Tag Archives: pedicab

Making Crime Unprofitable

This post comes in the wake the author getting assaulted on Broadway at 25th Street over the weekend.

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What are our society’s financial incentives to keep crime down?  How are financial incentives set up right now?

Is the Mayor of Oakland (Ron Dellums) paid according to how safe our city is? Hell no.  Same for the OPD Chief.  Does he get a bonus for a safer city? Should he? I believe so.

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Another pedicab in Oaktown!

Early this morning I saw yet another pedicab in Uptown.

This one’s red and white striped, with car speakers sticking out each side. The cab appropriately is named Radio, like the goodly two story dance and drink jewel we have on 14th Street by BK.

The guy calls himself “Radio Man.”

Sounds post Post-Petroleum Man to me!

~Last night in Uptown~

This is a report onThursday  June 18th’s “Uptown Unveiled” street festival. Better posted late than never. Life gets busy. 🙂 -Ed.

Skateboarding contest

Skateboarding contest (Photo: Stephen Loewinsohn) http://www.stephenloewinsohn.com/

Last night’s street festival in Uptown was beautiful.

Fire truck

Nearly beyond words. Here are a few money quotes:

“Tonight’s event wasn’t publicized very well or in publicized in advance at all but it was a smashing success.” –Tom Murphy, D1 resident

“This is called traveling in style… I feel rich!” –passengers in my pedicab (the blue one)

Oh, the pedicab. I ferried more entertaining drunk single women last night than the NYMTA. Everyone seems to like mua because it’s super hip. I had a good time at Ozumo myself. Luka’s was also off the hook. I’m sure Somar had a good night and Van Cleef looked happening as usual.

Speaking of pedicabs/rickshaws whatever you want to call them, there were two others out last evening: a green one owned by a long-time resident (he was here in the 80s before Jerry Brown’s dto redev plans happened, named Jengis(?)) with a cool name I can’t remember and cute kids in tow, and a yellow Oakstercab from the Oaksterdam guys. These two pedicabs worked more of the “early shift” while I took the night shift.

Oakland blogger Becks posted some photos here.

Scenester Report:

  • Every bar and restaurant in the area was packed on a Thursday night
  • Pulse-raising bmx and skateboard competitions featuring local kids
  • V Smoothe and crew doing the pub crawl
  • Nancy Nadel enjoying the main musician stand
  • tons and tons of people… literally!! 🙂
  • light shows
  • kettle corn people
  • Crucible’s fireball flare-off special (using their “fire” truck)
  • Mike & Allison & “baby betty”
  • my old neighbors from Temescal
  • people on stilts and skates in funky costumes
  • Samba dancers. Yay!
  • people trying out a Segue (why are there so many Segue enthusiasts in uptown? 🙂

According to one city staffer I spoke with, putting on the event cost around 60k and change. This means that unfortunately the city can’t afford to do it every month. I think if the city did do it every month during the summer, Oakland’s downtown resurgence would happen faster. The local BID and businesses chipped in too, though not sure how much. I’d say the latter put in at least 400 man hours preparing for Uptown Unveiled, extending  hours or increasing staffing.

(Photo: Stephen Loewinsohn)

A big thank you is much deserved for City of Oakland staff, DTOA and LMUA business association staff, including street sweepers and security (hey, Kevin!); OPD/ACS; Phil Tagami of FOX Oakland redev fame, The Uptown apartment’s staff, performers and community members who put on a neat show; The Crucible’s burrningmanish peeps; local media for helping advertise from the early morning hours; and everyone who came for having a great time and starting no brawls and enjoying Oakland. It’s been a long time coming.

As it is, many happy out of towners will probably be coming back for more. I know, because as a rickshaw driver I had the opportunity to ask folks where they were from. Alameda, Oakland, East Bay (over the hills), Fremont… definitely a regional “East Bay” event, not sure if any SF bridge-and-tunnel people made it. Is DTO the new Walnut Creek or San Ramon? Haha. I guess we don’t have our own Santana Row yet — not that I like the place much. (Wonder how they are doing now, with luxury no longer “in.”)

Everyone I talked to after the event was too exhausted to send out thanks yous or write up reports like this. That includes me. Ultimately thought it was worth it!!

Upon a later retelling of the event, someone was amused by there being a “giant cotton plant” in the middle of Oakland. Oh geez 😉

Suggestion for next time: post route signs for “cable car” and pedicab shuttle stops and a map beforehand, not during the event


FFAM: Sweet Jesus!

At art murmur tonight, i enjoyed seeing artwork. Some of the art really bent the conception of “art” – shadow puppet fighting air with projected sound effect graphics and sounds that worked half the time. (It was funny, don’t get me wrong.) I enjoyed seeing people I know, admire and have fun being around. I enjoyed seeing people I didn’t yet know.

The most fun I had? Launching my new tips only bike taxi. It was a blast! Met just about a “ton” of interesting people. All kinds of feedback and inquisitivity. I also saw AG J. Brown leaving the FOX Oakland before the end of show rush and thanked him for his service. I didn’t think to ask him to run for mayor again… damn!

It was a pretty productive night out. And in. Zachary’s at home tastes great! It’s almost 3am now. I’m only awake now because I fell all but asleep earlier amongst a conversation about jihadists and sharia law in the UK, fuses, 22-380-38-9-10-40-45-357 vs canvas, or something else.

Best gallery tonight that I hit? The Uptown! Big new loftish space with freshly poured concrete (by Oaktown standards), free and free flowing champagne (thanks Alessandro) and great works of art in oil, photography and welded media. Shout out to the uptown staff and artists for holding it down.

The bar “Ave” is re-opened. Didn’t have time to imbibe but it looked packed. So did Ozumo and Luka’s. I’ve met so many people who’ve just moved to Oakland in the past week, we must be the new Portland!

Note to new Oakland residents: welcome, do not leave your bikes locked out overnight on Jefferson or any other street if you enjoy having two wheels and a seat, do check out Art Murmer on first fridays, the lake and every neighborhood if you can afford to.

p.s. I hear (and notice) that any city worth its salt these days has a one-day-of-the month or week community art event. Portland and Sac have thursday night art gallery type events. Obviously global cities do too.  Don’t know if SF does… but SF has many many many events. A bicycle cupcake scavenger hunt race in which yours truly didn’t scarf down a single cupcake comes to mind (I was with a newbie bike rider). SJ?