Sunday, January 29, 2017

Print Public 2016-2017

Thursday night was an opening reception for Print Public 2016-2017 at Kala Art Institute. The current artists that are part of Print Public are:
  • Drew Cameron
  • Ramekon O’Arwisters
  • Mildred Howard
  • Marksearch (Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas)
  • Kelly Ording and Jet Martinez
  • Jenifer K. Wofford
Although Kala is in Berkeley, a number of the artists are from Oakland. The exhibit runs through March 25, so check it out when you get a chance.

See more photos here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oakland Restaurant Week

Like many others, I've been a bit distracted by current events, and by the weather. One of my few outings was to do bike parking for the Women's March in Oakland with Bike East Bay. Other than a few drops of rain, the march was thankfully dry and peaceful, and pretty awesome to see the huge turnout, not just in Oakland, but all over the country.

But we're in the midst of the 7th annual Oakland Restaurant Week, which runs until January 29th. Which I'd sort of forgotten about, until I received an email that caught my eye: The Vegan's Guide to Oakland. Also check out Explore Oakland’s bustling food scene during Oakland Restaurant Week on SFGate.

Whatever your dining tastes, Oakland Restaurant Week is a great chance to check out some the over 100 restaurants taking part, and get some nice deals with $20, $30 and $40 prix-fixe lunch or dinner options. Some restaurants are even donating some of their proceeds to support the Alameda County Community Food Bank. What restaurant week specials have you tried this year?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oakland Trails: Dimond to Chabot

Yesterday, K and I joined Stan Dodson and a small, hearty group to hike from Dimond to Chabot Space and Science Center. Stan is the manager of La Farine Bakery on Fruitvale where we began the hike. But he's also the founder of and the producer of the documentary Trailhead: Discovering Oakland's Gateway to the Redwoods. We were joined on the hike by local historian (and Legendary Local) Dennis Evanosky, who is also part of the documentary.

It didn't take long from our start before we were in Dimond Park. There we got our first look at Sausal Creek. A restoration project that was completed earlier this year included daylighting a 180 foot section of the creek that had been culverted for decades. It's made a huge difference in the park, adding both the to visual beauty but also the support for local wildlife. We continued up the Sausal Creek watershed into Dimond Canyon, and saw some of the projects that the volunteers have been involved in. Stan's fundraiser for the Trailhead documentary was so successful that he had some money left to have trail markers made for the route, too. Which is a good thing, as the route takes a few non-obvious turns.

We stopped at various points to catch our breath, hear some info from Stan or some history from Dennis, or just admire the views. Even with the stops, we finished the 5.5 mile, 1,500+ foot climb in about 2.5 hours. At Chabot, we hopped on an AC Transit bus for a 10-minute ride back to our start on Fruitvale Ave. It's amazing to have such a beautiful, natural area within the bounds of Oakland, and that can be reached on foot, by transit or by car. From the trails near Chabot, you can connect to hundreds of miles of trails, including the 550-mile Bay Ridge Trail.

Stan leads the hikes not just for the general public, but for school groups, after-school programs and others. And does trail maintenance, patrols the parks to help users and looks for fallen trees and other hazards, and works to improve the trails. To donate or volunteer, check out to learn more. You can watch the Trailhead documentary there, too. You don't need to wait for one of Stan's guided hikes, though. Maps are available online, trail markers are there, so get out and explore some of the natural beauty here in Oakland!

See the photos full-size here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oakland Urban Paths: Buffers and Boundaries

The other Saturday urban planner Ruth Miller led about 50 people (and one dog!) on an Oakland Urban Paths walk exploring some buffers and boundaries in Oakland. We started the walk at MacArthur BART with option return by AC Transit bus, making it easily the most transit-friendly walk we've done.

At MacArthur BART we looked at the transit village that's in progress; the BART parking and housing on BART property is completed. From there we meandered above and along 40th Street, talking about transit past (Sacramento Northern Railway, Key System) and present (AC Transit, bike super-sharrow).

Some of the other points of interest and people we saw and talked about:

It was a great walk. Thanks to Ruth for leading us, Charlie for doing his best to keep us safe, and special shout-out for everyone who climbed the hill on Jean Street just so we could go down the stairs on Bonham Way.
The December walk will be a Rockridge ramble, with lots of stairs. Hope to see you on the paths!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Birding at MLK Shoreline

The other weekend K and I went birding at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline. The walk was advertised as accessible and for beginning birders, and was led by Clay Anderson and others from the California Center for Natural History. We saw a Cooper's hawk, great blue heron, lesser egrets, pelicans, and more. But the thing that got the more experienced birders excited was seeing a Ridgway's rail (formerly known as a clapper rail), a bird which is a near-threatened species. It's also less common to see because of its nature—it spends most of its time in long marsh grass. So you'll hear them more than you'll see them, at least once you recognize the call.

Check out more birding walks with the California Center for Natural History and with the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt.

More photos from our birding walk.