Did you know that the City of Oakland has a Film Office whose website claims that “More and more, the film and television industries are deciding that Oakland is the right place for them”? Judging by what we’ve been seeing with our own eyes, that’s not an idle claim. A couple of weeks ago, a film crew was shooting in front of the apartment building at the corner of Lakeshore and Santa Ray. According to one of the crew members, the film is set in Oakland and New York and is based on a graphic novel titled, Shortcomings. A month before, there was another crew shooting at a duplex a couple of blocks farther up the hill, but we don’t have a clue as to what or why.
In May, we shared a link to a sneak preview of a second novel by neighborhood resident Charlie Haas, which is summarized as follows:
Sunland is about the brief desert flowering of a group of German artists, musicians, and free spirits who voyage to Southern California–“the America of America”–in 1914 to start the world over. They’re fleeing cops, city life, sexual norms, the oncoming world war, and the Internet of their time–the telegraph, telephone, and movies–in favor of naked farming, altruism, and wild new music. The main characters, a family of four who abandon Berlin in hope of a saner life–middling violinist-dreamer Anna, factory worker Gerhard, prototypical flower child Lilli, and budding tech futurist Benjy–branch out from the fields of San Bernardino to the real estate tracts of burgeoning L.A., at once wrestling with and setting in motion the longings and questions that have beguiled and bedeviled every American generation since.
Although it’s not yet in print, you can listen to Charlie reading the story aloud, chapter by chapter compliments of Alan Rifkin. The first five of twelve episodes are currently available on this link.
Long-time Grand Lake resident Stephen Duffy (of Mr. D’s Music Club fame) alerted us to their new 12-week after-school “Creative Spaces” program featuring Singing, Music, Art, Dance and Acting for kids of all abilities ages 8-12. It just started yesterday but spaces are still available until September 20 pro-rated. All children will get an introduction to the performing arts in a low-key, super fun environment. The program is fully immersive and features professional teaching artists, special guests, music appreciation and more. Use this coupon at checkout: NextdoorCS2022 and save $100.
This is old news that you may or may not be aware of: the Bank of the West was purchased in December by the Bank of Montreal for $16.3 billion–just a drop in the bucket compared to Amazon’s purchase of One Medical for $3.9 billion.
If you have a lawn and a single-family home, EBMUD is now offering a rebate of up $2,000 for a lawn conversion. Full details are on this link.
To support businesses and make parking easier for drivers in the Grand Lake area, OakDOT has lowered the price of parking to $1/hour on weekdays only in the Lake Park and Walker Avenue lots. This in keeping with the city’s Variable Parking Rate program that tries to maximize utilization of available parking spaces while still ensuring that there’s sufficient turnover. If the $1/hour rate doesn’t achieve that goal, look for further reductions in the future. As another option, monthly parking is available for $90/month under the freeway. You can email City of Oakland Parking Partners for more information at email@example.com.