Like most of you, I have been in an introspective place this New Years. I’ve been attempting to evaluate, meditate, and pontificate on what the past year has meant to me and what I want 2010 to bring. That comes from within. Since I believe in the healing and spiritual power of The Town, I am also seeking wisdom and signs of joy from what Oakland has to offer me. Nine days have passed since the ball dropped on 2010. Here are a few sights and sounds of Downtown Oakland that have (and continue) to inspire me:
This month, the sparkling jewel that is the Joyce Gordon Gallery is again on hard-hit mode with the show Amor Fati. I wish I could give you some eloquent description of this show and what it represents, but I am not an art writer. Sorry. What I can tell you is the show is vibrant and fresh. Pay special attention to the work of Favianna Rodriguez. Ms. Gordon has been challenging our notions of what is cool, artistic, and significant for many years. The front window is most definitely worth a night time pass by. The show runs through February 8th. http://www.joycegordongallery.com/
MAKE ME LAUGH/FORCE ME TO THINK
I don’t know about you, but I thought Avatar was a lot of fun for its use of technology, pure film making prowess, and imagery. Thank you W. Kamau Bell http://www.wkamaubell.com/ , Nato Green http://www.natogreen.com/, & Hari Kandabolu http://www.harithecomic.com/ for busting my bubble and single-handedly ruining my mindless blockbuster experience and rendering 189 minutes of well deserved escapism a waste of time. Laughter Against the Machine is intense in-your-grill funny and is a economical way to gather some political introspection. Whatever happened to comedians that told jokes to get laughs or free drinks? Just kidding! These guys made me laugh without forcing me to dumb down. BTW you must see yourself @ The New Parish (aka the “old” Jimmie’s night spot) very soon. The venue is home to a majestic brick walled club and a soon-to-come Cajun/New Orleans style restaurant called Hibiscus. The spot is the same, yet fresh. Believe me; you can still feel the love. http://www.thenewparish.com/ and http://www.hibiscusoak.com/
IN THE CUTS
DJ Ryan and DJ Oliver recently held an impromptu get together @ Golden Bridge Lofts: Music spinning, guitarists strumming, and percussionists percussing (that’s one of my own words). Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove www.myspace.com/royhargrove rolled through to hang. The word is getting out ya’ll-Oakland is the place to be if you want to be down with “The Real”! The Roy Hargrove Quintet performs through January 10th. His funk/hip-hop band, RH Factor, will blow up the spot January 14th-17th @ Yoshi’s San Francisco. http://www.yoshis.com/
RUNNING MY RACE
Lastly, I have been running The Lake in preparation for the Oakland Running Festival at the end of March. Haven’t decided whether to run the half marathon or create a 4-person team to run the entire 26.2 miles with. Whatever I decide, the idea of watching the sun come up over the hills and turning the sky golden for a brief moment is worth the cold air and the pain. It has been 25 years since Oakland has hosted an event like this. I’m trying to represent! Look for me out there. I’m the one with the snot running down his face screaming profanities as he runs. For full event info and to register, visit http://www.oaklandmarathon.com/
Note: The bus is blurry in this image because of my blinding speed. For real!
Oakland Stand Up!
Carly Ivan Garcia (for real this time) and ERA