Lots of holiday events this weekend, including the annual Jingletown art walk, the Christmas tree lighting in Jack London Square, the Skate and Stroll in Temescal, and more. Hopefully the weather will be good!
Bulky Waste Dropoff - Saturday, December 1, 9am-noon. The Free Bulky-Item Drop Off at the Waste Management Davis Street Transfer Station on 2615 Davis Street in San Leandro. Proof of Oakland residency is required. (free)
Jingletown Art Walk - Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, 11am-6pm. The annual art walk in Jingletown features the works of numerous Oakland artists. Read more at Oakland Local. (free)
Great Wall of Oakland - Friday, December 7, 6-11pm. The Great Wall of Oakland will present a digital holiday extravaganza, "Oakland: Home for the Holidays" as part of Oakland's Art Murmur. In addition to hosting the first Digital Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Wall will present holiday-inspired short films and multi-language/cultural holiday cards created by children from the Oakland YMCA. (free)
Urban Legend Wine Cellars Tour with OHA - Saturday, December 8, 10am-noon. Meet Urban Legend Cellars owner, Steve Shaffer, who will speak about the appeal of locating his winery in one of Oakland's historic industrial spaces. Ed Fernandez, the architect who designed the warehouse renovation, will talk about the unique challenges and opportunities offered by this adaptive use project. Includes wine tasting. ($20-$25)
Instead of buying anything, K and I celebrated the day after Thanksgiving with a walk along the Lake Merritt channel and the Jack London waterfront. It was a much more pleasant way to spend the day than fighting crowds and buying stuff we don't need.
We started by exploring along the Lake Merritt channel near Laney College. Lots of football fans were in the stadium, watching MyClymonds beat Oakland Tech in the Silver Bowl. There were tons of birds in and around the channel, including a pelican, a red-tailed hawk, grebes, and lots of coots and seagulls.
Then we headed over to the estuary, and walked as far north as the Lightship Relief. On the way back, there was a Coast Guard cutter following two pilot craft out towards the bay. There were lots of people out for leisurely walks and bike rides, and quite a few stopping for refreshments at Pearl's Jam House or Heinhold's. Another beautiful day in Oakland!
Happy Thanksgiving, Oakland! The big event this week is Plaid Friday, the shop-local alternative to the insanity of Black Friday. Shop local and help keep Oakland in the Black! It's also the final weekend of Peralta Junction; next Friday is their closing party.
Plaid Friday - Friday, November 23. Shop local! It's always a good idea to shop local, but on Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, you can join others in supporting local businesses. Some will have specials for folks wearing plaid, so break out the tartan! Participants include Sarah Swell Jewelry and Crown Nine Read more and see more participants at Oaklandish.
The other weekend when K and I walked around Lake Merritt instead of doing all the other things we could have done, we started our walk with lunch at Los Cantaros on Grand Avenue across from the corner of Lakeside Park.
I'd never eaten there, so it was a nice chance to try it. K had tamales, which were good, though not up to the level of Tina Tamale's creations. But my vegetable burrito was awesome. The vegetables were sliced and sauteed, and there was healthy dollop of sour cream (I opted for that instead of guacamole). Plus they had TVs showing various NFL games. In short, good food, good atmosphere, and I'd go again.
Ididn't go on the most recent Oakland Urban Paths walk earlier this month, but there's a nice write-up of the Rockridge Ramble by OUP founder Paul Rosenbloom.
I did do the test walk with Paul, where we noted the non-matching sidewalk stamps and street signs, at what is now the corner of Romany Road and Golden Gate Avenue. The names stamped in the sidewalk are McAdam St. and Hays Ave., and a nearby contractor stamp is dated 1913. But when were the streets first created? When did they change names?
Examining the great set of historic maps of Oakland at teczno.com, we can learn a few things. McAdam Street is on the 1877 map, and started at "Broadway Street" near where the Safeway is now, and went through land owned by H.P. Livermore. It's not clear how far the street actually went, since on the map the upper part is drawn as a perfectly straight line, which is unlikely given the hills.
Between 1877 and 1912, there was clearly a whole lot of building going on. The 1912 map shows McAdam Street with a different, curvier route, and Hays Avenue, along with a whole lot of other streets that weren't on the earlier map.
The 1936 map shows McAdam Street is now Broadway Terrace, and Hays Avenue is now Golden Gate Avenue. It's possible the labeling as Broadway Terrace is an error, because there's a road in the current location of Broadway Terrace on the map with no label on the nearby section. Finally, the 1950s map shows the present names, Romany Road and Golden Gate Avenue, as do the 1967 map and the current day maps.
Anew sign with a lovely retro style. Alas, it's probably just temporary, since it's for the Peralta Junction popup market and carnival in West Oakland. Note that they're closed tomorrow (Saturday), and open Sunday, weather permitting.
Humblebee Grocery Pop-Up Farmstand - Thursday, November 15, 4:30-7:30pm. Come for pink chioggia beets, pea shoots, apples from Sebastopol, pastured eggs, baby tokyo turnips, white necked leeks, shiitake mushrooms, sweet baby Carola potatoes and more!
Oakland in the Civil War - Saturday, November 17, 2:30-4:30pm. As part of the on-going national recognition of the Civil War's sesquicentennial, local history scholar, newspaperman and iconoclast Dennis Evanosky will host an afternoon salon to survey the contributions of Oakland and its residents to the abolition of slavery and the preservation of the union. At the Temescal library. (free)
Celebrate with Show & Tell - Saturday, November 17, 7-10pm. Join local shop Show & Tell in celebrating their 1st year in business, and the signing of a long-term lease. DJ with music, local food and drink, 30% off everything in the store, and more. (free)
screening of Redemption - Tuesday, November 20, 6:30-7:30pm. Redemption is the story of a marginal and gritty community of recyclers in Dogtown, one of the poorer neighborhoods of Oakland, California. Sample cut screening at the Golden Gate Library; other screenings to be added. (free)
Plaid Friday - Friday, November 23. Shop local! It's always a good idea to shop local, but on Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, you can join others in supporting local businesses. Some will have specials for folks wearing plaid, so break out the tartan! Participants include Sarah Swell Jewelry and Crown Nine.
Rockridge in the Snow - Saturday, November 24, 3-6pm. Join Rockridge merchants in celebrating the season, featuring a children's play area with snow. (free)
History Cafe at Peralta Hacienda - Wednesday, November 28, 6-7:30pm. This month's history cafe at the historic Peralta Hacienda will focus on the military service of Luis Peralta. (free)
Earlier this month dozens of people (and quite a few dogs) gathered to celebrate the completion of the new 40th Street parklet outside Manifesto Bicycles and Subrosa Coffee. It's the second permanent parklet in Oakland, and won't be the last.
The guests included mayor Jean Quan, and the designer of the parklet, landscape architect Andrea Gaffney. The construction of the parklet was funded by a Kickstarter project, and many of the guests were contributors. The parklet includes bike racks, planters and lots of seating. It uses reclaimed wood for parts, and the center piece is a large tree branch. It can be used as additional seating, but seemed to get the most use from kids who thought it was fun to climb on. It's a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. Stop by for some coffee at Subrosa or while your bike is being serviced at Manifesto and check it out.
Despite all the great things to do this week in Oakland, I didn't do any of them. Not the Cracking the Code screening, not the symphony, not the Oakland Urban Paths walk, none of it. I've been busy with work and starting to come down with something, so I skipped all those things. Instead, after a quiet couple of days (except the work parts), K and I went to church, then had some lunch, and took a leisurely walk through the gardens at Lake Merritt and then around the lake. And while I missed doing all those other things, somethings the simple things are enough.
The Oakland 12th Street Project blog is coming to an end soon. The blog has been carefully following the progress of the 12th Street project, which is getting rid of "world's shortest freeway" and widening the opening between Lake Merritt and the estuary. The good news is that the 12th Street work is nearing completion. The bad news is that the writer and photographer behind the blog, Erik Niemann, has moved from Oakland to Sacramento.
Erik started documenting the project at the May 6, 2010 groundbreaking, and started the blog not long after. Although he's received a small stipend for some special projects (e.g., documenting the construction of the new marsh), he's mostly done this task for over two years because he wants to. In fact, he delayed his move to Sacramento to continue the documentation. Now that's dedication.
That amazing dedication was celebrated at a reception Erik hosted in the 11th-story apartment where he lived until recently and where he took many of his photos from. Pat Kernighan presented Erik with a commendation from the Oakland city council thanking him for his work. Guests enjoyed the view, and took in some of the more than 22,000 pictures he's taken to document the progress.
The time lapse below shows the progress from the beginning of 2011 through March of this year:
Erik is working on a new time lapse sequence which shows all the progress so far. But there are many notable individual photos, like this "before" photo:
which shows 12th Street with the configuration it's had since the 1950s: 12 lanes of traffic, a mess of connectors and crazy merges, and a very narrow opening between Lake Merritt and the estuary. Compare that with the last shot Erik took from his apartment:
which shows a much saner 6 lanes of traffic, bike lanes, fewer connectors, a separated pedestrian and bike path, lots more open and green space, plus the wider opening from the lake.
Although Erik and his wife have moved to Sacramento, Erik will be making a few return trips to continue documenting the progress. Erik is also a painter and photographer, and you can view an exhibit of his work at EBMUD headquarters on 11th Street. The exhibition runs until December 20th. So long, and thanks for all the great photos, Erik!
As usual, more fun and interesting things to do in Oakland than there is time to do them all. Pop-ups, art, music, an OUP walk, eating for a cause, and more. Hmm...might be a good idea to do both the walk and the eating to offset each other.
Oakland Wiki Bikeabout - Saturday, November 10, 11am. The OaklandWiki folks will be cycling about Oakland to catalog some of Oakland's murals.
Kinetic Steam Works - Roll Out Festival - Saturday, November 10, noon-10pm. Kinetic Steam Works' Roll Out Festival features steam-powered machines, art performances and more. A fun way for the whole family to learn about steam engines. ($5-$10 suggested donation)
Mousetrap and Music - Saturday, November 10, 12-10pm. Premiere of the life-sized mousetrap and live music at Peralta Junction. The mousetrap is scheduled to run at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm. (free)
Firefighters Weekend at Fentons - November 10-11, noon-4pm. Fenton's special sundae this month is the Firefighter Sundae, benefiting Oakland Firefighters Random Acts. For some special fun, join them for the sundae-building contest this weekend, which will pit 3 Oakland firefighters against 3 Berkeley firefighters. It's also the kick-off the annual toy drive.
Biketopia - Friday, November 16, 5:30-9:30pm. Join the East Bay Bicycle Coalition in celebrating 40 years of bicycle advocacy. Food, beer, music, a silent auction, and more. ($15+)
Plaid Friday - Friday, November 23. Shop local! It's always a good idea to shop local, but on Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, you can join others in supporting local businesses. Some will have specials for folks wearing plaid, so break out the tartan!
Given my involvement with Oakland Urban Paths, it's probably no great surprise that yesterday after church and some lunch, I rode over to Lakeshore to join other volunteers in cleaning up some stairs. The group is Oakland Pathways Volunteers, and was started by a guy named Howard who leads walks all around the Bay Area. After seeing the condition some of the stairs and pathways around Oakland are in, he was inspired to spend some tine and energy making them better.
Today we met up and worked on some stairs off of Balfour in Crocker Highlands that I've been on several times before. Once with OUP on the Lakeshore to Park Blvd. walk, and other time with Oakland Heritage Alliance on the Oakland's Walkways and Streetcar Heritage walk. It wasn't the first time the group has worked on the stairs, and they're in much better shape than they were in January. The set of stairs below these are in good shape, largely because the neighbors take care of them. While this set is now fairly clean, they need serious structural work to make them easily passable again.
West Oakland has joined in with the pop-up market fun that has appeared elsewhere in Oakland. There are art and clothing vendors, home-made carnival games, a stage for live music, and a rotating series of food trucks. Stop by and check out Peralta Junction. They're open weekends through December 15th, with Thursday movie nights, a variety of special events, and lots of fun for all ages.
It's a First Friday, so the ever-growing Art Murmur and other First Friday events are on, plus a variety of other fall fun and fundraising. Peralta Junction has events all weekend. And don't forget to vote on Tuesday!
Humblebee Grocery Pop-Up Farmstand - Thursday, November 1, 4:30-7:30pm. Come for wild nettles, sunshine kabocha squash, apples from Sebastopol, leafy dinosaur kale, brown crimini mushrooms, whole fennel, rainbow bunches of carrots and more!
Day of the Dead in North Oakland - Thursday, November 1, 5-8pm. Come and remember the dead with a blend of old traditions and new. Processions ending at Dover Park, altar-building, and a candlelight dinner. Read more at Oakland Local.
#exhibitoakland photos - Friday, November 2, 6-9pm. See the winners from the #exhibitoakland photo contest, featuring photos from around our favorite city. (free)
ribbon cutting for 40th St. parklet - Saturday, November 3, 2-5pm. Join Manifesto Bikes and Subrosa Coffee to celebrate the opening of the new 40th Street Parklet. There will be food, drink, a raffle, and more. (free)
Oakland in Popular Memory reading - Saturday, November 3, 3-4pm. Join Oakland author Matt Werner for a reading from his book, Oakland in Popular Memory. There will also be a Q&A and book signing. In conjunction with Art Murmur's Saturday Stroll (free)
Ghost Investigation at Pardee Home Museum - Saturday, November 3, 7pm-midnight. Professional ghost investigator and author Karen Zimmerman and her staff will lead a series of searches for evidence of spirits within the Pardee Home Museum. ($50)
VOTE! - Tuesday. If you do nothing else Tuesday vote! Inform yourself about the issues, and make your voice heard.
Vegetarian Feast and Popup Market - Tuesday, November 6, 6-9pm. Join Kitchner Oakland for a vegetarian feast and popup market, and watch the election results. Vendors include Muffin Revolution, Barbarian Gourmet, Sunny Side Catering, Picnic Bakery, Javi's Empanadas and more. And watch the election results roll in!