Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Barber Spa, The Off-Nites, and Our Lovely Celebrations!

Splitting Hairs
I met Charles Blades about a year ago when he was in search of a location for his new "barber spa". I asked then, "Why a barber spa Charles?" His response: "Men need care too. " He continued, "Besides, people are too busy to sit in a barbershop for hours to get a haircut." Tell me about it! I've endured looking like a mountain goat for way to long in an effort to avoid those crazy waits. "Besides", he continued, "we men need care as well."
Utilizing an approach exampled by the legendary barbershops of Chicago, Charles has created a cozy, low-keyed haven for men to have their grooming needs attended to. The Charles Blades Barber Spa is located in JLS's wharehouse district, CBBS offers haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and a select offering of grooming and shaving products for the man seeking prompt, professional service. "This is an art form...there needs to be a higher quality of service."
The space reflects Mr. Blades' respect for other art forms as well. References to jazz and the visual arts are prominent throughout-keeping the energy level high, yet relaxed. Appointments are gladly set and walk-ins are available for regulars. See the website for a complete list of services.

This Saturday September 4th, the spa will present An Evening of Jazz with the Kenny Hawkins Music Project from 7:00pm-11:00pm. The event will take place @ 247 4th St. Suite 110 Oakland. Admission is $5.00 and includes a glass of sangria and a lovely summer dessert selection. Call Charles to get lined up before the show.

Check out the spa blog for more details on whats good in men's grooming and style.

Off Nitin' It
Ah Friday & Saturday Nights: Traditionally, the nights to get out and socialize. Problem is, everybody else has the same idea. Too crowded, too loud, and frustrating. First, I didn't go out to smell dude's cologne. Coulda stayed home for that, right? Secondly, I just don't like when I have to yell to tell her that she looks beautiful tonight. Not sexy!
For me, I enjoy getting out on off nights. In my humble opinion, a "hot spot" is defined by its off nights-days not starting with 'F' or 'Sat' . Here are a couple of my favorite off night spots:

http://www.muaoakland.com/seems to be a little of everything to everybody. A great restaurant. A nice open space to see and be seen. Great bar. Good looking wait staff. Interesting, quirky art works. These personality traits are a few reasons why Mua is one of the best spots to head to on Friday or Saturday nights. If you've ever been here on the weekend, you already know what I'm talkin' about; its just packed! That's why midweek trips to Mua are a good look.

Consider Wednesdays: My girl DJ HeyLove spins and her multi-faceted sets are the perfect reminder that the weekend is on the way. Besides, she's cute (uber cute actually) and stylish as hell. She even dances throughout the set. A rare treat: Owner Hi-Suk shaking his immaculately styled hair-that's him on the move. Have some dinner and just kick back and talk to your table mates like you're lounging at home with your own live mix tape. Ya mean? Instant mid-week sexiness for ya.

Don't forget this crew is on this Friday following The Murmur. Midnight Marauders. Hey Love and CROSS DJ take over @ 9:00 and don't relinquish control until 2:00. Don't ask for requests, radio play is played out!

Speaking of CROSS DJ aka Chef Eric, rolled me over to Geisha last night for a live art show featuring Jason Macaroni and the DJ, MC, Art collective known as Woke With A Plan get down on canvas. Impromptu and a total surprise for a Wednesday night, I watched this duo transform a stick "lady" figure into a angel of light. http://wokewithaplan.blogspot.com/

The "Sexy" Taco Tuesday Lives Here
Creative tapas and a rare stock of tequila...NICE!!!! No more crowded subpar Taco Tuesdays for Mr. O. since everyone's favorite Downtown Oakland tapas spot, Tamarindo, recently expanded and opened tequila bar extraordinaire, Miel. This space is bright and fun. Lots of light, greenery, and imagery everywhere. Tell the ever ready to serve bar masters Ivan and Adrianne that, "Mr. Oakland said,...the Tamarind Margaritas, Lime and Cactus Margarita, and the Sangria are a MUST." From 5:00-7:00 there are happy hour drink and food specials. $2.00 carnitas tacos, bean and cheese burritos (dreamy good), and if you are lucky, potato. Of course, items from the well loved daily menu are also available . Glow on Gloria!
Image courtesy of Jimmy Kwong of http://www.reef-designs.com/
Not bad for an off night!
Tell Mr. Oakland about your favorite Oakland Off-Nite Spot. Maybe I can roll with ya!

Big Ups!! (aka the indicators that to show that Oakland is rising or as Mr. Oakland says, Know the OIRs before you talk smack about Oakland!)

Congrats to InOak (see Mr. Oakland for July 22, 2010 ) for creating enough buzz to get WSJ to cover the growing tech market here in Oakland. Good to see the techies coming out of their caves and getting some sunlight! The BART extension is cool, but Mr. Oakland's looking for a Silicon Valley extension. Thanks Kim Bardakian for keeping me up on thangs! Check out this link for the complete article. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467004575463590688048652.html?mod=rss_economy

Oh Man...Oakland
Did you get out to Eat Real in Jack London Square this past Saturday, Sistah's Steppin' in Pride, Chinatown Street Festival or Uptown Block Party? If you didn't, you missed a great opportunity to see Oakland in full bloom. Culture, diversity, crazy good food, and Peace.
A $5 Oakland Pride http://www.oaklandpride.org/ goes down this Sunday September 5th from Noon-6 PM on Franklin between 19th and Broadway. Chaka Khan headlines, but you gotta check out these home town (s)heros: Kymberly Jackson, Valerie Troutt, DJ Olga T, and DJ and vocalist Dana Ryan. Don't miss this one!

I love it here!

Oakland Stand Up!

Mr. Oakland

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Art, Art, and More Art!

Sexy Art @ The Guy's General Store
I love to shop for clothing. I tend to seek out those establishments that have a great selection, great service, and a focused, yet eclectic, offering. I wanna look good, smell good, and maybe pick up a heartfelt compliment for my originality along the way. I dig Henri Hubert because I feel like a GUY when I leave. Smell good supplies, masculine jewelry, unique tees, and a crazy selection of accessories galore. English Laundry shirts peeking out of trunks, branded socks stacked high, and antique barber's chair give the store it's cool messy guy's room feel-without the funky sock smell. Peek in every corner and shelf for small surprises: A's bobble heads, old cameras, and comic book figurines. Additional style points to Ree for her layed-back attention that is far, far, far from overbearing. Nice!

Head over to the shop next Saturday, August 14th from 6-9 PM for art & fashion affair featuring the vibrant work of East Bay born painter Atiba Azikwe Andrews. Mr. Andrews loves women. He gives extreme detail to lips, eyelashes, and hair to capture the subtle essence of femininity. If you listen closely, you can almost hear them breathe. Buy a new belt. Buy a new painting. You never know, it could change your life. Visit the store online at http://www.henrihubert.com/ . See more of Atiba Azikwe Andrews' work at his website http://www.azikiweartla.com/

My Stops For This Friday's Art Murmur
It's gonna be a slammin' night for art, music, and Oakland Love tomorrow night. Consider riding the B Line if you plan on drinking, consider taking the new free downtown shuttle. Look for me @ these spots:

Starting @ The Uptown for The R.A.W. show curated by Carly Ivan Garcia. When Carly drops these shows, the people are beautiful, the drinks never stop, and the DJs set it off. From 6-10pm on the corner of Telegraph and 20th. After-set is across the street @ 2022 (2022 Telegraph Ave). Special shout out to Michael Orange of www.toptensocial.com/ who will be showing some of his work.

Best of the East Bay
The East Bay Express is holding their annual Best of the East Bay Party @ Jack London Square. My picks @ that event are for The Dance Battle from 7-9 hosted by The People and Yak Films. Also stop by the Art Stage for live aerosol art If These Walls Could Talk and A Decade With No Name are labors of love presented by the graphic team @ fiftyseven-thirtythree. Pay close attention to longtime Oakland painter RAS Terms. I'm still kickin' myself for not buying that Rooster painting he showed @ Old Crow. BTW thats me in my bad-ass fiftyseven-thirythree original Rickey tee in dijon (that's a cool way to say yellow)! Visit the store @ 4125 Piedmont Ave., 2nd Floor or http://www.fiftyseven-thirtythree.com/ DON'T SLEEP ON THIS!
After the JLS set, The People will move the party to the New Parrish for their official after party. If you have never attended one of their every third Saturday parties, get with it! Visit The People at http://www.thepeopleoakland.com/ Get some Yak @ http://www.yakfilms.com/

Midnight Marauders
Gonna round out my evening at MUA http://www.muaoakland.com/ for Midnight Marauders. Sound Schemes will be presented by DJs CROSS http://www.crossdj.com/ and heyLove of (The People) from 8-2. I usually check out MUA on Wednesday nights when the vibe is mellow; these two are anti-commercial with their sets and I always love the new music they spin. Cerebral partying with sexy grown ups. Any set that has the motto "You like the sound, we can get down" is where I gotta be!

Live On Stage!
New York Times best-selling author, Mary B. Morrison is planning to launch her first stage production right here in Oakland. Word has it that her latest book, "Single Husband" (a poignant and explicit view into the down-low activities of 3 successful men and their wives) is set to premiere @ The Malonga Casquelord Arts Center November 5th in preparation for a potential national tour. All of the original music composed by D'Wayne Wiggins. Her overall literary success and the casting of predominantly local talent makes this a must-follow production. I'll keep you up on thangs!
In the meantime, enjoy this rich slice of Oakland funkiness featuring Mr. Wiggins bringing love. Big ups to DJ fflood (Feel Free, New Life, Transdub Massive) for shooting this!

Oakland Stand Up and...
...be thankful for whatcha got!

Mr. Oakland