This mural is painted on the front of Marcus Books in north Oakland. The San Francisco store has been in business for 51 years; I believe the Oakland branch opened in the 60s. It focuses on the African diaspora and African-American history and literature. Both stores have hosted book readings by many well-known writers including Maya Angelou and Ishmael Reed.
Steele's on Telegraph Avenue sells all manner of diving equipment and has rave reviews on Yelp. Even though the shop's name is in giant, red plastic letters, their funky old sign is what I notice most. The peeling paint shows that over the years the sign has been used by more than one business. The pentimento reveals that at one time you could get custom made golf clubs. For more sky photos visit Skywatch Friday.
You probably think I've have taken leave of my senses, or become desperate for an S photo, or both. Well my little chickadees, the humble squeegee has a definite Oakland connection. In fact, it was invented here by Ettore Steccone in 1936, an Italian immigrant and window washer. Check out your squeegee; good chance it says Ettore Products. Made in Oakland until five years ago, the factory has now moved across the estuary to our neighbor city, Alameda. Accept no substitutes. But do visit other "S" photos at Mrs. Nesbitt's meme, ABC Wednesday.
This art installation was on display during this month's Art Murmur. This harkens back to the turbulent days of the Black Panthers, which was founded in Oakland. Bobbie Hutton was killed at a young age during a shoot out with the police. The circumstances of his death continue to be debated but the artist leaves no doubt where he stands on this 40 year old controversy. The installation is visually compelling and full of intricate detail.
There is a PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric Co.) substation at Shattuck Avenue and 51st St. that is surrounded by a massive concrete wall. A few years ago the local merchants association, with the utility's cooperation, had local art students paint small murals in the wall's recesses. Now the wall looks like a gallery rather than a prison wall. Here's only one of the many paintings in this "gallery."
Foolishly, I thought this was strictly a local campaign, especially since this group is based in little ol' Oakland. Then suddenly three weeks ago it's on the national news! Why do people keep trying to predict the rapture? Seriously, what is the point? Visit SOOC Sunday for presentations of more unaltered photos.
This statue can be found at Union Point along the estuary. I think it's supposed to represent multiple cultures that inhabited the immediate area throughout history. Nice try, no cigar. For more sky shots, visit Skywatch Friday.
The Rockridge neighborhood is an upscale area with a BART station (next to Highway 24), gourmet food and wine shops, restaurants, cafes, service businesses, and a variety of architectural styles. Even modest homes are pricey. For more "R" photos, visit ABC Wednesday.
The Commonwealth pub at 28th and Telegraph is relatively new but already has a big following. Microbreweries are more popular than ever, and their beer list represents both American and English offerings. The joint was jumpin' during first Friday's Art Murmur.
This vine is growing up the side of one of my favorite thrift shops in the Rockridge district. Because it faces onto a narrow alley, it's easy to miss. What amazes me is that it is composed of thousands of mosaic tiles. I can't begin to contemplate the number of work hours that went into creating this splashy design.
On the first Friday of the month vintage car enthusiasts meet at 1/4 lb. Giant Burger in Uptown to display their proud possessions. The reflections show you our almost cloudless skies. What they don't show is the cold wind blowing. Sounds of a vintage rock 'n' roll soundtrack infused warmth into the scene. Submitted to both Skywatch Friday and Weekend Reflections. Visit both for many more photos of skies and reflections (once Blogger is completely restored, of course).
Friday evening was Art Murmur. The first Friday of the month the art galleries in Uptown throw open their doors for special exhibits, demonstrations, and general merriment. It's quite a scene. Here a band is setting up in front of one of those monumental sculptures by Das Mann and Karen Cusolito. Their work has been featured previously on this blog. For more "Q" photos, visit the entertaining meme ABC Wednesday.
They are making progress on this mural previously posted back in March. The water theme is related to Temescal Creek which now runs under ground. They still have lots of pillars to go, but Alan (in the reflective vest) is hoping it will be completed by the end of June. The local merchants association commissioned the work. This neighborhood is being revitalized at an amazing pace. I counted 11 restaurants in a block and a half stretch, all of which are popular and crowded. Nice to witness the comeback.
I finally found another bridge. This one goes from Union Point to the Coast Guard Island that sits in the middle of the estuary. The rubble and tracks are detritus from a long abandoned warehouse loading dock. I'm surprised no one has dug up the metal tracks to recycle them. There's money in them thar rubble. Check out «Louis'» meme for more bridge shots.
Here it is Skywatch Friday again. We're currently enjoying warm weather and clear skies. This was taken along the estuary shores at Union Point. Access to the shoreline is open to the public and there are nice benches and lawns for picnicking at this spot. For more sky photos, visit Skywatch Friday.
You've seen this bridge before here and here. But I don't think you've seen it with the road bed up. This bridge was built in the late 1930s and still works really well. Today a small sailboat with a tall mast stopped traffic. Visit more "P" posts at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday meme.
While visiting the progress of Water Writes, a new mural in Uptown, I was lucky enough to meet the artists who created it. Meet (from left) Estria, Ceci, and Josue. They were generous with their time and answered my many questions. Much of the mural was done freehand and the finished work looks much different than the initial design. An amazing accomplishment.
This mural is located at Franklin and 21st street in the Uptown area of Oakland. This space was donated by the building's owner. It is freshly completed and not yet signed by the artists Estria, Ceci, and Josue. I was lucky enough to meet the artists and discuss this intricate mural with Estria, who was previously featured here. Water Writes is one of 10 murals planned around the world based on the theme of water as an endangered resource. One mural has already been completed in LA, and others are currently planned for Hawaii, El Salvador, Palestine, and Washington state. Tomorrow, meet the artists.