One of the many secret staircases featured in Charles Fleming’s 2011 book Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

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Most people this weekend will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, watching the Super Bowl, or both. Others will be staying home altogether to avoid crowds. Whatever the case may be, we’ve included some fun options this week for everyone. 

Don’t forget your vaccine card if you’re heading out and about in Oakland. If you want a digital copy to keep handy in your phone, the California Department of Public Health offers a quick and easy way to get it

Email your questions and comments to azucena@oaklandside.org, and if there’s an upcoming outdoor or online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Super Bowl rooftop watch party at the Continental Club

This Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI. Whether you’ll be tuning in to watch the game, catch the commercials, see the halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, or are just looking forward to getting out of the house and eating some finger foods, it is undoubtedly the biggest event of the weekend. The recently reopened Continental Club in West Oakland is one of the many places offering a watch party. In its 1940s glory days, the venue (it was called Christy’s Grill back then) was part of a thriving Black nightlife and jazz-club scene revolving around 7th Street, which came to be known as the “Harlem of the West.” The club, located on 12th Street, hosted musical luminaries such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and others. Since its reopening this past New Year’s Eve, the club has hosted DJs, and jazz and reggae nights. This Super Bowl event will take place outside on the club’s rooftop. Don’t forget that your vaccination card is required to enter.

Sunday, Feb. 13, 3 p.m., free (register online), Continental Club, 1658 12th St.

Walk Oakland’s ‘secret’ staircases

Last spring, Oaklandside reporter Jose Fermoso wrote about the East Bay’s secret stairs, the often narrow and hidden stairways located in alleys and in-between houses in many different parts of Oakland and Berkeley, which are the subject of Charles Fleming’s 2011 book, Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland. For his article, Fermoso spoke to a couple who’d gotten engaged during a romantic walk on one of the staircases. Whether you’re looking to propose or just want to enjoy a quiet and romantic view looking into the sunset, this is a good option. Each walk is numbered and mapped in Fleming’s book and they all feature several of the staircases, which were built after the 1906 earthquake to help residents living in the newly built neighborhoods to walk to the trolley system more easily. Some of the staircases, while steep, offer breathtaking views of the Bay. There are over 30 walking loops, including in the Oakmore, Crocker Highlands, and Rockridge neighborhoods. 

Enjoy the views at Joaquin Miller Park

The Lookout Point at Joaquin Miller is the perfect place to catch a sunset. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

We’ve featured Joaquin Miller in past roundups, and can you blame us? The views, the connection to nature, and Oakland’s past: What’s not to love? The park itself has gone through some much-needed renovations in recent months. So this weekend, disconnect from the digital world and head over to the lookout point (yes, the one where Ashley and Miles were watching the sunset together in the TV show, Blindspotting, on STARZ). You can sit next to the giant redwood or walk a bit down the path and enjoy the views from the wooden chairs. 

Every day, free, Joaquin Miller Park Lookout Point, 3547 Sanborn Dr.

Have a picnic at the Rose Garden

Here’s another spot we’ve featured in past roundups that’s worth re-exploring this weekend. Since the last time we posted about the Morcom Rose Garden, some readers have reported seeing turkeys roaming around. Don’t worry, it’s not Gerald—but apparently, some of his buddies are still soaking up the sun around there. Grab some food on your way, set up your picnic blanket with your significant other or friends and family, and enjoy the greenery and flowers that are starting to bloom.

Anytime, 700 Jean St. 

Get takeout and watch a movie set in Oakland

Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are the producers of the series, Blindspotting. Diggs and Casal wrote the eight episodes. Credit: Courtesy Lionsgate

If you are still cautious about going to a restaurant or anywhere indoors but still want to do something fun this Valentine’s Day weekend, why not support a local restaurant by getting takeout and catching a movie that features or is inspired by Oakland? Head over to NOSH to read about some great local eateries, and find an old favorite or pick a new place to try out. Once you grab takeout, cue up one of these recommended films that show love to Oakland: Sorry to Bother You, East Side Sushi, Blindspotting (which you can watch for free), Fruitvale Station, Kicks (you can stream for free on Peacock), Black Panther, Soul and Up (all three streaming on Disney+), and Moneyball

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist 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.