Commuting to work, we speed walk. In the evenings, we run for our girlish figure. After a Saturday night at the bar, some of us may even be prone to a drunken crawl. But whatever happened to the classic, ohsoromantic afternoon stroll? As the weather begins to heat up across the Bay, outdoor art walks and historical tours are popping up left and right. Whether you want to check out what’s new in the art world or what’s old in the architecture scene, ditch your sacred spot on the couch for a cultured wander.
Divisadero Art Walk
Art, drinks, and ice cream – need we say more? This spring's annual Divisadero Artwalk returns for its first installation in five months. A few businesses participating in tonight’s walk: Onyx Boutique, Big Umbrella Studios Gallery, the dangerously tasty Bi-Rite Creamery, and more. This spring’s walk has taken an organizational lead from Madrone Art Bar, which is hosting an art-packed evening. On the agenda is a tap takeover from Calicraft Brewing from 6:10pm, an art reception for computer scientist and kinetic artist Brent Thorne and "Portrait of America", a project that traveled nationally capturing Americans in photo booth portraits. After you’ve had your art fix, take to Madrone's dance floor for some disco tunes.
Thu/9, 5pm, free. Divisadero between Golden Gate and Haight, SF
Victorian Era Oakland walking tour
Lace up your leather boots and corset to become one with the Victorian architecture of Oakland’s Preservation Park. Home to the First Unitarian Church, East Bay historic building the Pardee Home Museum, and more than a dozen elegantly restored 19th century homes, the park stands out as a relic of old Oakland charm. If living near San Francisco has provided you with enough Victorian architecture to last a lifetime, choose from one of the seven other tours happening between now and October which cover the buildings of Old Oakland, Chinatown, and more.
Sat/11, 10am, free. RSVP at (510) 238-3234 or email@example.com. Preservation Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. and 13th St., Oakl. www2.oaklandnet.com
So the crowds at Oakland’s First Fridays are a little wild for your taste? Head to Uptown Oakland for the weekly Saturday Stroll – a quieter, yet equally artsy alternative. One exhibit highlighted at this week's stroll, "Lobbyscapes", features the work of artist Phil Gaughy who gives inanimate objects a life of their own. McGaughy explains, “I have come to think that certain minerals and elements may be sentient, and can adapt to new environments with their own technologies.” His chameleonlike wall reliefs in the Latham Square Building’s lobby and other ambiguous, abstract pieces are but one exhibit worth checking out among many.
Sat/11, 1-6pm, free. Downtown Oakland. www.oaklandartmurmur.org
Uptown, Lake Merritt and Secret Rooftop Garden Walk
After you’ve been schooled in the Victorian history of Preservation Park, travel north – and about 20 years ahead in time – to Uptown’s sparkly, Art Deco landmarks. Throughout the 90-minute adventure history, savvy volunteers will walk you past the Fox and Paramount theaters, as well as the jazzy, blue-and-silver Floral Depot. The tour will also take you up to the Kaiser Center’s secret rooftop garden for a camera-worthy view of Lake Merritt. Because what better way to wrap up a walk than in a perfectly manicured rooftop garden?