.Special Sections

Dec 7, 2022

Last Minute Gifts

A festive guide to ethically sourced retailers in Oakland  Holiday season is here. *Bells jingle softly in the distance; steam rises off a cup of hot chocolate.* A miraculous and much-needed week or two of rain, nippy temperature and shop windows dutifully bedecked in honor of various winter festivities all...
May 11, 2022

Souley Vegan: Tamearra Dyson expands her menu and her business

The tragic and blessed life story of Tamearra Dyson is baked into every Southern Staples Bowl served up daily at Souley Vegan, her downtown Oakland restaurant. The signature bowl, an intriguing, multi-textured blend of crunchy fried tofu, buttered...
Mar 16, 2022

A New Beginning at Nuevo Sol: Chef Gilberto Monroy can poach a perfect egg...

My keen sense of déjà vu kicked in this weekend while I was eating brunch at Gilberto Monroy’s Nuevo Sol. The plate of lemon ricotta pancakes I ordered looked exactly — and I mean exactly — like...
Mar 16, 2022

Tech and Terroir: Fern Stroud’s diverse talents grow Black Vines

The Black Vines Festival celebrated a jubilant, yet carefully safe, return to a live event late last month. The 11th annual festival hosted 400 sippers, noshers, art-lovers and networkers—half of capacity at Berkeley’s CIEL Creative Space. “The energy...
Sep 8, 2021

Out in Force: Support Oakland Pride with mind, body and wallet

Oakland Pride, formerly East Bay Pride, was founded in 2008 with the goal of creating “a vibrant and viable organization worthy of the LGBTQ+ community in the East Bay.". To get ready to celebrate, shop the following queer-owned businesses that are making change in our community year-round.
Sep 8, 2021

Ah-Mer-Ah-Su: Oakland soul transported to the sunny South

“I want my art to deal in reality, so the vibe expresses a temperamental feeling,” Amerasu said. “Being inside for a year was exhausting. I want to go out and do all the things I like to do. I wrote it a while ago, but it fits perfectly with the mood of post-pandemic life. I know it’s not over. We’re still moving toward some version of a new reality.”
Aug 25, 2021

Our Man ‘Ish’: Ishmael Reed reflects on life, art, music and home

"Some have called Ish a 'trickster,' and Ralph Ellison—in a drunken rant at a gala in New York City when he was in his 30s—once called him a 'criminal and a con-man,' but few call this poet, author, publisher, Columbus Foundation president, musician, playwright, founder of the American Book Awards, screen-writer and cartoonist a Renaissance man," D. Scot Miller writes.
Aug 25, 2021

A Strange Alchemy: Keenan Norris brings deep listening, dystopia and hope in latest novel

"Norris says important themes in the novel—such as micro and macro time spans, social protest, anti-Blackness history, the perils of miseducation and the dramatic conflicts often generated in public spaces—are vastly important, but never preempts his central concerns of creating compelling characters and continuous plot movement. 'You never know when you make something, what impact, if any, it will have,' he says."
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