CC SA-BY Our Oakland

Downtown Oakland is the historical, cultural, and business center of Oakland. Although it is difficult to precisely identify the exact boundaries of downtown Oakland, the center of Oakland is widely accepted to be located at the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street. Frank Ogawa Plaza and Oakland City Hall are located at this intersection and many major thoroughfares begin in this area (notably San Pablo Ave., Telegraph Ave., and Broadway). It is also where Oakland School for the Arts is located.

Transport

View of downtown from Pill Hill. (photo by mk30)

Downtown Oakland has three BART stations

Fun!

Art Murmur

Know alternately, and eponymously as "First Friday," Oakland's Art Murmur is a sprawling street covering approximately 10 blocks in downtown Oakland.  On the first Friday of every month, 21 member galleries and 9 mixed-use venues are open to the public and hold artists receptions from 6–9 pm. Many art galleries open themselves publicly and are joined by pop-up artists (of all mediums) and street vendors pushing vegan and other delicious treats. Some businesses which don't traditionally specialize in gallery art open during art murmur to be participatory.

Galleries are located between Jack London Square and 26th Street and along the Broadway/Telegraph corridors. You may view the map for more specific locations. To get to the area using BART, get off at the 19th Street Oakland stop, which is only a few blocks away. The 12 (Grand St), 51A (Broadway), and 1 (Telegraph) AC TRANSIT buses also come right to the Uptown District.

Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment: The Videogame Museum

Opened in September of 2011, the MADE was America's first dedicated, open to the public videogame museum. The 2000+ sq ft facility between Jefferson and MLK on 16th behind city hall hosts over 5000 games and over 100 consoles, many of which were donated by GamePro magazine when it ceased publication in November of 2011. Today, the MADE is open to the public for free every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 PM. At othertimes, the MADE hosts free programming classes for kids, free audio classes for teens and adults, community meetups, game jams, and all-playable exhibits featuring significant historic videogame works along a theme.

Stop by and check it out, but be prepared to play some games. This is a hands-on museum. 610 16th St. Suite 230, Oakland CA 94612. Dial #0230 to be buzzed in from the box downstairs.

Notable News and Historical Events

  • Occupy Oakland was located at Frank Ogawa Plaza (renamed Oscar Grant Plaza) and many Occupy Oakland activities took place downtown.
  • The 1946 General Strike happened right downtown.
  • 2Pac Shakur was stomped down by police at 17th and Broadway. He later sued the city and won for police brutality and unlawful detention.
  • MC Hammer's video for the song "Pray" features shots of downtown Oakland, and two of Hammer's pals playing dice in the doorway of what is to become Flora.

Controversy over boundaries of Downtown

  • There has been wide disagreement over the definition of Downtown Oakland. Check out this interesting blog post at The DTO blog for lots of details about the confusion and controversy surrounding where Downtown Oakland actually is.

Specifics

Grocery

Nature's Best Foods

Best selection of natural, organic and specialty items in Downtown/Lake Merritt area. Open until 10pm 7 days a week, with a great selection and unbelievably friendly staff.

1431 Jackson St
(between 14th St & 15th St)
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 451-4505

Coffee

Bars

Good Eats

Shooting Star Cafe

super affordable, charming in an utterly real and no-nonsense kind of way. open late.

1068 Webster St

Oakland, CA

510.251.9882

Kamdesh Afghan Kabab House

Hands down, best food and best service in the downtown area.

346 14th St
(between Harrison St & Webster St)
Oakland, CA 94612
Neighborhood: Oakland Chinatown
(510) 286-1900

Chopsticks Chinese

Cheap, quick Chinese. Open till 10 on weekdays.

328 14th St
Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 832-8832

Health Club/Training Gym

Intelligent Fitness

Oakland's Premier Educational Health Club. Our members achieve Real Fat Loss & Sports Performance Results. 

1956 Webster Street

Oakland, CA 94612

520.245.3827

Festivals & Events

Art and Soul Festival

http://www.artandsouloakland.com

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