I was over there last Sunday to help with the rebuilding of their parklet for Park(ing) Day. Park(ing) Day temporarily transforms parking spaces into mini-parks. But Actual Cafe, the Golden Gate Community Alliance, Bike Man Dan, A Place for Sustainable Living, and others from the community are also working to improve the neighborhood. In addition to the parklet, we worked on permanent planters to put in front of nearby businesses like James and the Giant Cupcake. A few businesses got concrete planters from the city some time back, but there aren't more for the other businesses. So rather wait until the city has money again, the community decided to make things better themselves.
But improving the community is only part of why I like Actual Cafe. They've got really good food, a nice drink selection and friendly staff, like you'd expect from any good coffee shop. But they've also got indoor bike parking. Regular art exhibits. Live music every week. Laptop-free weekends to encourage real community instead of virtual. Next you're in the area, check it out.
If you'd like to help with the parklet and the neighborhood planters, come by tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, if you're not off doing something else to make Oakland better. Note: the parklet work is being done at the Center for Sustainable Living, across San Pablo on 64th.