meetings are set for Monday, November 9, 6:30-8 pm, Cesar Chavez Educational Center, 2825 International Blvd. and Wednesday, November 18, 6:30-8 pm, Tassafaronga Recreation Center, 975 85th Avenue. For details, call the Oaklanders Assistance Center at 444-CITY (2489) or OAC@oaklandnet.com.

Monday, November 2nd – Keeping the Faith for Equality

“At the one year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8, we stand with our friends in Maine and Washington State as they face ballot measures which would strip same-sex couples of relationship protections. Through interfaith prayer, song, and reflection, we are “Keeping the Faith” for equality for all people.” The event is sponsored by California Faith for Equality, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, California Council of Churches, Progressive Jewish Alliance, Marriage Equality USA, Courage Campaign, Equality California, and many more. It will be held from 7pm – 8pm at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave. For more information please contact Reverend Roland Stringfellow.

Monday, November 2nd – Women in Prison: The Real Story

Why do women go to prison and what happens when they get there?  Women generally end up in prison for relatively minor offenses-such as writing bad checks to buy food, or being called an “accomplice” when their boyfriend uses their telephone to make a drug deal.  Most have been physically or mentally abused. Some are in prison for finally standing up to their batterer. Health care is minimal or deferred, often to the point of being too late. Children are the silent victims; separation is devastating for them. You’ll also learn ways you can give support by making a donation or lending a hand. This event takes place from 6-7:30pm at Buttercup Grill, 229 Broadway at 3rd Street. The event is sponsored by the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Tuesday, November 3rd – Oakland City Council Meeting

Among other items, the Council will discuss applying to host the World Cup, park improvement projects, the Oakland Community Land Trust, adding a billboard East of the Bay Bridge toll plaza, tracking citywide performance measures, and amending the CalPERS firefighter contract. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, November 4th – BART Police Department Review Committee Meeting

The BART Police Department Review Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the BART Board Room, which is located in the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland, CA.

Wednesday, November 4th – Bay Area Toll Authority Hearing on Bridge Toll Increases

Via The Capricious Commuter: “Bay Area bridge operators have scheduled three public hearings on a proposed toll increase on seven state bridges. While bridge operators appear determined to raise tolls, they have many details to figure out. Members of the Bay Area Toll Authority are wrestling with how to revamp tolls to do two new things: collecting tolls from car pools during rush hour periods on all seven bridges, and structuring Bay Bridge tolls so drivers pay more during peak periods, and less during in off-peak times. The affected toll bridges are all in the region except the Golden Gate. The proposal increase would be would increase from $4 to $5 per car except on the Bay Bridge, where the proposal gets more complicated because of the plan to use congestion pricing to encourage more people to avoid the bridge during the rush hour.” The only Oakland hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, Lawrence D. Dahms Auditorium, (across from the Lake Merritt BART Station) 101 Eighth St. For more info, see the BATA report. You can also email comments to tolls@mtc.ca.gov until December 21.

Wednesday, November 4th – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Every month, the Central Committee meets to discuss party business and to make plans for the future of the Democratic Party in Alameda County. This month, Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave MacDonald will be presenting on instant runoff voting (IRV), which may be implemented in Oakland as soon as next year. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Democratic Party, this is a great way to do so. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm in the San Leandro Main Library, Dave Karp Room, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577.

Friday, November 6th – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, November 7th – Community Workshops (Round 3): Zoning Draft Proposals

Are you an Oakland Resident, Property Owner, Business Owner, or Developer? Learn about and discuss proposed zoning changes for Oakland’s residential neighborhoods and commercial corridors! Planning staff will be hosting its third round of Community Workshops. This workshop will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd Street. For more info, read John Gatewood’s guest post on the zoning update.

Saturday, November 7th – Pro Arts 35th Anniversary Party

Pro Arts announces its 35th Anniversary Party and Box Art Exhibition & Benefit Auction. The event celebrates Pro Arts’ rich history serving regional artists and public audiences, and showcases over 80 original artworks created by artists throughout the greater Bay Area. Pro Arts’ 35th Anniversary Party is free to the public, and includes both a live and silent auction supporting Pro Arts’ Youth Fellows Initiative and annual programs. Artists were invited to create new works with found materials that reflect their own artistic practice. The materials for this year’s Box Art are recycled wooden cubes cut from 6” x 6” wooden beams provided by The ReUse People (TRP). This event highlights the diversity and creativity of Bay Area artists – with sculptors, painters, photographers, printmakers and others all adapting their work to a 6” wooden cube. The party takes place from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at Pro Arts and Oakland Art Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. For more info and to RSVP, visit the Facebook page.