For many, the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland is the go-to place to apply for food stamps, get medical coverage, find childcare, and get job assistance. It was once the Eastmont Mall, but as income dropped and crime rose in the surrounding area, Planned Parenthood and the Oakland Public Library moved in, Mervyn’s became the Oakland Police Department, and JC Penney’s became the social service agency.
Libraries are where many people go to exercise their brains, and now there’s at least one where you can exercise your body. The 81st Avenue Branch Library in East Oakland is finding that what people want in their neighborhood is to work out. And, they didn’t have to go far to find the right instructor.
Berkeley’s Dark Carnival Book Store is hidden on a small commercial strip on Claremont Avenue. Inside it’s a sci-fi and fantasy lover’s dream. The owner for 37 years, Jack Rems, guesses that the store houses 25,000 books, lining the walls, staircases, and floor of the small store. KALW’s Dora Finklestein stopped by Dark Carnival and got a tour.
This past January, Adobe Books in San Francisco’s Mission District was on the verge of going out of business. It had been in the community for decades and this seemed like another sign of the great changes taking place in the neighborhood. KALW’s Holly McDede visited the store and brought back this story.
The sounds you’re hearing now are by Finish Ticket. This indie-pop quartet from Alameda says they like traveling in vans, and playing games they’ve made up. They also like playing music they’ve made up!
You can hear them play some of those made-up songs this Friday when they perform at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Doors open at 8:00pm.