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Oct 11, 2010 04:50 PM

Oakland Art Murmur - about 15 food tables/carts/trucks, First Friday of Month, 9/3, 10/1, next is 11/5. Telegraph and 23rd Street, 6-9pm

Oakland Art Murmur - about 15 food tables/carts/trucks, First Friday of Month, 9/3, 10/1, next is 11/5. Telegraph and 23rd Street, 6-9pm

The Oakland Art Murmur is an open art gallery event centered around Telegraph Avenue and 23rd Street on the first Friday of the month from about 6 – 9 pm. It's been going on for about 4 years and has the feel of an East Bay version of a shrunken SOHO. I've only recently started attending and have found, in addition to the art, about 15 or so food vendors who have set up tables, stalls or brought in trucks, most of whom did not appear to be the regulars seen at other events.

Here's a slide show hopefully depicting some of the atmosphere of the 9/3 event – make sure that you click on the “Show info” button near the top right to get the descriptions of the photos. You may also want to click the “Options” button to get a menu to “Slow” down the speed of the slideshow:

There are also some photos from the 10/1 show which I'll put up tonight. I had a silky Drake's Bay 3-oyster (pre-shucked) shooter from Mojo, $5. Also a veggie tamale with zucchini, carrot and tomato wrapped in banana leaf from Tamale La Oaxaqueña . The tamale was firm, not mushy or cake-like. I asked for the optional hot sauce which was added after loosening the string that tied off the banana leaf in order to get to the tamale. La Oaxaqueña can also be seen at the Beehive Market on San Pablo in Berkeley on Saturdays, according to the vendor.

Most of the galleries are on 23rd and 25th Streets between Telegraph and Broadway but some are found north in the Temescal District on Telegraph near Pizzaiolo.

Here's a link to a map of the galleries and the Art Murmur website:

The entertainment for the evening took place on the Great Wall of Oakland, a nearly windowless north face of an 8- or 9-story building next to the parking lot behind Luka's on West Grand between Broadway and Valley. Instead of the usual film or photo display, Project Bandaloop, a troupe of dancers and climbers, slowly rappelled down the wall while performing an intricate dance, without helmets. After watching for about 20 minutes, I was glad that I had already digested my oysters and tamale.

Here's a 1-minute shaky video of their descent:
and more about Project Bandaloop:

It was impressive that Oakland could put an event like this together – art, theatre/circus act, food, music, - all within a few blocks in an area that until recently had been almost exclusively warehouses and repair shops. I got a big kick out of the grungy and homemade feel of the Art Murmur.

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    1. photos from the 10/1/10 Art Murmur ( click on "Show Info" at the top right to see the descriptions):

      2 Replies
      1. re: zippo

        The girl and the homemade soaps in the 3rd pic looks like reason enough to go to the next one.


        Plus that BBQ pork butt looked mighty tasty too.

        How was that served?

        1. re: Mission

          don't know how the pork was served, was only at Pican for a minute or so to take the pictures. the Pican sidewalk sign (picture #5 in the first link in original post) listed 'low and slow' bbq ribs and smoked brisket.

          edited: the fellow in the Pican bbq pictures (1st two pics in the10/1/10 set) sure looks a lot like Pican executive chef Dean Dupuis:

          Pican Restaurant
          2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

      2. James Whitehead's new Fist of Flour pizza truck will be at the Friday, May 6 Art Murmur at Telegraph & 23rd Street in Oakland starting at around 6 pm serving their Fruitvale Special with Chorizo, corn, shallots, and pasilla puree, and another pie for vegetarians.

        haven't tried it yet.