November is flashing by before our eyes, and the holiday season is almost here. But first, we’ve got some events that might catch your eye. And don’t worry—we’ll be back next week with another list of things to do when you need a break from all the turkey eating. 

If you have an event that you’d like me to consider for this roundup, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org. If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form anytime by clicking on our homepage’s “Events” tab. 

Virtual Tour: The Lost Urban Tank Houses of Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda

Tank house historian Aaron Goldstein points out where the tank and windmill would have been on this three-story water tower, now used as a private residence, in Southwest Berkeley on March 10, 2022. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

Today in Oakland and its surrounding areas, there are only a handful of “tank houses” still standing. These ingenious, windmill-topped wooden structures were commonly used over a century ago to bring water into homes. Join architectural historian Aaron Goldstein for a virtual chat being presented by the Oakland Heritage Alliance about this almost forgotten piece of vernacular architecture. Goldstein—who created a map of the known water towers still existing in the East Bay—will share stories about several of the tank houses and the people who lived beside— and sometimes inside—these curious-looking structures. 

Thursday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., virtual, RSVP

Tree planting on Bancroft Avenue

A volunteer at a tree planting event. Credit: Emily Dolan

Last year, two students at Oakland Technical High School who are concerned about environmental waste launched an initiative to plant 150 trees in the city to offset the carbon impact of paper used at their school over the course of a year. Since then, the students—both interns at Keep Oakland Beautiful, a local volunteer organization that coordinates clean-ups and beautification projects around the city—have been planting trees around the flatlands in an effort to make Oakland greener. This weekend, the students are looking for volunteers to join them in deep East Oakland to plant trees along the Bancroft Avenue median. Interested in volunteering? All you need to bring are gloves and water. Snacks and other tools will be provided on-site. 

Sunday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m., meet across the street from 9338 Bancroft Ave. 

Temescal Roots Project — Collective Imagining: Planting New Seeds

“Town,” from the Thirteen Ways of Looking at Kasper’s collection. Credit: Malcolm Ryder, used with permission

This weekend, the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District, in partnership with local creative agency Made in Color and with the support of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, is inviting the public to a free community event to discuss an upcoming art installation honoring the Black Panther Party. The installation will be built in the coming year at the pedestrianized walkway outside of Kasper’s Hot Dogs. The event will feature a panel of artists, and community members will have an opportunity to share their visions for the installation. Confirmed panelists include Malcolm Ryder, the photographer behind the art exhibit, 13 Ways to Look at Kasper’s; Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith, muralist and owner of Wolfe Pack Studios; Senay Alkebu-lan, multidisciplinary artist and founder of Madow Futur; Refa One, artist and director of AeroSoul, muralist Timothy B. Art, and Tion Torrence, graffiti artist and founder of FME Culture, who will also serve as the event’s moderator. 

Sunday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., free to attend, RSVP, Temescal Works, 490 43rd St.

Pardee Home Museum tours

An old photo of what the Pardee Home Museum looked like. Credit: Pardee Home Museum

There’s little left of the grand Victorian homes and estates that once lined the streets of Oakland. The Camron-Stanford House, Cohen Bray, Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, and the Pardee Home Museum are a few of the ones that still offer a glimpse of the Oakland that once was. The Pardee home, built in 1868, was originally inhabited by California State Senator Enoch H. Pardee, then by his son, former California Gov. George Pardee. And finally, by his two daughters, Madeline and Helen. The carriage house that is part of the property was once threatened to be demolished to make room for an I-980 on-ramp, but it was eventually saved and designated an Oakland Landmark. In 1976, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1997 was named a California State Landmark. Now a museum, visitors can stop by to roam around the different rooms and get a history lesson about the house and the families that lived there. Currently, the tours are limited to a maximum of 10 individuals. Everyone must present a COVID-19 vaccine card. 

Second and third Saturday of the month, 10:30 a.m., $10, Pardee Home Museum, 672 11th St.

Virtual rally for a WNBA team in Oakland

Oakland Tech and Cal grad Alexis Gray-Lawson, bottom, tries to pass the ball as she is defended by St. John’s Kia Wright, left, during the first half of their first-round game of the 2006 NCAA Divison I women’s basketball championship Sunday, March 19, 2006 in State College, Pa. Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Last year, the Oakland Coliseum Authority voted unanimously on a non-binding plan to bring a WNBA team to Oakland. That October, former WNBA superstar Alana Beard announced she was partnering with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG) to try to bring a WNBA franchise to Oakland. The Oakland City Council followed all of this up just a couple of months ago by approving a resolution encouraging the WNBA to come to the city. This Friday, WNBA fans will have the chance to show their support by wearing their favorite WNBA jerseys and Oakland colors to help in the effort to bring a women’s basketball team to the Town.

Friday, Nov. 18, 12 p.m to 1 p.m., virtual, RSVP to get a Zoom link

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.