The new Oakland shuttle just pulled up at the stop by my office. Pretty darn convenient. Only had to wait about 5 minutes (it runs every 10 minutes or so during peak hours and 15 minutes every other time). As you can see, it looks like a standard bus and is serviced by AC Transit. Hopefully this catches on and serves its purpose of spurring more business in Downtown Oakland. Otherwise it'll be a pretty short lived experiment.
This is great news. The current issue with Downtown Oakland is that there are pockets of cool places but they aren't necessarily next to each other. Jack London Square (where Centrro resides) is up and coming while the Uptown area has its own bustling restaurant/bar scene. The free shuttle that will run up and down Broadway from JLS to Uptown (and all points in between) will help get more cross pollination of people between these two areas. Plus, it'll be a great way to move people from BART to their respective destinations. I'm toying with the idea of walking from my place in Rockridge down to Uptown and taking the shuttle the rest of the way to JLS. Would be a great way to exercise and save on gas/pollution/etc.
I go to a few concerts every year. Let me re-phrase that. I get dragged to a few concerts every year by my wife. Though I'm not against live music, my wife is the far bigger fan and I'm happy to accompany her. We recently saw The Shins at the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland. I have to admit, the two old-time venues in Oakland (The Fox and The Paramount) both look pretty darn good after their restoration. Specifically, the uniqueness and historic feel to both theaters is a win for the city. Almost every performer I've seen at either of these places, goes out of their way to comment on how beautiful the interior is. I'm not saying places like The Independent or The Fillmore don't have their own charm and rich history but there's a certain blandness to the interior of those venues. Stepping into the Fox or Paramount is like taking a step back in time to when the Oakland nightlife was more vibrant. Let's hope their restorations echo into the surrounding areas and bring Oakland's downtown back to the good old days.
Pardon the poor photo qualities. The iPhone camera leaves much to be desired in low-light situations.