Editor’s Note: A hearty welcome to all our new subscribers – more than twenty in the past month.
Collected at Four 32 (432 Santa Clara Avenue) is set to open on Tuesday, September 10. The owner, Anthony Bennett, has over twenty-five years of experience selling antiques and conducting estate sales. According to Anthony, his new shop will also offer consignment and estate sale services in a setting much like a cozy home environment. Their inventory will include antique furniture, Japanese scrolls, Russian hand-painted lacquer boxes, nostalgic housewares from the mid-century, collectibles, books, and more. One of the main attractions will be a permanent exhibit dedicated to the late Lewis Mahlmann, the Master Puppeteer for Fairyland for many decades. Paintings by Mahlmann’s friend David Jones will also be available for purchase.
Hours are Tuesday thru Friday, 11:30 am-5:30 pm and Saturday 11:30 am-4:30 pm, closed Sunday and Monday.
Doing my monthly walking tour of Grand Avenue on Friday, I spotted a Transfer of Ownership notice in the front window of Grand Tavern. Saturday, I spoke with Dolores Fatima Amir, who confirmed that the business (which was launched in 2009) had been sold and the change of ownership would be final on September 13. She also indicated that the name will be changed to Grand Avenue Social Club – reflecting the new owner’s desire to create more of a community gathering space that will regularly feature trivia contests, karaoke, and similar activities.
When I asked about current owner Temoor Noor’s plans for the future, Dolores explained that she and her husband were Temoor’s uncle and aunt and they had actually purchased the business from him a full two years ago. This was yet another indication that the guy who is supposed to be keeping tabs on Grand Avenue (namely me) needs more eyes and ears on the ground. Please do mail us any and all news tips. You’ll be richly rewarded by having your name in “print.”
Friday afternoon I also introduced myself to Alexa Paeglow, the Asst. General Manager at The Star on Grand. Alexa says that their September Special will be (ready for this?) “BLACK & BLUE,”a thin-crust pizza that includes bacon, ground beef, red onion, black pepper, blackberry preserves, and blue cheese.
Alexa also noted that they are beginning to gear up for the holiday season and are now taking reservations for holiday parties in their private dining room, which can seat up to forty people. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For catering services, you can email email@example.com.
Galleria Scola is the place to be on Thursday, September 19 as owner Elida Scola is throwing a party (to which you’re invited) featuring Jean Fineberg & The Party Monsters. It’s her way of saying “Thank You” to her Grand Lake neighbors for thirty years of support. Complimentary beverages and small bites will be served.
Alchemy Bottle Shop has a very full calendar of events in September. Next week’s regularly scheduled Saturday tasting on September 7, from 2 – 5 pm, will feature Chareau Aloe Liqueur infused with muskmelon, cucumber, lemon peel, spearmint, and more. On the 21st they’ll be celebrating Oakland Cocktail Week and on the 26th they’ll have a Portuguese Wine Class in the upstairs gallery. Be forewarned that seating for classes are limited and regularly sell out.
Ordinaire will be celebrating their Sixth Anniversary (yes, time does fly when you’re having fun) on Monday, September 16, during which they’ll be pouring some very special wines by the glass. Saturday afternoon tastings featuring guest winemakers continue through the month from 1 – 5 pm.
LAKESHORE and LAKE PARK AVENUE
by Kira Pascoe
Labor Day ushers September in with a long relaxing weekend. Lakeshore is still buzzing with activity this weekend, making a local staycation delightful! However, on Labor Day, many (but not all) merchants will be closed.
Lots of news on Lakeshore including accolades Shakewell and the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center recently received, several merchants engaging and giving back to the Oakland community, upcoming events and workshops (that are filling up fast) and
Long Weekend Glimpse
Celebrate not having to work on Monday by saying hello and enjoying Lakeshore merchants, making it as fun a long weekend as ever! Lakeshore is buzzing this weekend, here is just a glimpse of some of the many places to go, experience and see:
THE 2019 EAST BAY EXPRESS “BEST OF” AWARDS
Last month, Kira scooped the Splash Pad News by listing the four winners from Lakeshore Avenue: Urban Indigo, Arizmendi, Caña and Bardo Lounge and Supper Club. She also listed two additional award winners associated with a much broader geographic reach. Namely, the Grand Lake Farmers Market and the Grand Lake District. The latter was named the “Best Neighborhood to Spend an Afternoon” – beating out heavy competition from Piedmont Avenue, Montclair, and Rockridge. Curiously enough, yesterday afternoon, I was in 510 Brand when I overheard two guys in their thirties comparing notes with two middle-aged women. “Didn’t we just see you at Oaktown Spice shop and also at…”. And everybody laughed – acknowledging that this is indeed the Best Neighborhood to Spend an Afternoon.
Other Grand Avenue winners (including our neighbors in Adams Point) are as follows:
Best Nail Salon – All About Nails
Most Affordable Antique Store – Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles
Best Breakfast/Brunch – Grand Lake Kitchen
Best Ethiopian/Eritrean Restaurant – Enssaro
Best Wine Bar Selection – Ordinaire
Best Place to Nurse a Hangover – The Grand Tavern
Several other EBX awards had special significance to those of us who live here in the neighborhood:
The Painting Our World Award – Stefen, whose murals in the Trader Joe’s and Walker Avenue parking lots brighten our days and evenings.
Freshest New Poet: Sixteen-year-old Samuel Getachew, Oakland’s 2019 youth poet laureate, about whom we waxed poetic in the July edition of the Splash Pad News where we shared this highly recommended 3-minute YouTube video . You might also be interested in the lengthy New York Times Opinion Piece that Samuel wrote – undoubtedly one of a very few teens who have that distinction.
Oldest School T-shirt Vendor Award – James (Old School) Copes, who has a history in the Grand Lake District that goes back several decades. For starters, he played serious tennis in the 1970s and, if I’m not mistaken, was an instructor at Davies Tennis Stadium. In the 1980’s, he went into the t-shirt business but was also an early entry in the market for name brand shoes and sports related clothing. According to this Local Wiki article, in 1990, his shop on Lakeshore Avenue was robbed once and burglarized eight times in just one year – driving him out of business and ultimately onto the street, where he’s been regularly selling and making friends in front of the Sprint store on Lake Park for the past several years.
This past week, Jim had great news to share. He’s about to move into a shop in Frank Ogawa Plaza AND on Sunday, September 29 at 3 pm, Mayor Libby Schaaf is going to read a proclamation declaring an “Old School Copes Day” More information is on his website and Facebook page.
SEPTEMBER LIBRARY EVENTS – QUILTS, TRAVEL, CHESS, MUSIC and MORE
by Sheila McCormick
At the Lakeview Branch: Starting September 7 (and through Oct 31), the African American Quilt Guild will have quilts on display; this year the theme is “Let’s Travel the World.” If you remember the impressive quilts displayed last year (photos above), on the theme of “Library/Reading,” you won’t want to miss this show.
Also on the travel theme, and also on September 7th, at 1 p.m., the Northern California Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino will present an overview and practical tips for hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
On September 21, come compete in (or just watch) the Fall Chess Tournament, sponsored by the Friends of the Lakeview Branch Library. Registration (11 am-noon) is free. Rounds start at 1, 2, and 3 pm. There are both non-rated and rated Rounds (US Chess Federation membership is required for the rated Rounds). Players will be grouped by age and/or experience. Time Control G/29 (Quick Chess). Pre-registration is encouraged: LakeviewChessClub@gmail.com or (510) 238-7344.
On September 28, at 2 pm, Cascada de Flores will perform traditional music and dance from Mexico and Central America. If you want a preview, check them out on YouTube.
Not in OUR neighborhood, but of interest to Oakland baseball fans. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Montclair Branch (1687 Mountain Blvd), authors Ken Korach (A’s radio broadcaster) and Susan Slusser (A’s reporter for the SF Chronicle) will discuss their book “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Oakland A’s Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box,” 6:30 pm-7:45 pm.
GRAND LAKE FARMERS MARKET
Andy Naja-Riese is one of many featured speakers at Futurewell – an all-day event that bills itself as a “Sustainability Meets Wellness Summit.” Location is the Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales. Date is September 6. A full access pass includes dinner curated by Alice Waters.
The Grand Lake Market needs additional volunteers. Since their efforts to clone Katie Derrig (the community volunteer who regularly works the information booth) have thus far proven unsuccessful, they’ve issued an appeal for additional volunteers to serve as market ambassadors and help support the Diggin’Education program. If you’re interested, you can contact Will Finnie at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the information booth, thank Katie for her years of volunteering, and tell her you’d like to follow her example.
The next Harvest Talk on September 14, at the Grand Lake Farmers Market, celebrates Back to School month! They’ll have an exciting lineup of speakers working in youth agricultural education, California school meals programs, and more. The Harvest Talk takes place on the Plaza starting at 10 AM, where you’ll hear directly from East Bay Healthy Schools and agricultural leaders.
A list of Grand Lake Farmers Market vendors is available at THIS LINK.
SPLASH PAD PARK
The Grand Crew’s volunteer work days are typically on the 4th Sunday of each month, but in order to avoid a conflict with a Grand Avenue clean-up event on the 22nd, organized by Eric Hughes’ Grand Lake Improvement group, it’s being postponed until the 29th. In addition to weeding, pruning, and cleaning, volunteers will likely install more bamboo fencing to protect the California native plant beds. Hours are 9 to Noon. Tools, gloves, and bottled water are provided.
In the past year or so, I’ve written repeatedly about Zach Kegle, the employee from Pestec who worked at Splash Pad Park on a weekly basis. In addition to implementing effective rodent control measures, Zach did a lot of extracurricular work – particularly in terms of helping Paschal with cash donations, bicycle repairs, and, most importantly, assistance in getting him off the street and into temporary housing. For whatever reasons, the City chose another vendor for their citywide pest-control contract – so, Zach, we thank you and and wish you well.
The new contractor is Oakland-based Omega Pest Control Company. On Thursday, I met their General Manager, Matthew Fisher, at Splash Pad and gave him some assistance in locating rat burrows – most of which are in the landscaped beds. For reference sake, Zach primarily used smoke bombs dropped down the burrows. Matt is doing much the same but using a machine designed specifically to generate smoke. In both cases, the carbon monoxide asphyxiates the rats and they die underground where they’re allowed to decompose. For the record, based on preliminary observations the smoke machine may turn out to be significantly more effective and, although we’ll miss Zach, Matt seems very knowledgeable and conscientious. I think we’ll survive the transition but, hopefully, the rats will not.
FIRST THURSDAYS and SATURDAYS ON GRAND
Please note: This month’s First Thursdays event falls on the 5th, but some of the galleries are now celebrating on Saturday instead. Please check the galleries individually for times and dates.
Panorama Framing will be hosting an Opening Night Reception on Saturday for a show of propaganda and political posters entitled “RE-ACTION” from “The Lighthouse Collection” owned and curated by Brook Turner. This is not just a reprise of the show last year that was very well received. The new show has all new materials with more diverse subject matter and will also include pieces from Europe. Hours for the reception are 6 – 8 pm, possibly a bit later, but the doors will be open for viewing throughout the day and for the next two months.
Urban Furniture and Boutique will be hosting an Opening Night Reception on Thursday evening from 6 – 9 pm for a new show of paintings and drawings by Bridget Star Harrison, an artist who specializes in the depiction of the human figure. Complimentary beverages and small bites will be served.
Jau Jou Studio has a lovely show of paintings by Fernanda Martinez – a Mexican artist based in Oakland. La Tinta, her personal brand, is best recognized for its highly expressive spirit; through her work with gouache and acrylic she explores the relation with the environment by incorporating nature elements as themes. The show is available for viewing whenever the salon is open, but hours vary.
510 Brand will be dedicating most of their wall space to artwork by Oakland Native Michael Johnson, but new works by Stitch and Shop Manager Natalina Simi will also be displayed. Thursday night from 6 – 10 pm, look for a nice spread with complimentary drinks, snacks, and a DJ. They should be open Saturday night until 10 pm.
My art explores the disconnect from the physical world caused by a deepening reliance on technology. Presently, the primary subjects of my paintings are abandoned and outdated technology: old TVs, circuit boards, recycling centers, junkyards, and cluttered storefronts.
Alchemy’s second-floor gallery is always open during regular hours, unless a class or other special event is scheduled.
The Libertine is continuing to feature Josh Stevenson’s nudes printed on aluminum that focus on the interplay between light and shadows.
ODDS & ENDS
There’s a recent Oakland History Facebook thread that was sparked by the above postcard image of the Morcom Rose Garden as it appeared in 1934. One of the highlights, for me, was finding out that retired Parks Supervisor Dave Skinner was the Head Rosarian at Morcom for twelve years. I was even more delighted when someone reminisced that her father went to the Rose Garden in 1990 and asked for roses to present to Mother Theresa, who was visiting an AIDS hospital wing. Dave Skinner promptly replied that he remembered that day. Shortly thereafter, Tora Rocha, another more recently retired Parks Supervisor, added that she and David both assembled the bouquet.
A majority of the other comments on this thread are from people who were married in the garden and/or had wedding photos taken there – which won’t come as a surprise to anybody who spends time at the gardens. You will, however, likely be surprised (and hopefully amused) when you hear that someone commented that she was conceived there.
The “Tacos and Flowers” event at Brother & Sisters Flower Shop at Grand Fare raised the garden party concept to a brand new level – not to mention that the tacos were great and the chicken tamales even better. I’m predicting an encore sometime very, very soon.
Holly Schneider, Studio Grand’s founder and the key to their initial success during the year that she shepherded programming, passed away far too early. A week or two ago, I happened across this wonderful tribute that I highly recommend. And as a further indication of her dedication and indomitable spirit, I’m sharing the above photo that I took just a few weeks before Holly was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. I asked her to pose next to the piano that she purchased from Uhuru Furniture. Earlier that day, I’d seen her and Joel Hamburger, then the Uhuru Manager, pushing it four blocks down the sidewalk and crossing two intersections in the process.
Speaking of Studio Grand, I never received a reply regarding the possibility of future concerts and events at what is now the Young Women’s Freedom Center. But since the Oakland Freedom Jazz Society (a long-time element in their programming) is now performing every Monday night at the Pro Arts Gallery across the plaza from City Hall, I’m guessing that Holly may have to live on in our hearts.
A week ago, I was skimming through my Flickr photo account and came across these two photos that I took at the Farmers Market in 2009. I was, at the time, hugely impressed by this young ladies artistic sensibility and, ten years later, am more than a little curious as to whether or not she has pursued art as a possible career or as an avocation.
Keep Oakland Beautiful (KOB) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit partner organization that works with the City of Oakland to support a clean, green, and litter-free city. One of their many activities includes funding of special projects. Splash Pad Park has at least twice received funding that allowed Splash Pad’s Grand Crew to significantly increase the size of the California Native Garden. We also have funding in hand for signage and plant identification tags that should be installed in the near future. KOB is currently recruiting new volunteer Board members effective January, 2020. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved and give back to the city that we love – but that unfortunately needs some additional TLC. More information about the board responsibilities and the application process is posted HERE.
MARCH WITH US IN THE OAKLAND PRIDE PARADE SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH
The Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 10 at the FM Smith Recreation Center (1969 Park Blvd @ Newton Ave), from 7-8:30 pm. The agenda includes: approval of revisions to by-laws, discussion of community concerns by staff from councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas’s office, voting on priorities suggested by community at the last meeting, and an update from Justin Hu-Nguyen, Community Affairs Coordinator for Ford GoBike/Lyft, on adding a bike share station.
The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center will be marching in the upcoming Oakland Pride Parade on Sunday, September 8th and they’d welcome additional marchers. Please email email@example.com to sign up.
The Grand Lake Neighbors Crime Prevention Council next meets on September 18 at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church from 7 – 8:30.
On September 21, the City of Oakland celebrates Creek to Bay Day with a friendly competition with our neighbors across the Bay to determine which city’s volunteers can stage the biggest, best, and most impactful cleanups. Projects include trash removal, habitat restoration, tree planting and maintenance, and beautification. All tools are provided. Help keep our cities and Bay clean, healthy, and beautiful!
The Grand Lake Neighbors group, spearheaded by Eric Hughes, will be observing Creek to Bay Day, a day late to avoid the pedestrian and vehicular crunch on Saturdays. Eric is inviting volunteers to meet at the entrance to the Walker Avenue parking lot (next to Ikaros) at 9 am.
The hugely successful Autumn Lights Festival returns to the Gardens of Lake Merritt Thursday, October 17, through Saturday, October 19.
- First Thursdays on Grand Art Walk – Thursday, September 5 and Saturday, September 7, 6 – 8 pm
- Oakland Pride Parade – Sunday, September 8
- Harvest Talk at Farmers Market – September 14, 10 – 11 am
- Creek to Bay Day – Saturday September 21, 9 am – Noon
- Grand Avenue Clean-up – organized by Eric Hughes, Sunday, September 22, 9 am – Noon
- Alyce on Grand Neutral Ground Pop-Up – Thursday, September 26, 2 – 6 pm
- Splash Pad Volunteer Work Day – Sunday, September 29, 9 am – Noon
- Autumn Lights Festival – October 17 through October 19
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