Friday, July 15, 2011

bits and pieces 3

This edition of bits and pieces is more bits and less pieces. Or more pieces and fewer bits. Or something. But as always, it has its own twist -- you know the drill :-)

You may have noticed a bit of a site redesign. The big change is moving the navigation links to the right side, so that search synopses show the current post instead of some of the navigation text. The other changes are mostly less obvious, but are to try to make Our Oakland work better on different screen sizes, including smart phones. If you see any problems, let me know what browser and device you're seeing them on.

Let's see...a poem about Oakland I stumbled across somewhere, called One Oakland is definitely worth checking out. The author, Kenya Hall, won a scholarship for it, and plans to attend Northwestern in the fall. Go Kenya!

In recent news, former interim San Francisco police chief Jeff Godown will be heading up the Oakland police department's criminal investigations division.

As noted in upcoming events, the Oakland Municipal Band is celebrating its 100th season. Read about it in the Tribune.

talking social media

The other week the city put on a social media gathering at Era in Uptown. I expected to see some familiar faces there and did, but I also met a number of new folks, too. And I chatted with Dr. Floyd Huen (better known as Mayor Quan's husband), Amy Gahran, Mayor Quan, and others. As Angela Woodall (Tribune) noted, the mayor draws attention where ever she goes in Oakland. One thing I've noticed is that I see the mayor a lot more than I ever saw Ron Dellums when he was mayor.

One of the things talked about was Oakland's new foray into social media. Part of that is a photo and video contest called I Choose Oakland. There are some good photos and videos, and some not so good. Voting ends tonight (Friday). I'd say vote for me (my entry is a panorama of Lake Merritt I shot a while back), but I loved this video called Oakland B Mine.


After the social media meetup, most everyone headed down to the opening of the new Oaklandish store. They've been selling gear full of Oakland love for over a decade, but before it's always been at event stands or out of their Oaklandish truck. Now they have an actual brick-and-mortar store front, and celebrated with a whole lot of Oakland love coming back to them. Linden Street Brewery had beer there, and the new store front was packed. Part of why they've been able to expand to a store is that they've spread the love to other cities, via the awesomely named there there store. That features cool gear for cities like Detroit, Buffalo, and more.

A blog I've followed for a long time is called The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. I contributed a photo from Oakland to the book, and more recently a sign from Happy Burrito on Webster. What's with the quotes? "World Famous" I could understand, since most people have never heard of it.

Speaking of books, a step before the site redesign was getting rid of the ads at the bottom. Despite thousands of page views a month, I'd gotten precisely zero (0) hits on them. Which is understandable, because (a) they were all the way at the bottom and (b) they were 99.9% of the time useless. Instead, I have links (still all the way at the bottom) to Shop Indie Bookstores and to Oakland Grown. The former will lead you to the likes of Diesel Books, A Good Great Place for Books, Walden Pond Books, and other local bookstores. Why? You should shop local. That and Amazon is threatening to cancel their affiliate program in California because the state wants to have them charge sales tax to in-state sales. Did I mention you should shop local?

Many people in Oakland have been waiting on efforts to re-open the Parkway Theater, either at the original location or somewhere else but with a similar vibe. Despite lots of effort by J. Moses Ceaser, they still haven't been able to reach a deal. The owners of the original location keep saying they're interested, but no lease has been forthcoming. Let's hope they can figure something out.

Last, and certainly not least, some updates on the food scene in Oakland.

Bites on Broadway has moved down 45th a little ways. It's no longer next to Oakland Tech High School, but near Studio One at 365 45th St.

One new place I haven't been yet is Hawker Fare. Part of the reason I haven't been there is that I've heard there are fewer vegetarian options. And in part because I still have a long list of other places to try in Oakland. In any event, John Birdsall (East Bay Express) liked it a lot. For more complete coverage, check out the SF Eater blog.

And another new place I'm looking forward to trying is Cosecha, in the Swan Marketplace in Old Oakland. Sounds like good stuff! (Even if they do have an annoying Flash-only web site.)

More random photos here:
bits and pieces 3

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