Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oakland Food News, second course

Normally it's about a month between my Oakland Food News posts, but since my food news post yesterday I've found out about another bunch of new food and drink things happening in Oakland.

I noticed a new Mediterranean food place, Mediterranean Express, in the Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza. They were closing up for the day, so I didn't have much time to check things out, but they said they've been open about a month. Mmm...falafel. (Yelp)


Over on 14th Street is a new bar, Halftime Sports Bar. They've got hella TVs (folks were watching the A's when I looked in), a pool table, and a good beer selection. Their food menu is short, but does include some vegi options. A review on the Yelp page speaks highly of the roasted veggies side dish. They've been open less than two weeks.


Almost next door is Aria, which will feature Afghan and Mediterranean food. The owner was working on the sign when I passed, and said he's planning to open this Friday. (Yelp)


@dto510 pointed out this story on SF Eater about the Tribune Tavern, a new restaurant and bar which fittingly will be in the Tribune tower. It's a project of Chris Pastena, co-owner of Chop Bar. Oaklandish is working on their branding, so it promises to be stylish, too. They're aiming for a mid-March opening.

@eatdrinkoakland tweeted that Oakland is in Bloomberg Businessweek's top 50 U.S. cities, in part because of the great restaurant scene here. Speaking of which, check out the Eat Drink Oakland website. Paula Wirth has it filled with great food and drink photos from places around Oakland.

And last night was the launch party for Farmigo in Oakland, but that deserves a post of its own.

upcoming Oakland events

The upcoming event I'm most excited about is the 5 Historic Houses Bike Tour that I'm helping organize, but there are concerts, walking tours, and more coming up, too. And Tuesday night is the Taste of Temescal culinary crawl.

City Center concerts - Wednesdays at noon. Free concerts in City Center each Wednesday through October. (free)

Help Design AC Transit BRT Stations in your neighborhood - various dates. AC Transit will be holding a series of meetings to get public comment on the various BRT stations between downtown Oakland and San Leandro. Meeting TONIGHT (Wednesday, September 26) at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and Saturday, September 29 at the 81st Avenue library. (free)

Downtown walking tours - Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am. The walking tours program goes through the summer, rotating through the 8 different tours. They're a great way to get out and see Oakland and learn about its people and history. Coming up: Saturday, September 29 - Waterfront. (free)

Bites off Broadway - Friday, September 28, 5:30-8:30pm. The fun food truck event in Temescal. (free)

Five Historic Houses Bike Tour - Saturday, September 29, 12:30pm. East Bay Bike Coalition tour of 5 historic Oakland houses by bicycle, plus an optional extension to Linden Street Brewery or the 16th Street Station Celebration. Learn some Oakland history and have fun! (free)

100th birthday Celebration for the 16th Street Station - September 29, 2-5pm. There will be food trucks, music, activities for kids, history exhibits, tours of the station, and more. See the poster at Prescott-Oakland Point neighborhood association website. (free)

Red Cross Out for Blood Fun Run - Sunday, September 30, 9am. A fun fundraiser for Northern California Red Cross blood services. Read about last year's fun run. ($25-$30)

Sundays in the Redwoods! - Sunday, September 30, 2pm. A concert series featuring a variety of musical groups at the Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park. This Sunday is Marsha Ambrosius. ($10)

Taste of Temescal - Tuesday, October 2, 6-8:30 pm. A culinary crawl to scintillate your palates: the Taste of Temescal on Telegraph Avenue between 43th and 51st. Benefits area schools and non-profits. ($30)

Safe Routes to School Day - Wednesday, October 3. Alameda County celebrates safe routes to school, part of International Walk and Roll to School Day. Close to 60,000 kids are expected to participate this year. Read more at Oakland North. (free)

ongoing events:

Bites off Broadway (Fridays)
Piedmont Avenue Art Walk (3rd Thursday)
Art Murmur (1st Friday)
Saturday Art Stroll (Saturdays)
Mt. View Cemetery Tours (2nd and 4th Saturdays)
OMCA Summer Nights (last Friday of the month)

looking further ahead:

Financial Planning Day - Saturday, October 6, 9am-4pm. Free financial planning information. Don't worry, the city is only sponsoring it; the info comes from experts from the Financial Planning Association and highly qualified certified financial planners. (free)

Oaktoberfest - Saturday, October 6, 11am-6pm. The annual festival in the Dimond. Although it's centered on the beer tent, there's lots of music, food and family-friendly events, too. Check out coverage of last year's Oaktoberfest. (free admission; beer tickets available for purchase)

North Oakland Plant Swap - Saturday, Oct 6, 12-3pm. Join Swap It Oakland for a plant and gardening supply swap. Bring plants, cuttings, seedlings, starts, foraged plants, and seeds of edible & non edible plants to swap. (free with a plant to swap)

Plant Sale at Merritt College - Saturday Oct 6, 9am-3pm and Sunday Oct 7, 12-3pm. Join the Merritt College Propogation Club for its annual fall plant sale, featuring perennials and fall edibles. (free)

Rockridge Out and About - Sunday, October 7, 12-6pm. The annual Rockridge street fair, with food, fun and more. See pictures from last year's Out and About. (free)

Life is Living - Saturday, October 13, 10am-6pm. A celebration of urban life through hip-hop, inter-generational health, and environmental action in DeFremery Park. (free)

HellaWeen Run - October 27, 5:30pm - 5 mile evening fun run in Old Oakland and West Oakland. Come out and show your creative side with a costume! Put on by the Oakland Running Festival. ($31+)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oakland Food News

Time again for some Oakland food news, with updates on recent openings, upcoming openings, and more. All the news that's fit to nom.

First up, the Oakland Tribune reports that Borgo Italia in Old Oakland that I reported on last month is now open. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Diablo Magazine reported that Somerset, a restaurant on College Ave. in Rockridge, closed suddenly in August. And they note the liquor license has been transferred to a new restaurant called Destino at 3909 Grand Avenue. That's the former location of Taste of Joy BBQ, and another restaurant (or two) before that.

The same article also reports that the Trappist Provisions beer store/bar in the works by Chuck Stilphen from The Trappist (and ØL beer cafe and bottle shop in Walnut Creek) won't open before November. The space is near Wood Tavern, a ways up College from the former Somerset location. The windows were covered in paper when I went past today.

And speaking of the former Somerset location on Collage, Inside Scoop SF reports that James Syhabout's next restaurant will be in the Somerset location. Syhabout is behind both Commis and Hawker Fare, two Oakland restaurants I haven't yet tried but have heard nothing but good things about.

The above Dialog Magazine article also has updates on Forge, the pizza place planned for next to Bocanova in Jack London Square.

Shoutout to @jameane of Oakland 411 for the info on these next two items.

First, College Ave. is getting another noodle shop at 5812 across from Zachary's. Though I guess technically Noodle Theory is on Claremont, and it's known for soba noodles versus the ramen that this application specifies.

@jameane also directed me to this news from sf.eater.com about Township, an "uber-locally sourced" restaurant moving into 1545 Broadway. Read more on the City Girl Farms / Township Kickstarter page.

Speaking of College Ave., Diablo Magazine again has the story on the long-empty space at 5634, the former home of the Water Lounge. Rumor has it it will be French bistro-style, but a major renovation means it won't be ready any time soon.

Luke Tsai at the East Bay Express reports on a novel idea from the 25th Street Collective: rent a food cart. The start up costs and permits needed can be fairly substantial, so this would be a way for more people to try the market. The idea is still in the planning stages.

Shelly Butcher at Examiner.com reports a new Mexican restaurant called Nido is scheduled to open in Jack London Square sometime in October.

The above article and GrubStreet SF both report that right next to it will be a PieTisserie pie window. Yum!

Some updates on some of the new o-shaped foods in Oakland. SFoodie has more on Doughnut Dolly in the Temescal. They sound tasty, but sell out fast. More o-shaped food news, Inside Scoop SF has a report from opening day at Beauty's Bagels on Telegraph, which features Montreal-style bagels.

Here's a fun video on Art Is In Coffee which was at Park(ing) Day.

I rode past Commonwealth Cafe and Pub last week and heard they're aiming for an early October reopening after the fire several months ago. This nice story from Oakland North about Oakland businesses helping Commonwealth get back in on its feet confirms the early October timeline.

Finally, there's a piece focusing on Arbor Cafe in Oakland Local, as part of their Small Business Month feature.

Monday, September 24, 2012

signs: Dogwood


While it's an OK sign during the day, it really shines (groan) at night. The bulbs on the arrow of the Dogwood sign are animated in a slow cycle.

Friday, September 21, 2012

installing solar with GRID Alternatives


Yesterday I took a day off working and volunteered with Oakland-based GRID Alternatives. The core of GRID Alternatives is the Solar Affordable Housing Program, where they train and lead community volunteers (like me!) and job trainees from all walks of life to install solar electric systems with low-income homeowners. As part of their mission, they also install the solar panels on Habitat for Humanity houses, which is where my previous experience with GRID has been.

This install was on an existing house, and the technology has changed a bit since I last volunteered (use of microinverters, for example), so I had some new things to learn. That's part of why I enjoy volunteering with GRID is the chance to learn new things. I worked on the ground crew in the morning, assembling pieces and passing things up to the roof. Then after lunch I worked on the roof for a while, helping run conduit from the main panel up to the start of the solar array. It was a fun day. Thanks to installation supervisor Dave Lee and the crew leaders for making things run smoothly and safely.

If you're interested in volunteering with GRID, donating, or want to see if you qualify for an install, check the Grid Alternatives website.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

upcoming Oakland events

There's literally too much fun stuff to do this week in Oakland and not enough time to do it all. The event getting a lot of press is the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square, but there are concerts, fundraisers, book events, walking tours, plus one of my favorite events, Park(ing) Day, which converts parking spaces around Oakland into parklets for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.

City Center concerts - Wednesdays at noon. Free concerts in City Center each Wednesday through October. (free)

Downtown walking tours - Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am. The walking tours program goes through the summer, rotating through the 8 different tours. They're a great way to get out and see Oakland and learn about its people and history. Coming up: Saturday, September 22 - Old Oakland. (free)

Oak Barrel Bash - Thursday, September 20, 6-8:30pm. Fundraiser for Rebuilding Together Oakland, with a raffle for great wine and other prizes. ($50-$70).

Bites off Broadway - Friday, September 21, 5:30-8:30pm. A regular food truck event in Temescal, this Friday also features a city council district 1 candidates forum. Hear from the district 1 candidates while you enjoy great food from local food trucks! Voter registration will also be available. (free)

Park(ing) Day with WOBO - Friday, September 21. Park(ing) Day is a great celebration where unused street spaces and some parking spaces are converted into parklets for the day! Last year's Park(ing) Day was hella fun. A number of locations around Oakland are working towards permanent parklets. (free)

Eat Real Fest - Friday, September 21–Sunday, September 23. Fun-filled food fest in Jack London Square. Check out coverage of last year's Eat Real Fest. Read more about it at Oakland Local. (free)

Friends of Montclair Library Fall Book Sale - Saturday, September 22, 10:30am-3pm. Great deals all day, and fill-a-bag discounts from 2-3pm! (free)

Black Panther Party walking tour of North Oakland - Saturday, September 22, 12-2pm. A history walking tour of North Oakland, Led by original Black Panther Billy of It’s About Time, an organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party. Part of Phat Beet's Food n' Justice Workshop Series (free)

Oakland: The Story of a City at Linden Street Brewery - Saturday, Steptember 22, 5-7pm. The Oakland Heritage Alliance is hosting a reading to celebrate the publication of the 2nd edition. Books and beer will be available for purchase. Read more about Oakland: The Story of a City, which is a must-read book for anybody interested in Oakland. (free)

Starlight Gala - Saturday, September 22 - Gala black tie fundraiser for the Chabot Space and Science Center ($500)

Dixieland Jazz at Pardee Home - Sunday, September 23 from 1-4pm. The historic Pardee Home hosts the "Spirit of '29 Dixieland Jazz Band". ($20).

Positive Body Clothing Swap at Halmoni - Sunday, September 23, 6-8pm. Bi-monthly clothing swap for women of all body types. (women only; free)

Sundays in the Redwoods! - starting Sunday, September 23, 2pm. A concert series featuring a variety of musical groups at the Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park. This Sunday is Reggae in the Redwoods. ($10)

Help Design AC Transit BRT Stations in your neighborhood - various dates. AC Transit will be holding a series of meetings to get public comment on the various BRT stations between downtown Oakland. The first meeting will be Monday, September 24, 6-7:30pm at the Fruitvale Senior Center. (free)
Shoutout to Rebecca Saltzman for alerting me to this meetings.

Farmigo Oakland Launch Party! - Tuesday, September 25, 6-9pm. La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen is going to be a pickup location for Farmigo, which connects people to local farms. Tina Tamale is helping them celebrate in style at Kitchener Oakland! (free)

ongoing events:

Bites off Broadway (Fridays)
Piedmont Avenue Art Walk (3rd Thursday)
Art Murmur (1st Friday)
Saturday Art Stroll (Saturdays)
Mt. View Cemetery Tours (2nd and 4th Saturdays)
OMCA Summer Nights (last Friday of the month)

looking further ahead:

Five Historic Houses Bike Tour - Saturday, September 29. East Bay Bike Coalition tour of 5 historic Oakland houses by bicycle, plus an optional extension to Linden Street Brewery. Learn some Oakland history and have fun! (free)

Red Cross Out for Blood Fun Run - Sunday, September 30, 9am. A fun fundraiser for Northern California Red Cross blood services. Read about last year's fun run. ($25-$30)

Taste of Temescal - Tuesday, October 2, 6-8:30 pm. A culinary crawl to scintillate your palates: the Taste of Temescal on Telegraph Avenue between 43th and 51st. Benefits area schools and non-profits. ($30)

Oaktoberfest - Saturday, October 6, 11am-6pm. The annual festival in the Dimond. Although it's centered on the beer tent, there's lots of music, food and family-friendly events, too. Check out coverage of last year's Oaktoberfest. (free admission; beer tickets available for purchase)

HellaWeen Run - October 27, 5:30pm - 5 mile evening fun run in Old Oakland and West Oakland. Come out and show your creative side with a costume! Put on by the Oakland Running Festival. ($31+)

Jazz Concert at Camron-Stanford House

Clairdee

Sunday afternoon was a great jazz concert. Clairdee wowed the crowd with her soulful and uplifting jazz. Sitting on the veranda of Camron-Stanford House overlooking Lake Merritt, sipping wine and munching food, we couldn't have asked for a lovelier setting.

Note that Camron-Stanford House is also available for event rentals if there's a special event you need a special venue for. And don't forget: Camron-Stanford House will be the 3rd stop for the 5 Historic Houses Bike Tour on September 29th!

Pictures from the concert:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creek to Bay Day 2012


Saturday was Creek to Bay Day, the Oakland part of the larger Coastal Cleanup Day across California. It happens as part of International Coastal Cleanup that has people volunteering all over the world. Last year I volunteered at Wood Park along part of Sausal Creek; this year I volunteered at Peralta Hacienda, along part of Peralta Creek.

There was a big group of students from Fremont High School in Oakland, who mostly worked down by the creek, as well as a troop of girl scouts who cleaned up the playground area. The rest of us, a mixture of nearby neighbors and people like me who came from elsewhere in Oakland to volunteer, worked in the gardens and along the entrance walkway from Coolidge.

I worked on picking up trash, and trimming around the interpretive signs in the garden. While some of signs were pretty grown over, it was easy, relaxing work. It was also a pretty short work day, from 9am until noon, so it made for an easy way to help cleanup Oakland and the bay.

Trash that ends up near the creek frequently ends up in the creek, and then in the bay. Besides being unsightly, the garbage can injure or kill wildlife. It's a big, ongoing problem—last year's Coastal Cleanup Day picked up 1.3 million pounds of trash. Fortunately there were thousands of volunteers out around the bay and California working to clean up waterways and the coast again this year. Thanks to everyone who turned out!

But you don't need to wait for a special day. Next time you're out walking along the shore, or just walking around Oakland, stop and pick up trash and throw it in a garbage can. Every piece you pick up is one piece that doesn't end up in a creek, the bay, or the ocean. It's an easy way to help make Oakland (and beyond) a little bit better.

More pictures from Creek to Bay Day at Peralta Hacienda:


Additional coverage of Coastal Cleanup Day around SF Bay:

And just a reminder: the 5 Houses Bike Tour on Saturday, September 29th will begin at Peralta Hacienda. See http://5houses.ouroakland.net for more info.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

signs: Jackson's Liquors

Jackson's Liquors

I've shot this great sign before during the day, but I got a chance to shoot it lit up last night. As an added bonus, Ramsey, one of the owners, came out while I was shooting and we talked about the past and future of the sign.

He remembers seeing the sign as a child, when a friend of the family owned and ran the store. My guess is that it's from the 50s based on the design elements, but I'm not really sure. Ramsey paid to have the sign repaired a while back, but the company he hired hasn't finished the job. He pointed out where the "son's" on one side is by-passed with a patch wire, and we talked about how great it would be to have the swirling drink lights working again. I told him about NeonWorks and owner Jim Rizzo's passion for the work that I learned about at the OHA+Neon Works lecture back in January. And about how the owner of Pizzaiolo paid to have the G&G Hardware sign on Telegraph restored. Whether it's the original company or NeonWorks, I hope the sign can be more fully restored.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

upcoming Oakland events

Lots to do in Oakland. Some of the big things this weekend are volunteer opportunities, Creek to Bay Day and the 4th Annual Volunteer Fair. But there's a new art show, an art party, Bites off Broadway plus the usual host of regular events, and more.

City Center concerts - Wednesdays at noon. Free concerts in City Center each Wednesday through October. (free)

The Art of Recycle at Gray Loft Gallery - Friday, September 14, 6-9pm. A new art show opening at the Gray Loft Gallery in Jingletown. (free)

Art Party - Friday, September 14, 6:30-9:30pm. To help bring some Art Murmur-type energy to Eastlake, Halmoni Vintage Boutique is holding art parties every second Friday. This month features the work of Hope Haetae Nam and DJ music. Read more about Halmoni at Oakland Local. (free)

Downtown walking tours - Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am. The walking tours program goes through the summer, rotating through the 8 different tours. They're a great way to get out and see Oakland and learn about its people and history. Coming up: Saturday, September 15 - Churches and Temples. (free)

Creek to Bay Day - Saturday, September 15, 9am-12pm. Come help up Oakland creeks and waterways, at over 27 locations throughout the city of Oakland. Read about last year's Creek to Bay Day. It's a fun, easy chance to help make Oakland better. (free)

4th Annual Volunteer Fair - Saturday, September 15, 1-3pm. Learn about different volunteer opportunities to help make Oakland better. (free)

Delilah Beasley Tea - Saturday, September 15, 2-4pm. A tea named in honor of pioneering African American columnist, Delilah Beasley. It's being held at the Pardee Home Museum, is put on by P.O.W.E.R. - Progressive Oakland Women for Empowerment & Reform, and proceeds benefit Girls, Inc. Read more in Annalee Allen's column. ($12; under 18 free)

National Hispanic Heritage Month - Saturday, September 15, 2:30-5:30pm.
Peralta Hacienda is kicking off its Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month this weekend! Refreshments, tours in English or en Español, and more. (free to $5)

Every Breath Counts - Wednesday. September 19, 8:30am. A benefit for the Northern California Breathmobile, which is designed to help kids with asthma: Asthma: Keeping Kids out of Hospital Emergency Departments and in School. ($150)

ongoing events:

Bites off Broadway (Fridays)
Piedmont Avenue Art Walk (3rd Thursday)
Art Murmur (1st Friday)
Saturday Art Stroll (Saturdays)
Mt. View Cemetery Tours (2nd and 4th Saturdays)
OMCA Summer Nights (last Friday of the month)

looking further ahead:

Oak Barrel Bash - Thursday, September 20, 6-8:30pm. Fundraiser for Rebuilding Together Oakland, with a raffle for great wine and other prizes. ($50-$70).

Park(ing) Day with WOBO - Friday, September 21. Park(ing) Day is a great celebration where unused street spaces and some parking spaces are converted into parklets for the day! Last year's Park(ing) Day was hella fun. A number of locations around Oakland are working towards permanent parklets. (free)

Eat Real Fest - Friday, September 21–Sunday, September 23. Fun-filled food fest in Jack London Square. Check out coverage of last year's Eat Real Fest.(free)

Oakland: The Story of a City at Linden Street Brewery - Saturday, Steptember 22, 5-7pm. The Oakland Heritage Alliance is hosting a reading to celebrate the publication of the 2nd edition. Books and beer will be available for purchase. (free)

Starlight Gala - Saturday, September 22 - Gala black tie fundraiser for the Chabot Space and Science Center ($500)

Dixieland Jazz at Pardee Home - Sunday, September 23 from 1-4pm. The historic Pardee Home hosts the "Spirit of '29 Dixieland Jazz Band". ($20).

Sundays in the Redwoods! - starting Sunday, September 23, 2pm. A concert series featuring a variety of musical groups at the Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park. ($10)

Farmigo Oakland Launch Party! - Tuesday, September 25m 6-9pm. La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen is going to be a pickup location for Farmigo, which connects people to local farms. Tina Tamale plans to celebrate in style! (free)

Five Historic Houses Bike Tour - Saturday, September 29. East Bay Bike Coalition tour of 5 historic Oakland houses by bicycle, plus an optional extension to Linden Street Brewery. Learn some Oakland history and have fun! (free)

Red Cross Out for Blood Fun Run - Sunday, September 30, 9am. A fun fundraiser for Northern California Red Cross blood services. Read about last year's fun run. ($25-$30)

Taste of Temescal - Tuesday, October 2, 6-8:30 pm. A culinary crawl to scintillate your palates: the Taste of Temescal on Telegraph Avenue between 43th and 51st. Benefits area schools and non-profits. ($30)

Oaktoberfest - Saturday, October 6, 11am-6pm. The annual festival in the Dimond. Although it's centered on the beer tent, there's lots of music, food and family-friendly events, too. Check out coverage of last year's Oaktoberfest.(free admission; beer tickets available for purchase)

HellaWeen Run - October 27, 5:30pm - 5 mile evening fun run in Old Oakland and West Oakland. Come out and show your creative side with a costume! Put on by the Oakland Running Festival. ($31+)

Five Historic Houses Bike Tour

The Five Historic Houses Bike Tour will explore 5 homes that have preserved Oakland history, from East Oakland to West. The ride begins at the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park in Fruitvale, then goes to Cohen-Bray House, Camron-Stanford House, the Pardee Home, and finishes at deFremery House in West Oakland.

The ride is about 6 miles, and we'll stop at each house to learn about the history of the house and the people who lived there. We'll also see Preservation Park, a collection of historical homes in Oakland. Then join us for an optional stop at the Linden Street Brewery taproom, or head over to the 100th birthday celebration for the 16th Street Train Station, for food, fun and more Oakland history.

The tour begins at 12:30pm at Peralta Hacienda, but if you want to get a tour inside the house you can show up at 11:45am for a free tour (though a $5 donation will be happily accepted.)

If you're joining us from further afield, note that Peralta Hacienda is near Fruitvale BART and deFremery House is near West Oakland BART. As for any ride, helmets, water bottles, and comfortable cycling gear are recommended. Bring a lock for your bike and money for snacks along the way. View the approximate 5 Houses Tour route on Google Maps.
•Peralta Hacienda - 2465 34th Avenue (start)
•deFremery House - 1651 Adeline Street (end)

The ride is free, and is sponsored by the East Bay Bike Coalition and the five houses. Special thanks to Heidi Wyckoff for the use of the paintings of the 5 houses from the Oakland Landmarks book.

Need an easy to remember URL to let people know about the event? Use 5houses.ouroakland.net, which will lead people to this page. Questions? Email gene@ouroakland.net or call 510-394-2564.

Monday, September 10, 2012

urban paths: Rock and Walk II


Saturday was another Oakland Urban Paths walk focused on geology. Led by geology writer Andrew Alden, we explored part of the Hayward Fault in Eastmont Hills and the King Estates Open Space.

Thirty people and two dogs joined us for the short but vigorous walk which featured no stairs, only one improved walkway and lots of dirt paths. After climbing to the ridge, we walked into the nearby King Estates Open Space. The open space straddles the ridge, with views across I-580 to the hills and sweeping views out over the bay.

Andrew Alden

Andrew pointed out the approximate path of the fault, and noted features that indicate its presence. For example, the smaller ridges towards the west appear somewhat truncated. That's because the land to the west is moving northward relative to the main ridge. The Hayward fault is a strike-slip fault, which means most of the movement is horizontal. The movement over time is relatively small, so there aren't dramatic effects like those that can be seen in Parkfield, California. But if you know what to look for, you can see possible evidence of the ground moving.

Andrew adds: aseismic creep on the Hayward fault takes place at various rates between zero and 8-10 millimeters per year. Aseismic creep is measurable surface displacement along a fault in the absence of notable earthquakes, i.e., movement not from an earthquake. Less than 10 millimeters per year is a very small amount, but over a couple of years it is enough to crack pavement, twist doorways, etc.

We walked down the hill and past Holy Redeemer College to some of the streets off of Golf Links Road. While the cracks in the sidewalks, driveways and streets might be just from the hill sliding, given the proximity to the fault it seems likely some of it is from the movement along the fault. I also wondered about the two now empty lots above Golf Links—simple landslide, or caused by the fault? Regardless, the fault does present a significant risk in the event of an earthquake. These days, anyone who buys a house near a known fault line in California has to sign a special form saying they acknowledge the risk. And everyone who lives in earthquake country should be prepared with an emergency kit and a plan.

cracked sidewalk

We walked along several streets and back up over the ridge to our starting point. Along the way I chatted with a number of neighbors who wondered what the group was. Everyone I talked with was pleased to have the group exploring their neighborhood, and I was happy to learn about a group of neighbors that had recently cleaned up the one paved walkway we encountered along with the rest of the neighborhood.

Another fun, informative walk. Many thanks to Andrew for leading the walk and sharing his knowledge of geography. And thanks to everyone who joined us!

Lots more pictures:


Check out the USGS page on the Hayward Fault for some interesting maps.

Click here for a map of our route:

Friday, September 7, 2012

OHA: New Era, New Politics


Back in August was an Oakland Heritage Alliance tour that may sound familiar to those of you who have been on the city walking tours in Downtown. It's no coincidence, because New Era, New Politics started out as an OHA tour but is now done most often as a city walking tour. The tour was led by Cameron Wilson and the city walking tours director Annalee Allen.

I've been on the city walking tours version twice, once in 2011 and again back in February for Black History Month, so I was familiar with many of the people and places the tour covers, but I still learned some new things.

For example, I learned about Thomas L. Berkley, who the section of 20th Street between Broadway and San Pablo Avenue is named for. (How many times have you gone past those signs and wondered who Berkley was?) He was a remarkable man: a lawyer, an athlete, founder and publisher of the Oakland Post and other papers, real estate developer, and more. Of all those things, he's probably best known for being the first African American to serve as a Port of Oakland commissioner, and being instrumental in converting the port to a container port. Berkley died in 2001. Read more at the Strategic Urban Development Alliance website, and an obituary in the LA Times

More pictures from the tour:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

upcoming Oakland events

Way too much fun stuff to do in Oakland. Friday is a First Friday with Art Murmur and all the associated events. It just keeps growing; according to the East Bay Express, the city will officially be closing some streets in Uptown for Art Murmur.

City Center concerts - Wednesdays at noon. Free concerts in City Center each Wednesday through October. (free)

Great Wall of Oakland: "Homegrown" - Friday, September 7, 8pm. The Great Wall of Oakland is teaming up with Pandora to feature music and videos from local artists. (free)

Northern California Beer Dinner - Friday, September 7, 6-10pm. A benefit for St. Vincent de Paul's Kitchen of Champions program, featuring an array of Oakland restaurants and breweries. ($95)

Downtown walking tours - Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am. The walking tours program goes through the summer, rotating through the 8 different tours. They're a great way to get out and see Oakland and learn about its people and history. Coming up: Saturday, September 8 - City Center. (free)

PINCC Walk-a-thon - Saturday, September 8. Fourth annual walk-a-thon to raise money for Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer (PINCC). Read more at the Oakland Tribune.

Voter Basics: Your vote. Your voice. - Saturday, September 8, 10am. Voting for the first time can be a little intimidating. Learn the basics about voting, from Alameda Reads at the Alameda Free Library. Open to all Alameda County residents. (free)

Oakland Urban Paths - Rock and Walk II - Saturday, September 8, 10am. Join OUP and Andrew Alden to explore Oakland geology. A shorter but hilly walk in East Oakland, crossing the Hayward Fault and with views of the bay, the hills, and various fault-related features. (free)

Endless Canvas: Special Delivery art show - Saturday, September 8. Come check out a 36,000 sq. ft., 3 story warehouse covered in art! With live music.

ongoing events:

Bites off Broadway (Fridays)
Piedmont Avenue Art Walk (3rd Thursday)
Art Murmur (1st Friday)
Saturday Art Stroll (Saturdays)
Mt. View Cemetery Tours (2nd and 4th Saturdays)
OMCA Summer Nights (last Friday of the month)

looking further ahead:

The Art of Recycle at Gray Loft Gallery - Friday, September 14, 6-9pm. A new art show opening at the Gray Loft Gallery in Jingletown. (free)

Creek to Bay Day - Saturday, September 15, 9am-12pm. Come help up Oakland creeks and waterways, at over 27 locations throughout the city of Oakland. Read about last year's Creek to Bay Day. It's a fun, easy chance to help make Oakland better. (free)

4th Annual Volunteer Fair - Saturday, September 15, 1-3pm. Learn about different volunteer opportunities to help make Oakland better. (free)

Every Breath Counts - Wednesday. September 19, 8:30am. A benefit for the Northern California Breathmobile, which is designed to help kids with asthma: Asthma: Keeping Kids out of Hospital Emergency Departments and in School. ($150)

Oak Barrel Bash - Thursday, September 20, 6-8:30pm. Fundraiser for Rebuilding Together Oakland, with a raffle for great wine and other prizes. ($50-$70).

Park(ing) Day with WOBO - Friday, September 21. Park(ing) Day is a great celebration where unused street spaces and some parking spaces are converted into parklets for the day! Last year's Park(ing) Day was hella fun. A number of locations around Oakland are working towards permanent parklets. (free)

Eat Real Fest - Friday, September 21–Sunday, September 23. Fun-filled food fest in Jack London Square. Check out coverage of last year's Eat Real Fest.(free)

Oakland: The Story of a City at Linden Street Brewery - Saturday, Steptember 22, 5-7pm. The Oakland Heritage Alliance is hosting a reading to celebrate the publication of the 2nd edition. Books and beer will be available for purchase. (free)

Starlight Gala - Saturday, September 22 - Gala black tie fundraiser for the Chabot Space and Science Center ($500)

Dixieland Jazz at Pardee Home - Sunday, September 23 from 1-4pm. The historic Pardee Home hosts the "Spirit of '29 Dixieland Jazz Band". ($20).

Sundays in the Redwoods! - starting Sunday, September 23, 2pm. A concert series featuring a variety of musical groups at the Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park. ($10)

Farmigo Oakland Launch Party! - Tuesday, September 25m 6-9pm. La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen is going to be a pickup location for Farmigo, which connects people to local farms. Tina Tamale plans to celebrate in style! (free)

Five Historic Houses Bike Tour - Saturday, September 29. East Bay Bike Coalition tour of 5 historic Oakland houses by bicycle. (free)

Red Cross Out for Blood Fun Run - Sunday, September 30, 9am. A fun fundraiser for Northern California Red Cross blood services. Read about last year's fun run. ($25-$30)

Taste of Temescal - Tuesday, October 2, 6-8:30 pm. A culinary crawl to scintillate your palates: the Taste of Temescal on Telegraph Avenue between 43th and 51st. Benefits area schools and non-profits. ($30)

Oaktoberfest - Saturday, October 6, 11am-6pm. The annual festival in the Dimond. Although it's centered on the beer tent, there's lots of music, food and family-friendly events, too. Check out coverage of last year's Oaktoberfest.(free admission; beer tickets available for purchase)

HellaWeen Run - October 27, 5:30pm - 5 mile evening fun run in Old Oakland and West Oakland. Come out and show your creative side with a costume! Put on by the Oakland Running Festival. ($31+)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

signs: Pharmaca


Anew sign, but a nice design and interesting because it uses green, which is a less common color for neon. This Pharmaca is on College Avenue next to the Trader Joe's, but there are other Pharmaca branches around the bay. They also have a nice open sign and window-mounted Rx sign.

The Rx symbol is an abbreviation from the Latin "recipere", and means "take...". Or it's a form of the Eye of Horus, an Egyptian god, and which was worn on amulets to help ensure good health. Either way, the symbol has long been associated with prescriptions.