Splash Pad News – March 2021

Editor’s Note: A special thank you to Lisa Ray, Director of the Lakeshore Homes Association, for passing along our appeal last month for new subscribers. We extend a big welcome to our twenty new mailing-list members! We’d also like to acknowledge that in these turbulent times, there’s an awful lot of news to process with limited time available. If, however, you passed on reading our February issue, we highly recommend  C. J. Hirschfield’s profile of Daniel Galvez, the artist who (along with Keith Sklar) is mostly responsible for the Grand Performance mural on the freeway underpass. Currently, he’s working on a mural in the Washington State Supreme Court Building that doesn’t shy away from documenting historical judicial travesties. 

East Side Sushi on Netflix
by C. J. Hirschfield – A Little Film Shot on Grand Avenue Continues to Win Hearts and Minds. Nine years ago, a modest independent feature film was shot in Oakland, with many scenes inside Coach Sushi on Grand Avenue. The earnest—and underfunded— filmmaker appreciated the fact that local restaurateurs (Bacheesos, Sidebar, Chop Bar) stepped up to provide food for the crew (not in the budget), and enthusiastically supported his vision to portray their city in a positive light. Cut to 2021, when EAST SIDE SUSHI has proven itself to be the film version of the Little Engine That Could, and Oakland native and director Anthony Lucero …  Continue Reading

Empanadas: A How-To Guide
by Sheila McCormick – For several years, we have been making empanadas a couple of times a year. Paul first had them in Paraguay when he was in the Peace Corps— but there they were fried in the morning and sold cold. I don’t remember when I first had them, but we liked the similar Australian pasties at long-closed Noble Pies on College Avenue. Paul makes the dough, I make the fillings, and he assembles them. We tried pre-made empanada circles (for example, from Mi Tierra on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley), but think that the homemade ones are better. According to this Wikipedia article, empanadas might …  Continue Reading

Oysters in a Pandemic
by C. J. Hirschfield – Learning a new instrument, a second language, how to create and maintain a sourdough starter. These are some of the most popular skills people are mastering during the pandemic. Me? I’ve mastered the art of oyster shucking.I know that raw oysters aren’t for everybody, but I’m a big fan. And although the shellfish is no longer harvested in the San Francisco Bay, it was at one time a staple food of the local Ohlone and Miwok people, who used their shells to construct shellmounds as ceremonial places and burial sites. In 1909, a University of California archeologist published a map of shellmounds still present around the shores of our bay… Continue Reading  

Lakeshore BID: Welcome to March 2021
by Kira Pascoe – Lakeshore and Lake Park Avenues are as bustling as ever with accomplishments, anniversaries, new openings, recognitions, and giving back! We are not yet out of the pandemic’s difficult challenges, but Lakeshore Avenue’s businesses show spirit, determination, and love for their community and are grateful to the community for their very needed support. Read all about it, including the Lakeshore Avenue businesses that were recognized as “The Best in the East Bay” in the East Bay Expresses annual poll. Lakeshore and Lake Park Avenues are full of delightful and delicious dining options. With spring coming, there are outdoor dining options available at Shakewell in their sturdy parklet… Continue Reading

Grand Avenue Merchant News
by Ken Katz – The best news on Grand Avenue for a very long while is that Freya Prowe, owner of Brother and Sisters Flower Shop, is back— albeit only from 10 am–4 pm  on Saturdays and Sundays. After twelve long miserable months of social distancing, it was a delight to step inside this beautiful sanctuary full of color and greenery. We highly recommend that you do the same. Ruth Stroup Insurance is celebrating its 15th Anniversary—ten of which have been spent at her offices at 3560 Grand Avenue. During this decade, Ruth has always been extremely supportive of the community… Continue Reading

Farmers Market Update
by Dan Foster – New and returning vendors include: 
Bowl’d Acai Food Truck – juice, smoothies, acai bowls, and poke bowls.
Pound Bizness – small local business who makes mouth-watering pound cakes
Grace Orchids – New farmer starting on March 6 sells many beautiful varieties of orchids  Continue Reading

AIM’s 5-Year Strategic Plan
by Andy Naja-Riese – The Grand Lake Farmers Market, seven other Certified Farmers Markets, and other food- and hunger-related social programs, released a new, far-reaching 3-Year Strategic Plan that seeks to create a model for a local and regional food system that is healthy and equitable for all. The plan and its corollary, the Path to Racial Equity Plan, are inextricably linked and offer a detailed vision for an attainable and socially-just food system built on ecologically intelligent, human health-centered principles. “The COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter social movement of the past year provided us with the impetus to accelerate …  Continue Reading

Odds and Ends
by Ken Katz – If you received one of the cards pictured above in your snail-mail box a couple of weeks ago, here’s hoping you promptly tossed it in your recycling bin. KKA Enterprises is registered with the State of California as a Commercial Fundraiser. They’ve been mailing these solicitations for donations of clothing and household goods for years—typically rotating among four different charities, as was reported on the DonateOakland.org website in three blogs posted in 2015. This month’s card …  Continue Reading

Rotary Nature Center Friends Lakeside Chats
by David Wofford – Our next Lakeside Chat with Hilary Powers of the Golden Gate Audubon Society will be on Friday March 5th, 7:00-8:00pm. Join us as Hilary takes us to some of her favorite birding spots at Lake Merritt. She will share her perspectives on the species and ecological community at the nation’s first wildlife sanctuary. Hilary’s quick eye and entertaining explanations will delight beginners and advanced birders alike.  Her passion for the birds opens up new possibilities to connect to nature at Lake Merritt. Please join us by registering at…    Continue Reading 

Oakland Rotary Club’s Civic Thursdays
by Isaac Kos Read – The Rotary Club of Oakland #3 has an exciting line-up of speakers for their weekly Oakland Rotary Civic Thursdays virtual gatherings from 12:30–1:30 pm in March and April. It starts next week with the head of the Chabot Space & Science Center, who will share how that 137-year-old institution is navigating the challenges of the pandemic and these exciting times in humanity’s exploration of space. Then they’ll be hosting acclaimed historian Eric Foner, former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and new Oakland Police Chief Leronne Armstrong, among many others. Reach out to Lake neighbor and Rotarian Isaac Kos-Read if you’d like to join as a guest on Zoom or tune in live on Facebook (or catch the “rebroadcast” on the Rotary Club of Oakland YouTube Channel).  Click here for the full schedule


March 4 – Camron-Stanford House Virtual History Happy Hour: “Why We Wear What We Wear.”
March 10 – Oakland Main Library: “Revisiting Historical Narratives Through Genealogical Research.
March 16 – Oakland Library: “How Your Story Sets You Free.”
March 17 – Grand Lake Neighbors Zoom meeting 7 – 8:30 pm. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the wearing of green is encouraged.
March 18 – Camron-Stanford House Virtual History Happy Hour: “Confection and Novelties: An Overview of 19th-Century Hats.” 
March 20 – Oakland Library: Author Workshop – “Create, Share and Discover Independently Published Books.” 



One response to “Splash Pad News – March 2021”

  1. Barbara Flores Avatar
    Barbara Flores

    Even my email can overwhelm me these days which is why it’s taken me so long to open your newsletter. I always enjoy reading it, but an extra big thank you this month for so so much positivity. I love the can-do attitude you focused on in your March stories.