Splash Pad News – May 2019

All the News That Fits


If you’re going to be looking for Mother’s Day flowers, you have three shops to choose from on Grand Avenue. All will likely have extended hours including Brother & Sisters Flower Shop, which will be open late on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11. They also have a tropical flower arranging class scheduled for May 26. Details and tickets are available on their website.

Kosuke Tada Photo

Ordinaire has three-course meals scheduled for May 13 and May 17 prepared by Kosuke Tada, a well-known chef specializing in French cuisine. Watch their Facebook page for details.

The Grand/Walker Mural fundraising campaign, launched last month by neighborhood residents Lucy and Randy Glover, has reached its goal and is no longer accepting donations. According to Lucy, Stefen is going to begin painting on May 6 and he expects to finish work in about six weeks followed by a UV and anti-graffiti coat. A ribbon cutting event is tentatively scheduled for either June 23rd or 30th. Neecha Thai and Ikaros have promised to provide food and drink and Andy Naja-Riese has promised donations from farmers market vendors as well.  A list of all the donors is available on the Grand/Walker Mural page, where they’ll also be confirming a date for the opening celebration.

As we go to press, Studio Grand’s event calendar for May features a May 12 concert featuring RDL+ with vocalist/composer, Andrea Claburn. A concert on Thursday, May 30, will feature Only a Visitor + Clara Bloom with Phill Geissler. Keep an eye on their website for later additions.

This festive window display at Alyce on Grand caught my eye as I walked by the other day – just as Alyce was preparing for a special event that evening. Another event in mid-May is in the works but details are not yet finalized.


by Kira Pascoe

Lakeshore is coming out of a very festive April that was filled with Spring celebrations highlighted by Alvin Easter Bunny; nine businesses that were voted “Best of Oakland and the East Bay” by Readers Choice in Oakland Magazine;  Rico Rico having a fabulous feature in the San Francisco Chronicle and much more!

Hipline is having their annual Shimmy Pop-A-Thon Launch Party on May 4 from 7-9 pm to support MISSSEY. All are invited to participate!

CANA celebrated their 8th Anniversary Party on April 28th.  A huge accomplishment and we love their Cuban brunch, Mojitos and Sunday Fundays. Congrats Cana and we hope to join you for many more!

READ MORE HERE  and be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for more events and Mothers Day specials!


While the bounce houses appear to be a thing of the past, Nikki Borodi will be helping to fill the void by providing face painting every Saturday, unless she has a party scheduled through her Fly With Me Parties website. Be sure to check out THIS VIDEO of her appearance on the Gong Show where she (and her partner) scored a nearly perfect 29! Next week, I’m going to ask for her autograph, as we have a celebrity in our midst.

Doug Stonebreaker, owner of Prather Ranch Meat Co., and Gary Root from Same Day Seafood have formed a partnership; in the next two weeks, they’ll be sharing a booth at the Grand Lake Farmers Market as a new entity. I’m not entirely sure of the details but, as I understand it, the partnership also revolves around a sustainable farm in Solano County.

Triple Delight Blueberries have returned to the market.

A list of  Grand Lake Farmers Market vendors is available at THIS LINK.


Our traditional Earth Day celebration at Splash Pad Park on April 14 was a huge success, thanks to support from the Grand Crew regulars and a large contingent from Beatie Street Preschool and Kindergarten. Special thanks to the school’s director, Judy Kahn, and also to all the local businesses that donated food, including Modigliani, Rico/Rico, Arizmendi, Trader Joe’s, Noah’s Bagels, Happy Boy Farms, and J & J Ramos Farms. The Grand Crew’s next 4th Sunday volunteer work day will be on May 26. I promise you, there are lots more weeds to pull.

Last month, I thanked Stennis Raymond from the Public Works Department for getting the Splash Pad fountain in tip-top shape but regretted that I hadn’t taken a photo of him at the time. Two weeks later, when I took the above photo, Stennis was in the process of training Taurus Ringold as his replacement. As it turns out, Taurus is already quite familiar with the fountain, since he’s a Farmers Market regular and a big fan of Roli Roti Chicken.


This month’s First Thursdays on Grand art walk takes place on May 2 from 6 – 8 PM unless otherwise noted.

Cory Swenson

Panorama Framing is hosting an Opening Night Reception for a show of photo-realistic oil portraits by Cory Swenson entitled, “Lurid.” Complimentary wine, cheese, and small bites.

Nina Simi, the store manager at 510 Brand, is excited about this month’s show primarily featuring large scale paintings by No One – a local muralist/graffiti artist. Live DJ + complimentary drinks and snacks. 6 PM – midnight.

Alchemy Bottle Shop‘s second-floor gallery has an ongoing show – “Where Do We Go From Here?” – featuring art with detailed line work by Oakland-based artist Kayleen Dejesus, also known as “Kayleendaa.” Watch for a special opening night reception of a new show later this month.

Jau Jou Studio is currently exhibiting photographic collages by artist and musician Daniel Lippincott – but a new show may be up by the 2nd. Stay tuned for updates.

The Libertine is continuing to feature Josh Stevenson’s nudes printed on aluminum that focus on the interplay between light and shadows.


On April 15, the Splash Pad Facebook page broke a story you’re unlikely to find reported elsewhere. After picking up tools for our Earth Day celebration from the Keep Oakland Beautiful team, we encountered several of Oakland’s parking enforcement officers test-riding electric-assist bicycles provided by Oakland-based Xtracycle bike company. Off-street Parking Manager Michael Ford was overseeing the trial at the behest of Transportation Department Director Ryan Russo. They are exploring this alternative as a less costly and possibly more effective method of enforcing parking regulations. Also present was Evan Lovett-Harris, the Director of Operations for Xtracycle. For the historical record, all four of the officers who rode the bikes seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of relying, in large part, on pedal power.

In case you weren’t already aware of this, the Splash Pad News has a policy of not endorsing candidates for local political office.  Here’s hoping that the same doesn’t apply to local sports teams.  Even though they’re abandoning us for the bright lights of the big city on the other side of the bay, I am personally pleased that they are belatedly recognizing Oakland by agreeing to hang the banner pictured here at their new arena in SF. GO WARRIORS!  Up two games to zero against their long-time rivals – the Houston Rockets.

I‘m pleased to share a report regarding Paschal Nnaji, the homeless individual who was the subject of this profile in the February Splash Pad News. While he was camped here under the freeway, he did yeoman’s work keeping Splash Pad Park clean (as well as helping with parking lot maintenance). Currently housed at the Northgate Village, he’s been doing much the same for the village community. In addition, he has a full-time job working as a security guard and is supposedly on the short list for permanent housing. Kudos to Paschal and everyone who has been involved in helping get him back on his feet with a special shout-out to Operation Dignity, which manages the Tuff Shed communities, and to Zach Kegle, the Pestec technician, who services Splash Pad and also put in a good word on behalf of Paschal.

If you’re a Next Door subscriber or a regular viewer of KQED News, you may have already seen this gem of a story explaining why Piedmont is a separate city with extremely weird boundary lines.


The Bay Area’s 25th Bike to Work Day Celebration takes place on Thursday, May 9. From 7 – 9 AM, you’ll find energizer stations at Arizmendi on Lakeshore and at Grand Lake Ace Hardware. The latter will be the departure point (at 7:15 AM) for the District 2 Pedal Pool to Frank Ogawa Plaza led by Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas and Board of Education Member Aimee Eng.  At the plaza, they’ll be serving a pancake breakfast with fresh orange juice plus a drawing for bike-related prizes.  

District 2 Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas will be hosting a Budget Forum on May 16, beginning at 5:30pm. Dinner will be served and reservations are required.  All the details are on THIS LINK.  


  • First Thursdays on Grand art walk – May 2 beginning at 6 PM
  • Bike to Work Day – May 9
  • Grand Lake Neighbors Meeting – Wednesday, May 15,  7-8:30 PM, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church Family Room
  • District 2 Budget Forum – Thursday, May 16, 5:30 PM at Lincoln Recreation Center
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3 responses to “Splash Pad News – May 2019”

  1. David Gans Avatar
    David Gans

    Thank you, Ken, as always!

  2. I will miss Frank Rowiki’s paintings but the new mural looks beautiful!

    1. Ken Katz Avatar
      Ken Katz

      Debbie, The new mural isn’t replacing the Rowiki paintings. It’s going on the stucco wall at the south end of the parking lot next to the condominiums. Unfortunately, the Rowiki paintings are in very poor condition and we’re hoping to find someone willing and able to restore them. Some funding for that purpose is already available.