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I am so loving Oakland right now. Posted on 02/10/2002.

I must say that I am very happy with my new municipality of residence. On Friday, I went out for tasty sushi, followed by a most delightful show at the Paramount Theater, seeing my favoritest Marx Brothers flick, Duck Soup.

I love the Paramount. It is a massive 1930s-era movie palace, seating something on the order of 3000. Immaculately detailed art deco interiors. You can't bring food into the theater, but you *can* drink cocktails in the lobby before the show. Before the film they play Dec-O-Win, a spin-the-wheel game where winners get prizes for things like Dinners For 2 at a restaurant in Oakland. With each screening you get a Movienote news reel and a cartoon. Though, for our show, it wasn't a cartoon, it was Buster Keaton's brilliant 2-reeler Cops, with live accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

All for 5 dollars. It just felt very much like a neighborhood/community outing, this inexpensive entertainment offered to the middle class families in my new city. Unpretentious, just fun.

Then yesterday, I hightailed it on the bike for an exploration of my new environs. As I wrote to a friend in an email:

I took myself a wee nap, then groggily climbed the bike and got some food and coffee at Gaylord's (prolly the best little coffeehouse on Piedmont... though Sunrise looks like it had potential). So fueled, I began my jaunt around Oakland, taking Piedmont Ave to Pleasant Valley (the cross street where Kings X pub is), then a right on PV, which becomes Grand Ave (who knew?). Into the heart of Grand Lake, then up Lakeshore, and into the hills above there--some frickin' beautiful houses. Biked up and around there a while, then let gravity take its course, which put me right back on Lakeshore. Biked around the lake to Park and 18th, and then up Park, past the Parkway. Then headed south and west, makingmy way to International, and then south on International.

International really is. All manner of ethnic stores, restaurants from seemingly every Asian culture, and a fair amount of Mexican, too. Biked down to 29th Avenue, then headed back up 12th, returning to downtown Oakland. Jogged over to the estuary near Jack London Square, for what is easily the most breathtaking view I've had in months. The sun had gone behind San Francisco, lighting the sky with a gradient rainbow, so that it was blue above me, and deep pink/orange on the horizon. Downtown SF was silhouetted, the TransAmerica and Bank of America buildings standing tall. The sky reflected off the water in the estuary, and a passing ferry caused a wake that made little waves lap against the shore. Oakland's docks stood proud in the foreground, the large loading cranes (the Imperial Walker things) looming above it all.


Biked back through Jack London Square, where, you should know, you can rent canoes and kayaks to take into the estuary (you could probably also bring your own). Then shot up Broadway (Broadway begins at Jack London Square), through downtown, and back home.

I'm experiencing Oakland bliss.

9 comments so far. Add a comment.

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They used to have a $1 tour, that happened the 1st Saturday of every month. Might be a fun SWABBERS field trip. If you are a classic movies fan, we should talk - I've got about a million of 'em. Would be fun to discuss. =cj
Posted by Carmen Jonze @ 02/10/2002 11:14 PM PST [link to this comment]

Do you have them catalogued for perusal?
Posted by BJMe @ 02/11/2002 09:33 AM PST [link to this comment]

Ah, lovely! It sounds absolutely wonderful, Peter. Give me a call and I'll BART over for fun sometime from my new spot in San Francisco (maintaining population steady state in your absence).
Posted by Dinah @ 02/11/2002 11:29 AM PST [link to this comment]

Oak-town got it goin' on.
Posted by Brittney @ 02/11/2002 05:37 PM PST [link to this comment]

Oh, so homesick... :(

Don't forget to try brunch or dinner at Autumn Moon. And breakfast on all other days should be fresh-baked goods from Arizmendi. (They're both in my old neighborhood near Lake Merritt.)
Posted by Christy @ 02/13/2002 09:28 AM PST [link to this comment]

koryo sushi is very fine as well. telegraph and 41st? it is next to koryo hot pot, if u like that, and an internet access place that seems to always be filled with asian boys doing network gaming. amusing.
Posted by Rena @ 02/13/2002 09:41 AM PST [link to this comment]

"Duck Soup" was my first experience at the Paramount and I was totally blown away.

Posted some pix purloined from a feature on "Movie Palaces" from the latest AAA magazine.
Posted by Merlin Mann @ 02/14/2002 08:42 AM PST [link to this comment]

made me miss Oaktown. Way underappreciated elsewhere, still one of my favorite places (even after quake and fire). Now in DC, not so bad here either, actually.
Posted by thomas @ 02/26/2002 08:53 PM PST [link to this comment]

You want the Pleasant Valley dentist, a sweet little mom & pop operation. They're in the professional building a block up from the X. There is a big red dog there occasionally, so if you're allergic let them know.
Posted by gp @ 05/30/2002 11:39 AM PST [link to this comment]

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