What's this I hear about Oakland's hipster ascendancy?
January 11, 2013 3:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm spending all next week in Oakland, CA. Help me get an art-y, fixed-gear, artisanal taste of this city on the make.

This Monday, I'll be making my every-other-year pilgrimage to the Bay Area, and while San Francisco is usually the prime attraction, this time around I want to dedicate my attention to Oakland—especially since I've been reading all kinds of stuff about a progressive arts renaissance happening in the East Bay. What's more, I'm staying with a friend who lives on Telegraph Avenue. So, you know, when in Rome...

Something like the Oakland Art Murmur would be perfect, but it looks like I'm going to arrive in town a week too late (1/14/13 - (1/19/13). Further complicating matters is the fact that my visit spans Monday through Saturday; I'm not sure if that much will be happening on the weeknights.

Looking for recommendations on bars, diners, art galleries, rock venues, theaters, underground performance spaces, writing workshops, drag shows, book stores, or any other quirky signifiers of the New Oakland that might appeal to a late 20s hipster type. My mind is very open, and my interests tend to lean toward the radical, so the freakier the suggestions the better.

Ooh, and I'll be borrowing a bike. So any urban cycling adventures would be great, too.
posted by sureshot to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (12 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Spend some time in the Temescal district, where you will find deliciousness like Burma Superstar, fancy Scream Sorbet, Doughnut Dolly, as well as some art-gazing.

Visit Feelmore 510, a hip, edgy, sex-positive sex toy store and art gallery.

The excellent burlesque show The Hubba Hubba Review happens every Monday at the Uptown.

Get your 3rd-wave hipster caffeine fix at Modern Coffee (serves--with a smile--a variety of drinks made with beans from well-loved high-quality local roasters) or SubRosa Coffee (makes a limited variety of drinks from excellent Four Barrel beans with a side of attitude). Or ride your bike to the extraordinarily bike-friendly Actual Cafe (where they also have art and live performances).

I'm not sure if they're open to the public, but sounds like you'd be interested in the anarchist book publisher & distributor AK Press.

LBSes that are friendly to all people who ride bikes, not just spandex-clad roadies: Wheels of Justice, Tip Top Bike Shop.

As for urban cycling adventures, there's a great bike route (follow the purple signs!) to Jack London Square. Really, you can just follow the purple bike route signs to get to most places you want to go within Oakland and Berkeley. There are also plenty of just-ex-urban cycling adventures; if you're interested in those let me know what kind of riding you're looking for and I can make some suggestions.
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:10 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check out Piedmont Ave for pub-style bars and great eats...a bit more on the mellow side though. From there you can bike up Claremont and into the wildnerness.

At night, check out what's playing at the Paramount or Fox theaters...there's a new venue that's opened up behind one of those too...can't remember the name but I've heard good things about it.

The Temescal farmer's market on Sunday mornings is all sorts of hipster awesomeness...a great place to wander to and people watch about when hungover after a Saturday night out. Be sure to get some of the pretzel croissants.

It's been several years now since I've lived there so I'm sure others will come up with some ideas that are newer and edgier, but that's what I've got for the mellower side of things. Oakland is great.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:12 PM on January 11, 2013

SubRosa Coffee's great. That little stretch of 40th has some other cool stuff on it: Manifesto Bikes is next door, 1-2-3-4 Go! Records is right across the street, and Homeroom is right next to that.

I'll also second Actual Cafe.
posted by asterix at 4:17 PM on January 11, 2013

I don't know if there's anything going on at the Crucible while you're in town, but it's a pretty amazing place and well worth checking out if you can.
posted by jesourie at 5:02 PM on January 11, 2013

For events and reviews check out the East Bay Express. They will tell you everything you want to know.
posted by silvergoat at 12:22 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

A few bars: The Trappist, Dogwood, Make Westing, Portal

Check out the New Parkway Theater

If you want a culinary adventure and you don't care if the people preparing the food self-identify as "foodies" take a ride down International Ave. Tons of Vietnamese places between 3rd and 9th, around 35th you're in Fruitvale where you'll find amazing Mexican (and Guatemalan and Salvadorean) food.

For a scenic (uphill) ride, head up to Joaquin Miller Park and/or Redwood Regional Park. Slightly less of climb is Mountainview Cemetery. Oh, also just ride around Lake Merritt.
posted by silvergoat at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2013

Ok, one more. You should go see Woyzeck at the Shotgun Players (in South Berkeley). It's sold out, but if you show up 1 hour before the show you can get on the waitlist and have a good chance of getting in. I went yesterday and it was damn good.
posted by silvergoat at 10:22 AM on January 12, 2013

Fixed gears are passe in Oakland.

Oh I am a snob reverse-snobbing on you.

Re radical things, check out the events calendar at The Holdout and see if there's a Thursday evening speakeasy. Cross the bay and go to any talks/readings at Green Arcade Books on Market & Van Ness.

Pass on Burma Superstar which is basically like any decent Thai restaurant for honkies anywhere except with "Burma" in the name, and go to Chinatown to eat hotpot at Spices 3, then for dessert have mango queendom with extra coconut jelly at Yummy Guide.
posted by tapir-whorf at 10:27 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure the new venue to which iamkimiam refers is a reboot of an older Oakland institution: the Parkway.
posted by the_bone at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2013

Two blogs worth checking out for ideas are Oaklandish and Eat Drink Oakland. The photos on Eat Drink Oakland are pure food porn that rival any food blog you can think of.
posted by jonp72 at 11:23 AM on January 12, 2013

I think the New Parkway is someplace that I won't be frequenting due to their current stance on unions.
posted by waitangi at 7:56 PM on January 12, 2013

I think that issue has been solved, waitangi.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:57 PM on January 18, 2013

« Older Massive Mold Mishap   |   I'm in a predicament about changing jobs Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.