Tag Archives: Oaksterdam

Downtown Mural Updates: Oaksterdam & Water Writes

17 May

It’s been a while since I first wrote about the Oaksterdam and Water Writes murals, so I thought it was time for some updates.

Oaksterdam Mural

Though progress was slowed initially due to rain, the Oaksterdam mural was completed, I think at the end of March, and it looks awesome. I’m lucky enough to pass it every day on my way to and from work. Particularly when I walk south down Broadway, it changes the entire feel of the area and brightens my mornings, even on gloomy mornings like this one. Continue reading

Bye bye Oaksterdam University sign… hello Oaksterdam mural

10 Mar

UPDATE: The mural artist sent me some incredible close up photos which I’ve added to the end of this post.

Last month, V Smoothe wrote a really interesting blog post about the Oaksterdam University sign and the Planning Commission process to choose a mural to replace it. I highly recommend reading the entire post, as it asks the important question – what criteria should be used to select public art?

She also discusses placemaking and how the sign really marked the neighborhood and people visiting got excited about it. So it’s important for the new mural to serve the same function. The Planning Commission had initially approved a really bland mural of Lake Merritt for the wall but ultimately accepted this proposal as well and left it up to Oaksterdam to decide: Continue reading

Monday Morning Distractions – Surfing the interwebs

3 Nov

I don’t know about you, but I need some distractions right about now. Really, can it be Tuesday night already? I can’t take the anticipation anymore!

To distract myself this weekend, I finally got caught up on blog posts and found some distractions that made me smile. Hope they make you smile too:

David at Brooklyn Avenue spotted a great No on 8 car parked in Oakland.

Apparently, Rockridge BART is the place to be on Thursday night. Oakland North covers the four square games that happen there weekly, complete with video. East Bay West Online (Oakland North’s sister site), also has a fun video up, of the Dia de Los Muertos celebration in East Oakland. Don’t you just love the variety of activities you run into throughout Oakland? And don’t you love Oakland North and East Bay West Online for telling you about them?

Via my cousin’s blog, I found this incredible set of photos of our next president. I know, you’ve already seen plenty of photos of Obama, but these are worth checking out. Make sure to keep clicking “show more images” to see all the beautiful photography in this set.

The Uptown neighborhood in downtown Oakland is hopping! dto510 covers all the excitement popping up in Uptown, including restaurants, apartments, and the soon to be opened Fox Theater. V Smoothe recently visited the brand new park next to the Uptown apartments and took some great photos. I need to find some time to head down there and check it out (after the election).

Check out this stunning photo Andrew at Oakland Geology took from atop Kaiser Hospital’s parking structure. Oakland is simply beautiful at dusk.

Britnney Gilbert’s job is to serve up distractions over at Eye on Blogs. I recently noticed this feature of hers called “Today’s [insert city here].” Check out Today’s Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco for some stunning Bay Area photos.

Via Awaken Cafe’s blog, I read this sometimes hopeful, sometimes depressing article in the Oakland Tribune about how small businesses are faring in Oakland in the face of an economic downturn. The takeaway from the story is that while some traditional businesses are seeing sales slump, businesses that fill a new niche are doing very well. One industry that’s booming in particular is medical marijuana:

Richard Lee, owner of the nearby Oaksterdam Gift Shop, at 405 15th St., said demand for medicinal marijuana is almost ridiculously high.

“The cannabis industry is booming now that sales are legal,” Lee said. “We’re using that to revitalize this part of Oakland. We think Oakland could be like Las Vegas, which used legalized gambling to expand to other industries, bringing in Cirque du Soleil and stuff like that.”

Lee said the pot club pays $300,000 a year in sales tax and employs 30 people, on top of attracting 1,000 customers a day, who contribute a lot of income to nearby eateries.

Maybe the council will recognize this next year and increase the medical marijuana dispensary permits allowed in Oakland from four to at least six.

Stop the Presses! Oakland Marijuana University Opens… 4 Months Ago

28 Feb

On Tuesday, the Oakland Tribune ran a front page AP article on a “new” school in downtown Oakland that teaches students about the various aspects of marijuana. OK, I understand the appeal of a story like this, but front page, for something that happened months ago and Fox News reported on in mid-January?

I guess V Smoothe is right – local reporting here is pretty pathetic if this makes front page.

Maybe the saddest part of this piece of non-news is that there really is a story here that was missed. Though the City Council attempted to destroy “Oaksterdam” years ago by only allowing 4 medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city and by requiring them to operate far away from each other,  Oaksterdam is making a revival. There’s the school. There’s the gift shop. There still are the dispensaries. And there’s the Patient ID Center that issues private and Alameda County IDs to qualified patients.

And while there might be a lack of local reporting in our regular papers, there will soon be, not one, not two, but three marijuana related publications being produced in Oakland (or nearby). These three publications are all offshoots of the now defunct Oaksterdam News.

No matter how hard the city tries to publicly distance itself from marijuana, it is still part of the city’s culture, neighborhoods, and business sector. Too bad the Tribune missed the real story and chose to run a fluff piece instead. I guess that’s what happens when you lay off all your local reporters and opt for AP pieces.

Oakland Medical Marijuana Resources

31 Jan

It’s surprising to me how many people find Living in the O by searching for medical marijuana (or something related to medical marijuana). The truth is that my blog is not the greatest resource for this issue. Sure, I’ve told some interesting stories about DEA raids, Dellums standing up for medical marijuana, and more, but there are far better places to find information about medical cannabis so I thought I’d share.

General Resource: If you want to get lost on a site for hours, reading about all aspects of medical marijuana – legal, political, medical, media – check out the site of Americans for Safe Access, the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research.

Oakland Dispensaries: Believe it or not, there’s a specific site for this – OaklandCannabisClubs.com – they have a listing and reviews of dispensaries in the East Bay. If you’re looking for dispensaries in the larger Bay Area or the state, California NORML has the most extensive listing. You can also find out about Oaksterdam at the now defunct Oaksterdam News website.

Oakland Medical Marijuana Doctors: If you’re trying to stay in Oakland, I recommend Compassionate Health Options in downtown. If you’re looking further away, CA NORML has a good physician listing as well.

Supporting Mickey Martin & Tainted: I wrote about this raid when it happened in September but haven’t provided an update since. The defendants have a hearing at the end of February and need support – financially and politically. Check out the Free Tainted website to get involved.

Medical Marijuana Blogs: Surprisingly, I haven’t found too many blogs devoted specifically to medical marijuana. Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines and Smokedot.org are good places to start.

I think that covers most of what people have been searching for. Let me know if I missed anything.