SPLASH PAD PARK’s TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Richard Young is a Lakeshore Avenue neighbor; long-time Splash Pad supporter and one of the many superb local musicians who performed at the park’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. If you’d like another small taste of the music from the 10th Anniversary stage, here’s a short video of Richard singing the blues. Posted below, is his comment on Facebook regarding what he had to do to get in the proper frame of mind:
At the risk of employing one of the most tortured segues in the history of contemporary journalism, let me add that I currently have two very large boxes sitting in my living room that are filled to overflowing with unsold, 10th Anniversary t-shirts. Fortunately, I’ve yet to stub my toes on the boxes – but nonetheless, they are giving me the blues. You can cheer me up while simultaneously helping close the deficit from our October 20th event by purchasing one or more t-shirts. At $10, they’re a huge bargain and the perfect stocking-stuffer.
If you’re interested, send an email to email@example.com and I can arrange pick up or delivery. I’ll also have t-shirts available next weekend on two occasions. On Saturday (the 7th), at Urban Furniture’s artisan bazaar – the details of which are posted below under Grand Avenue businesses.
On Sunday (the 8th), t-shirts will also be available at an exclusive preview for newsletter subscribers of the second in a series of garage sales I’m planning as I liquidate all the remaining inventory from my antiques business. This sale is mainly vintage glass and china but also an assortment of collectibles. Buy a Splash Pad t-shirt, and you’ll earn a 10% discount on any other purchases plus 10% of all my sales will be donated to the Splash Pad account. Our garage is on Rosal between Lakeshore and Balfour. Hours are 10-4.
GRAND AVENUE MERCHANT NEWS
In last month’s newsletter, I wrote that Penrose and Sons would be opening November 15th. In reality, the soft opening was a week late – but considering how gorgeous the result is (inside and out) no one is complaining. Renamed simply “Penrose”, it’s been the subject of several articles including this comprehensive blog post that Dixie Jordan (the Piedmont Patch Editor) brought to my attention. Accompanied by fifteen photos, it’s full of tons of inside information.
None of that info is, however, as tantalizing as one paragraph in an article about Charlie Hallowell in this month’s Oakland Magazine. The author (Blair Jackson) writes that:
Penrose was still a work-in-progress when we spoke in late August, yet Hallowell was already looking down the road at other projects still fermenting in his very active mind. He’d love to open “a green grocer and a butcher shop. He and a partner have been discussing a plan to open another smaller, more specialized space (sorry, no spoilers) close by on Grand Avenue.
Angela Woodall, in an Oakland Tribune article, also mentions the possibility that Hallowell will be opening a butcher shop nearby and, in the process, notes that this would belatedly fulfill the expectations generated by the GLRAG survey in 2008. Woodall’s report covers Lakeshore as well and is part of a new series she will be doing on the Oakland business scene.
In what is surely an embarrassment of riches, the November issue of Oakland Magazine also includes an article by Ethan Fletcher trumpeting the revival of this stretch of Grand Avenue – the very same theme I’ve been echoing for the last several years. I was pleased to see that Monkey Forest Road received prominent mention.
Improvements are just beginning to the space that was vacated by Day of the Dead Cafe but I haven’t any details regarding their timeline – but I do understand that plans are for a cafe with a fairly limited menu.
Next door, Peter Brady is also doing some work on the interior and expects to reopen the historic Grand Lake Smoke Shop fairly soon. Focus will be mainly on cigars and other tobacco products.
If you’re not already aware of this, to encourage shopping in Oakland, the city is offering free parking on Saturdays through the end of the month. Via the Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA), here are the details. FYI: This applies equally to Lakeshore Avenue and the parking lot under the freeway.
As part of an ongoing promotion, Ordinaire will be serving oysters and champagne on Sunday, December 8th from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Backstock Gallery at Oak Common will be hosting an opening reception from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 14th for “Petite Sensations, Works by Terri Loewenthal”. A selection of her photographs are available on Terri’s website.
In a few short months, Holly Schneider at Studio Grand has given the entertainment scene on Grand Avenue a huge boost. The kids’ flamenco dance classes led by La Tania are fully booked and, in addition to their participation in First Thursdays, they have five events scheduled prior to Christmas:
- An Artists Bazaar from 11:00 – 3:00 p.m. on December 7th
- Live jazz with Aram Shelton’s, Ton Trio II on December 12th beginning at 9:30 p.m.
- “Lucky Art Day” on December 19th beginning at 9:30 p.m. Participants include THE John Santos and La Tania Baile Flamenco
- DON’T SHOP SWAP! A clothing, book and toy swap on December 14th from 11:00 a.m. – 3:oo p.m.
- An a capella performance by vocalist, Antique beginning at 9:30 p.m. on December 19th.
For more details, visit the Studio Grand web site.
Across the street, on Saturday, December 7th from 10:00 – 6:00, Urban Furniture will be unveiling a large, recently-donated collection of vintage clothing from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. They will also doing a mini-crafts fair the same day. I’m one of six artisans who will be participating and chances are, I’m the only one who will be be selling vintage items. These are remnants of my abbreviated career as a woodworker specializing in kitchen and bath accessories. I’ll be offering a few odds and ends – but it’s mostly doll house miniatures plus refrigerator magnets that I used to wholesale to Muir Woods.
Editors note: This list of participating artisans was added December 3rd.
- Craig Baxter (whose screen prints are currently on exhibit at Urban Furniture) will be bringing t-shirts and refrigerator magnets with images from his matchbook collection
- Zhenne Woods – Hand-sewn dolls and fabric “pastries”
- Ellen Christensen – wreaths, sachets, soaps, lotions, greeting cards
- Jessica Pietroski – Hand made baby goods including blankets, toys, etc.
- Abel Morales – Laser cut jewelry and knick-knacks
A percentage of all sales helps support the wonderful services that are provided to single mothers by Urban University.
The Star on Grand is offering Happy Hour pricing on drinks ALL DAY – EVERYDAY until Christmas Eve!
FIRST THURSDAYS ON GRAND
Nine Grand Avenue businesses will be providing gallery space for the December 5th edition of The First Thursdays art walk from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Details for each gallery at press time are listed below. A printable list of galleries and businesses offering special discounts (when you have your hand stamped at a participating gallery is available HERE.
- Studio Grand will be hosting an opening night reception for “Urban Angels” – an exhibit of drawings by Adrian Arias who, in addition to greeting visitors, will also be drawing on site.
- Jaujou Studio will be hosting the opening of a show featuring the photographs of Rachel Escoto Pixelina. Treats will be served along with a 15% discount on all merchandise.
- Better Homes and Gardens will be hosting “Illuminating Moments” – a retrospective exhibit of nature photography by the late Don Hazen – curated by his wife, Mollie. Refreshments will be served.
- Panorama Framing‘s exhibit of “Lines” – large-format photographs by Shane Gidcumb continues through the month of December. A preview of the artist’s work is posted on the Panorama web site.
- Galleria Scola will be featuring new assemblages by gallery owner, Elida Scola. Snacks will be served along with your choice of wine or rum and cokes.
- Rebooty will again be featuring the wonderfully whimsical lamps created by 4 F Lighting’s Leslie Tilley who works magic using recycled objects. Also on display (and for sale) a new batch of elaborate shadow boxes from the P. K. Spikes’ workshop. Sangria and snacks will be served.
- Kingman’s Lucky Lounge is featuring artwork by Sylvester Guard Jr. and Brandon Hurley. From 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., art walk participants are treated to half-price beers, wine and well drinks.
- Urban Furniture’s exhibit of screen prints by Craig Baxter (mostly depicting vintage neon signs here in Oakland) continues through the month of December. Between 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on December 5th, you can meet the artist; partake of refreshments and take advantage of a 15% discount on all merchandise in the store and boutique.
- A group show at Backstock Gallery called “modest process. irregular atmosphere considered” continues through December 13th. Details are posted on their Facebook event page.
LAKESHORE AND LAKE PARK AVENUE MERCHANT NEWS
Pamela Drake, the Director of the Lakeshore Business Improvement District, has not yet completed this month’s blog. Once it’s in my hands, I’ll update the Splash Pad web page. Meanwhile, let me personally welcome Marcia Lam back to Lin Jia after several weeks out on maternity leave. She and John are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter they’ve named Chloe Rain.
I also just talked to Maurice at Mezze. He expects to remain open until December 18th or 19th. Periodically, check out his website for news about entertainment and specials on menu items and high end wines.
GRAND AVENUE — WEST OF 580
Music for December includes:
- December 7th: Singer/Songwriter and farmers market habitue, David Gans
- December 14th: Tom Duarte
- December 21st: Steven Gary
- December 28th: KC Jiang
Helen Krayenhoff, one-half of the dynamic duo that operates Kassenhoff Growers, is a fabulous artist who specializes in watercolors depicting flowers and veggies. Her 2013 Holiday Gift Collection is available online. She and Peggy are also looking for volunteers to help disassemble their growing space in Alameda. If you’re available on December 7th and/or 8th, email them for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ODDS AND ENDS
While most of our readership may be thinking about Christmas trees, I’m looking at Hanukkah’s ending in three days — two weeks before it typically starts and I’m, instead obsessing about city-owned trees. The huge Eucalyptus that fell next to the Lake Chalet has received lots of press but I’ve heard hardly any mention of the street trees we’ve lost adjacent to the Splash Pad.
Three recently planted street trees on Lakeshore and Lake Park have fallen in the past month. One of these was on the corner of Lakeshore in front of the 76 gas station and the tree right next to it is currently leaning precipitously. In addition, the trunks on at least three other trees have snapped. I’m blaming this on contractors for the Lakeshore Complete Streets Improvement Project under the assumption the root balls weren’t planted deep enough; the back fill soil wasn’t compacted sufficiently; and the trees weren’t staked adequately. You can support my request to get these trees replaced and adequately staked by casting your vote online.
In addition, a complaint that I filed on June 26th about a Queen Palm on the Lake Park median that was destroyed by a car that went out of control is not yet resolved. I insisted that the city should have dinged the driver’s insurance for the replacement costs which can be substantial. One other palm on this median had been similarly destroyed earlier and this week, a third Queen Palm that had been severely damaged by a car that jumped the curb snapped off in the windstorm revealing a trunk that was rotted out.
This is an ongoing issue with the Lake Park median. Of the nine palms that were planted ten years ago, three are gone and at least two others were damaged in car accidents. The City’s Traffic Engineers should be looking at ways to slow down traffic and the City Administrator’s office should be ensuring that such damage is reported and the parties responsible are held liable for damages. There are already forty-nine votes to address this problem. You can add your vote on this issue HERE:
If you shop the farmers market regularly, chances are that you caught Oakland School for the Arts’ a capella group, Vocal Rush raising funds last year for a trip to New York where they won the International High School a capella championship.
The big news this year is that they were selected as one of ten a capella groups competing in the 4th season of “The Sing Off”. The first broadcast begins December 9th. We should all be proud to have such a wonderful group of kids representing Oakland on a national stage. Congratulations and best wishes. Details are HERE.
- Every Thursday, 7:30 – 10:00 pm: Jim Grantham’s Jazz Quartet at Monkey Forest Road.
- Thursday, December 5, 6:00 – 9:00 pm: Grand Avenue First Thursdays
- Friday, December 6, 5:00 – 9:00 pm: First Friday Art Murmur
- Saturday, December 7, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm: Artists’ Bazaar at Studio Grand
- Saturday, December 7, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm : Artists’ Bazaar at Urban Furniture
- Sunday, December 12, 9:30 pm: Live jazz with Aram Shelton’s Ton Trio II at Studio Grand
- Monday, December 13, 9:30 pm: “Lucky Art Day” at Studio Grand with John Santos, La Tania Baile Flamenco, Adrian Arias and more
- Tuesday, December 14, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm: DON’T SHOP, SWAP! Clothing, book and toy swap at Studio Grand
- Sunday, December 19, 9:30 pm: Antique Music, a capella at Studio Grand
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