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Pican Restaurant is in the middle of the revived Uptown in Oakland.
Ok. After blasting the organizers of the previous Oakland Blogger's Party for not inviting me and for it being an "All Whites gathering" Oakland Blogger VSmoothe (A Better Oakland) was cool enough to invite me to last Wednesday's party, and you know, it was a good event with some diversity in the house. My only misgiving is that the folks' of color were not all active Oakland Bloggers like me or Michael Caton (An Oakland Citizen), or...VSmoothe or the good folks who write the Myrtle Street Review, who didn't make it but I'll get them to the next one!
(That's a bit of a prod to get it going, folks!)
But that written, it was a total blast! I'm happy to see that Oakland has a vibrant culture of people who care enough to write about what's happening in it. I love that they're engaged and it's good to see that they're active even as I'm off chasing windmills of national stardom and this television show of mine ; I'm all over the map and they're focused on Oakland. Thanks to Vivian for her critique of my Oakland Focus Blog's over stylized comment system (she can't see it) and always great to see the Oakland Legend Naomi Schiff of the Oakland Heritage Alliance, and of course, Libby Schaaf who really should be the Mayor of Oakland. (She's gonna kill me for that one, but it's true and insiders know that she's the only one who doesn't have any - as former Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb would put it - "sniper fire" coming at her from enemies.)
A good home base of people to keep me sane.
It was also cool to see all of the people waltz in and out of the event, like Phil Tagami, my long-time friend who just finished developing the Fox Oakland Theater (A place so nice, Sean Penn crossed the pond to see it.) and to who the City of Oakland owes a massive debt of gratitude, if they would for once stop being jealous of him (ah the Oakland Crabbarrel mentality!).
(By the way Phil, are you running for Mayor? What's up?)
But back to the party.
The real star was "Ave", (needs an updated website) the bar and eatery on 2020 Telegraph in the Uptown Entertainment District and next to the parking lot on Telegraph and Thomas Berkeley Ave, next to the Sears building - or across from it - and a hip place with the right amount of subdued lighting, and good wine and food. Stop by and try the pasta while you're watching the basketball game.
It's really cool to see Downtown Oakland just plain come alive with places to go and things to do after dark. I've got to admit, it's a little weird not crossing the bridge to find a party, now I've got to get my San Francisco friends over here where there's a "there, there" - finally!
If you've not been there, Pican Restaurant is a "must" on your restaurant list at 2955 Broadway and part of the Broadway / Grand Development. Try the mac and cheese and chicken or the salmon dish. It's the best in the Bay Area, and if you need a visual preview of the place, well the video above has it!