Adoptions at Oakland Animal Serivces take place Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Credit: Amir Aziz

In the summer of 2021, a month after the state dropped most of its COVID restrictions, The Oaklandside debuted this column, a weekly curated roundup of events and happenings around town. We’ve highlighted online as well as outdoor events and, when deemed safe, indoor ones too. 

The roundup has become a reader’s favorite and we’ll continue to publish it each week. But given the current COVID surge, we are once again pushing pause on highlighting indoor and large outdoor events. Instead, we’ll point readers to online events and outdoor activities that can be enjoyed as a family, in smaller groups, or solo. 

According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Alameda County is currently experiencing a “high” level of community transmission. The current rise in cases prompted several venues and event organizers to cancel their events and close down temporarily

We hope that these closures and postponements don’t last long and we can resume highlighting indoor events in the weeks to come. Email me your questions and comments to: azucena@oaklandside.org

If there’s an upcoming online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

A Very Victorian Christmas at Camron-Stanford House

Still savoring your holiday decor at home, sipping on eggnog or a hot fruit drink, and not quite ready to let the holidays go? In that case, A Very Victorian Christmas online exhibit by Camron-Stanford House is what you need. Through Jan. 9, you can learn how some of the most popular holiday traditions originated in the 19th century and how people throughout the country celebrated back then. Camron-Stanford House will also unveil another exhibit, Town Landmarks: Abstract Oakland by Jorge Bejarano, at the end of the month. You may remember Bejarano from his popular game, Town Lotería, which was sold online and at Oaklandish stores back in 2020. 

Online through Jan. 9. Find more information on the Camron-Stanford House website.

José Vadi in conversation with East Bay Yesterday’s Liam O’Donoghue

Oakland resident, award-winning essayist, poet, playwright, and film producer José Vadi debuted Inter State by Soft Skull Press last September.  The collection of essays explores the history of Vadi’s farmworker family members, the misconception that California is all about beaches and surfers, and the gentrification sweeping through the state. In one of the essays, titled 14th and Jackson, Vadi goes down memory lane to talk about his experiences moving to Downtown Oakland in 2007. This Thursday, Vadi will be in conversation with host and producer of the East Bay Yesterday podcast, Liam O’Donoghue. The discussion will have a live audience in San Francisco at Green Apple Books on 9th Avenue. The event will also be streamed.

Thursday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m., online via Zoom (must register) 

Bay Area Roller Dance Roller Skate Class

Brooklyn Basin’s Township Commons continues to be a favorite hangout spot to gather with friends and family. Its open and airy space allows for plenty of physical distance and lots of activities to partake. Fans of roller skating, whether as a participant or bystander, can enjoy not just the water view but also the pirouettes by seasoned skaters. Whether you are a new or avid skater, this class by artist and professional roller skater, Beto Mooncricket Lopez is for you. The classes are donation-based, no need to sign-up. 

Saturday, Jan. 8, classes at 10 a.m (kids), 11 a.m. (beginners), and 12 p.m. (“choreography, musicality, crazy legs, dips, and tricks”), donation-based, Township Commons, 288 9th Ave. 

Adoption event at Oakland Animal Services

Are you ready to welcome a new furry baby into your life? If the answer is yes, then the ongoing adoption events at the Oakland Animal Services is where you need to go. Make sure to read the adoption requirements beforehand. There are plenty of dogs like “sweet and fun-loving Pancho,” a male American pit bull terrier, and cats like Max and Flyn who would like to be adopted together to continue being buddies at the same house. So, check off the requirements, gather your paperwork, and show up to meet your future pet.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Oakland Animal Services, 1101 29th Ave. 

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park: Walk… and listen!

This 38-acre shoreline park operated by the Port of Oakland since 2010 is an open secret of breezy water views. Sure, in order to get there you have to go through that rather complicated freeway maze and underpass and share the lanes with big rigs but, in the end, it’ll be worth it. You can walk, jog, have a picnic, or sit at a bench and just enjoy the views. For an added immersive experience of what this area was like when it was next to the former Oakland Army Base, bring your headphones and check out episode 62 of the podcast East Bay Yesterday titled A town within The Town. The episode is an audio collage of people who had a connection to the former army base by UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center. When the episode first dropped in May of 2020, I bought takeout and sat at a bench by the water with my headphones on. I vouch and highly recommend checking this park while listening to this episode. 

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.