Archive for the ‘east oakland’ Category

Oakland, 1990


Melrose Library

Depending on how you count, we have three Carnegie Libraries in our public library system, and they’re all beautiful (there was a fourth, now vacant: I would like to live there, maybe the city will let it go for cheap?)

My favorite of the Carnegie branches is the Melrose (hours etc here). They have their own little Friends of the Library group, if you care to make a donation.

Ben Fong Torres

Ben Fong Torres‘ refuses to brag in his straight ahead but eminently readable memoir The Rice Room, despite his enormous contributions to Bay Area radio culture and rock journalism including about a decade of hobnobbing with folks like Grace Slick, Hunter S. Thompson and Ray Charles as a writer and editor at Rolling Stone.

Instead, he writes a straightforward, chronological autobiography, giving if anything more real estate to his childhood in late 50s, early 60s Oakland Chinatown, his East Oakland adolescence DJing school dances at Oakland High, and his time as a reporter and editor at San Francisco State’s Golden Gater, just as State was entering the riotous late 60s student strike period. I love this unpretentious slice of Bay Area history and I love Ben Fong Torres.

(I don't know who to attribute the photo to - let me know if you know the photographer!)

Check out some clips of him interviewing the Jacksons here or his radio column at the Chron.

Peralta Hacienda

Peralta Hacienda was once the center of an enormous colonial rancho lorded over by one the first Spanish explorers in California and worked by indigenous and Mexican laborers. The site is now a place to learn about Oakland’s many histories and still includes an 1870 Victorian, the foundations of some earlier adobe buildings, not to mention a cool little playground, native plants tagged with informational placards explaining their utility to Ohlone people, a vegetable garden, and down the hill, a bit of creek and picnic tables.

(photo from park website)

They’re having a fundraiser Dec. 2nd to pay for their many educational and youth programs. Get your tickets today!

YAK Films

By now you’ve seen their Turf Feinz video, right?

Look for more YAK Films on their YouTube channel. They’re an international crew, but they grew out of Youth Uprising and they’re all Oakland.

Arroyo Viejo Park

Isn’t Arroyo Viejo Park pretty? Smack in the middle of East Oakland, a big chunk of green space, an amphitheater, basketball courts, and a rec center. It’s one of those rare spots where one of Oakland’s many creeks has been daylighted, and recently replanted with native plants. (You can catch more of the creek up at the zoo or where it comes out down at Damon Slough.