Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Sunny Side of the Bay
Here, there and everywhere has been what I've been up too in the last couple of weeks. So, I will do a summary of the cool places and events I've been checking out.
~ Silence the Violence with the Oakland A's 8/13 co-sponsored by the Ella Baker Center, the Oakland Athletics, the City of Oakland & Oakland Office of the Mayor Josie Camacho asked if I knew of any young people to invite to this event. I managed to attend the Resource Job Fair prior to the game and loved the vibe. Lots of young Oaklanders checking out the scene that also included free hot dogs, music, a raffle and the opportunity to rub elbows with Mayor Dellums himself. This was the first time I had seen him in person since he was elected to office and got to see the electricity and media attention that swarms around him from the moment his presence is detected. This is not a dig at him but more of a observation...all Oakland constituents NEED access to our leaders from the Mayor's Office and all the way down to the grassroots level. Seeing the co-mingling of the Mayor and the regular kids made my heart happy, I'm looking forward to seeing more. The other highlights of my night were the thirteen year old boys I had in tow with me at the game. The A's played the Tampa Bay Rays, apparently it had been awhile since I've paid attention and didn't realize Tampa has a team now! Gustavo, the son of one of my employees, had a blast with some of his buddies. They all play and have a passion for the game I hadn't heard from young ones in awhile and they gave a running practically professional commentary of the game. They thanked me more than a handful of times during and after for the tickets and I'll be sure to include them in more activities when possible. This was the whole point to the Silence the Violence theme of the night, to give our young people the chance to be in positive environments that many of us take for granted.
~ 3rd Annual Lake Merritt Radio Regatta 8/17 sponsored by Oaklandish I'm still scratching my head, somehow this was my first Oaklandish event. I chatted with Angela from Oaklandish about why these events are so important, showcasing what Oakland has to offer all the time to everyone. In this case, the Oakland Sailboat House was swarming with people enjoying the sun, taking boat rides, checking out the chair art silent auction, listening to the DJ's spin some tunes and sipping and munching on complimentary refreshments. Carey from Linden Street Brewery was poring his famous Common Lager with a smile and there was tons of fresh fruit and sandwiches to go along with the drinks. It was awesome to hear that Oaklandish and the food & drink folks all sponsored this event. That means the snacks, drinks and boat ride I took in were part of the event, meaning complimentary! I then bought a Sunny Side of the Bay t-shirt from the funky Oaklandish merchandise van to round out my experience. Good times I tell you! I'll leave you with a few of my nerdy Oakland facts before I sign off. Did you know that Lake Merritt is man made and not only that, not really a lake at all? It's really a tidal lagoon with both salt and fresh water with small fish and shrimp. It's 15 feet at it deepest and the home for the Gondola Servicio and boat rentals at the Lake Merritt Boating Center. I can now say I've been on Lake Merritt and I'm looking forward to more Oalandish adventures!
In other news, many of you have happened by the Oakland Local First Marketplace during the Thursday Night Live concert series in my beloved Old Oakland. Well, Old Oakland Neighbors and Oakland Events were the sponsors, yes I said that in the past tense. The other organizers and I were hoping for a cool spot to show off the amazing wares of our local independent small business and art community. Unfortunately, this ongoing concert series was not the best the fit and the Marketplace has been put on hold indefinitely. Don't worry, you will see the Marketplace in a different version sometime very soon. Oakland Events has plenty going on in terms of other special event and street fairs and more info can be found here and you know I will keep you in the loop!