I like good food and good wine!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy Friday Night in Oakland's Uptown

Last night was nearly perfect in Oakland's Uptown. For those of you unfamiliar with Oakland, the Uptown area is easily accessible using Bart's 19th Street Station, and Bart fare is about the same as bridge fare. Uptown in on the rise, honestly it's risen pretty high already with some great apartments and condominiums, a thriving group of restaurants, and it's two most prized gems, The Paramount and The Fox theaters.

Last night, The Paramount was filled to the rafters for that special film where classical music meets fantasy and imagination, "Fantasia." The reason my night was just 'nearly' perfect is that the last tickets to this 1940 film were sold to the person right in front of me, "Computer says no." I don't recall the Paramount's fantastic $5 classic movie night to ever be a sell, and I want to congratulate them on this incredibly successful evening. Let there be more!

Oh well, if you've got lemons, make lemonade. I had already enjoyed an awesome $9 lamb burger, yummy fried chickpeas and an IPA at the Spice Monkey. I was not going to let a little thing like seeing an old movie get me down when four of my very dearest friends were with me, so we set off for drinks, and laughs and a very good time.

Ok, I want to brag a bit about Oakland just a bit, because San Francisco just does not have venues like The Fox and The Paramount anymore, and I believe Uptown's "style" can be attributed to these grand old movie palaces. The Fox was built in 1928, and The Paramount in 1931, but both closed due to lack of interest when patrons abandoned downtown venues in favor of those horrible malls in the late 1960s. Luckily, unlike most of San Francisco's theaters of this golden age, the Fox and Paramount were rescued from the wrecking ball and beautifully refurbished; the Paramount in 1973, and the Fox in 2009.

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