Tag Archives: novella carpenter

Holiday GUIDE – part II

Only 1 week left (phew)… For those of you who didn’t make it out last weekend due to lousy weather, overindulgence, or more pressing engagements, there are a few more artisan oriented shopping events this weekend, if you still need to pick up some last minute unique and special gifts.  And if you’re not interested in shopping, scroll down (after photo) for other noteworthy events…

Friday, December 18th

  • Smokey’s Tangle Shopping Mall and Holiday Something to do (6pm – 9pm)

    Smokey’s Tangle Art Gallery has turned itself into a mall this December. Get your photo taken with Santa, make a holiday card, test out the chair massager, and listen to demented christmas music all in our heartwarming mall-like atmosphere.
    http://www.smokeystangle.com/

Saturday, December 19th

  • Lil Tuffy @ Kuhl Frames + Art (11am – 4pm)

    The 2nd Annual Exhibition of works by SF designer Lil Tuffy continues with over 225 limited edition screenprinted rock posters for Bay Area, National and European shows. As always, ready-made frames will be available…remember your music and art loving friends this holiday season!  http://KuhlFrames.com/

  • Stocking Stuffers Craft Fair @ We Art Space (11am – 4pm)

    Original ready-t0-hang art, and hand-crafted items such as jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more… http://WeArtSpace.com/

Sunday, December 20th

  • Stocking Stuffers Craft Fair @ We Art Space (11am – 4pm)

    Original ready-t0-hang art, and hand-crafted items such as jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more… http://WeArtSpace.com/

holiday lights, circle of lights, mountain view cemetery

Mountain View Cemetery Holiday Circle of Lights

For those of you ahead of the game and actually ready to kick back and enjoy that vacation you’ve been waiting for for months, here are some interesting local oaktown holiday and non-holiday events to check out…  have fun!

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (friday, 12/18)

Mentioned in yesterday’s post too… part of the Paramount’s classic movie series.  Tickets are $5 and include pre-film entertainment. Doors at 7pm… movie starts at 8pm.  paramounttheatre.com

Reality Playings: Experiments In Experience/participation Performance (friday, 12/18)

CRITIC’S Choice: East Bay Express… Frank Moore, world-known shaman performance artist, will conduct improvised passions of musicians, actors, dancers, and audience members in a laboratory setting to create altered realities of fusion beyond taboos… Temescal Art Center at 8pm.  http://www.eroplay.com/events.html

Holidays at Dunsmuir Estate (sat/sun, 12/19 – 12/20)

Experience the wonders and classic beauty of the holidays at Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate. Walk back in time through our beautifully decorated mansion, enjoy live holiday music, have breakfast with Father Christmas, find the perfect gift in our Holiday Shops, activities for the kids, and much more!  (11am – 5pm)  http://www.dunsmuir.org/calendar_holiday09.html

Ghost Town Farm Tour (sunday, 12/20)

Due to popular demand, Novella Carpenter is having another farm tour!
When: Sunday, December 20, 11am-2pm
What: Signed copies of Farm City, Goat Town t-shirts, fried green tomatoes, and hot chocolate made with goat milk for sale. Goat snuggling and tours free.
Where: Ghosttown Farm, 665 28th Street, at Martin Luther King
http://novellacarpenter.com/

Charlie Hunter at Yoshi’s, Oakland (sunday, 12/20)

Celebrating 10 years of Home for the Holidays CHARLIE HUNTER With Very Special Guest Doug Wamble… saw this show Saturday night… Awesome.
When: Sunday, December 20, 2pm matinee and 7pm shows
http://www.yoshis.com/oakland/jazzclub/artist/show/954

“A Christmas Carol, the Musical” at Lisser Theater, Mills College (12/19 – 12/23)

Charles Dickens’ classic gets the full Broadway treatment by the Broadway team of Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Mermaid,”), Lynn Ahrens (“Ragtime,” “Seussical”) and Mike Okrent (“Crazy For You,” “Me and My Girl.”)  This spectacular musical retains its emotional power and pure joy, thanks to the marvelously-told story, and the score with beautiful melodies and emotional lyrics.
http://curtaincallperformingarts.net/tickets_-_a_christmas_carol

The Oakland Ballet Performs the Nutcracker (12/24 – 12/27)

The Oakland Ballet Company presents Carlos Carvajal’s Nutcracker accompanied by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, performing the beautiful Tchaikovsky score.

This beloved holiday tradition has a spectacular growing tree, a spirited party, battle scenes, and a trip through the snow forest and the land of the sweets. The San Francisco Chronicle describes Carvajal’s Nutcracker as a “time-tested production, featuring glittering costumes and a live orchestra.”

TICKETS: $15-$50 with student and senior discounts through www.ticketmaster.com  or 1-800-745-3000.  Or better yet, avoid the butt-load of convenience charges that Ticketmaster applies by going directly down to Paramount Theatre (Box Office on 21st street – if you bring a non-perishable food item for the Alameda County Food bank, you get at additional 20% off your tickets – not a bad deal!), 2025 Broadway 510-465-6400, paramounttheatre.com http://www.oaklandballet.org/

Ghost Town Farm

The mural that I highlighted yesterday (May Peace Prevail on Earth) is located just a block off 27th Street, a street I drive weekly. In the nine years I’ve lived in West Oakland, I’ve probably cruised past this spot hundreds of times and yet only noticed the mural just recently…

I decided to get out of my car (hurray!) and walk the neighborhood a bit…. it’s hard to really see things when you’re cruising by at 30 miles per hour. I found a lovely little elementary school with wonderful murals of its own (to be featured at a later date), a sweet pocket park next door, the gorgeous and historic Calou building (also to be featured another day), and this gem… the Ghost Town Farm.

What was so exciting about finding this spot is I had literally heard a full-length radio interview with the creator of the farm just days before on KQED’s Forum program… you can listen to the archive here.  Her name is Novella Carpenter and she is practically a local celeb – as a student of Michael Pollan at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism she has her own book: Farm City – The Education of an Urban Farmer, her own blog: Ghost Town Farm, and her own agenda to share stories about “people who follow unconventional paths,” herself most definitely included.

What’s largely unconventional about Novella’s farm is that she’s literally homesteading on someone else’s land.  It’s a large vacant & abandoned lot next door to her house that she simply decided to adopt and care for as her own.  As she says in her blog, “it all started with a few chickens, then some bees…” but what she has cultivated over the last ten years is a real working farm with rabbits, goats, pigs, fruit trees, and tons and tons of vegetables.

One of the things I found interesting in her interview on KQED was her discussion of the difference between a “garden” and a “farm.”  She said gardens tend to produce for an individual or one family… if someone picks your tomatoes, you might feel slighted or offended. On the contrary, farms produce for the community… when she sees someone picking her tomatoes she feels proud that they can enjoy food that she has grown. She maintains an open door policy and community members are welcome to view the farm, pick produce, meet the goats (though the day I stopped by they were secured behind the house for safety), and learn about sustainable urban farming.  This girl is cool!

During the interview with Dave Iverson, there was also a fascinating discussion of the legality and appropriateness of commandeering someone else’s property… do check out the audio archive.  Or better yet, check out Ghost Town Farm.  As far as I’m concerned, this is an act of guerilla art at its finest.

Ghost Town Farm Entrance

Ghost Town Farm Welcome

Ghost Town Farm

Ghost Town Farm Bees

Ghost Town Farm