This weekend was the annual Piedmont Avenue Halloween parade. Besides the parade with trick o' treating and a pumpkin patch at the cemetery, there's always music and other entertainment. This group performed at the Rocky Baird mural at Key Route Plaza. The Key Route street car system ran in Oakland and Berkeley until 1958.
As always, everyone had a good time. A beekeeper and her favorite bee.
This sweet building is only a few blocks from City Hall. It does its best to stand tall between its towering neighbors. The weather continues to be fair but the temperatures are dropping significantly at night. For more sky shots, visit Skywatch Friday.
This photo of Oakland's version of the Occupy Wall Street action was taken 10 days ago. Occupiers camped in the public space in front of city hall and attracted a diverse group of participants. Over time the mood shifted from ebullient to edgy. Before dawn today the police moved in to remove the protesters and their tent city; tonight the confrontation has turned ugly. Regardless of where you stand on the 99% Movement, this local story arc was entirely predictable. Sigh. For more representations of "O", visit ABC Wednesday.
Friday was the last Bites off Broadway event for the season. Seven food trucks were there, along with musicians, hula hoops, and an after-dark performance of the "Thriller" dance. The weather was quite mild and the crowd was large. Linking to SOOC Sunday.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Oakland Firestorm that destroyed more than 3000 houses and took 25 lives. This memorial stands near the Caldecott Tunnel where the fire jumped 8 lanes of highway to continue on its devastating path. As the fire burned down the hill our neighborhood had to evacuate. My strongest memory is standing at the bottom of our street watching eucalyptus trees at the top of the cemetery canyon explode from the intense heat. Ash rained down all around us. It wasn't until the next day we learned that our homes were still standing thanks to a shift in the direction of the winds and the grueling work of fire fighters. I know many people who were not as lucky. The local paper reports that those who have moved into the fire zone since the fire have a hard time understanding why they have to engage in such pesky practices like clearing brush from around their house. They truly do not understand the sense of urgency for preparedness that those who went through the fire have.
Among many commemorative activities, the Oakland Museum has mounted an exhibit by photographer Richard Misrach who documented the fire's aftermath. He has not published these large format photos until now. They are a vivid reminder and an education for us all.
Usually a car parks along side this mural. Recently, while driving down Fruitvale Avenue, the car was gone and I jumped out to take this picture. The mural was done by Ernesto Olmos in 2005 with help from neighborhood youth. It adorns a building used by the Clinica de la Raza and remains as bright as if it were done yesterday.
Located in Jingletown, the Institute of Mosaic Art teaches mosaic design and offers mosaic services. Several businesses in Jingletown have capitalized on the Institute's presence to use mosaics for their business signs. For other takes on "M" visit Mrs. Nesbitt's meme ABC Wednesday.
This is a detail from a huge mural downtown on Franklin Street. Gertrude Stein has famously been quoted as saying about Oakland that "There is no there there." The quote actually pertains to a visit to her childhood home, which had been torn down. Still feeling the sting of this presumed put down, the city sometimes flies a flag at the top of the Tribune Building that says "There."
This tiled "fountain" is in the entryway of a Spanish style building near Lake Merritt. The building was closed when I walked by and I had to stick my camera through the wrought iron gate to get this shot. I love the old tiles that decorate so many of our buildings.
Swan's was built in 1917 in the historic business area now called Old Oakland. It is covered in white tile and has these wonderful garlands and majolica style plaques. It contains Housewives Market which is composed of multiple food shops. Old Oakland has beautiful Victorian building blocks and a number of popular restaurants, yet often feels empty. For some reason it lacks the pedestrian traffic that gives a neighborhood its lively quality. The sliver of sky shows that after recent rain we are again enjoying fair weather. For more sky shots, visit Skywatch Friday.
Luka's Taproom and Lounge, a popular restaurant in the Uptown area, was instrumental in the growth of this area. Their parking lot is at the base of the Great Wall featured a week ago. If suds are your preferred libation, this is your place. They serve over 30 different beers, including local and imported brews. While you're contemplating your choices, visit ABC Wednesday for more takes on "L".
I'll be out of town for a week so have turned to autoposting.
Here is another panel from Oakland's Wall of Fame. It references Mike "Dream" Francisco, a seminal figure in graffiti art who died in 2000. He is famous in the hip hop community and even has a dedicated page on a website in Djibouti.
I'll be out of town for a week. Onward with autoposting.
A couple of weeks ago Oakland participated in International Park(ing) Day. The movement aims to make cities more liveable by adding more outdoor seating on streets. Several businesses set up "parklets" in parking spaces in front of their stores. This spot was in front of Shimizu, a Japanese restaurant on Piedmont Avenue. The latest news is that the city has decided to permit 8(!!) longer term parklets around town as an experiment. This shot is unedited and submitted to SOOC Sunday.
Here's my theme day entry. Can you guess what it is? Unfortunately, I don't have a long distance shot to show you. It is a large piece of public sculpture on the Mills College Campus. Spiders have added an extra layer of weirdness to this piece. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in this month's City Daily Photo Theme Day.