Oakland’s Saturday Stroll and Two Mile Wines
Actually, I had only one block to walk, but I would have walked further for Oakland’s art galleries and the tasting at Two Mile Wines if I had to. As it was, I parked on 24th, close to Telegraph Avenue, where there was no meter or threatening sign, just a white curb and generous space for my car. This is one of the reasons artists (and a few wineries) gather in this section of Oakland—you can still find parking.
After checking the Saturday Stroll schedule online, my friends and I decided to start our afternoon at an opening at Manna Gallery on 25th Street. On any given Saturday, there’s something going on around here, so be sure to check the schedule. If you want, you can research the artists before visiting, but I like the impact of seeing the work for the first time in person. When you’re there, strolling about, it’s good to remember that artists are often present, so be careful what you say. You may be tempted to be negative as contemporary art is all over the place and sometimes its very purpose is to inspire dark emotions, but keep critical comments quiet. On the other hand, for a piece of art that really appeals to you, look for the artist—I bet he or she would love to tell you about it. Artists are not like salespeople; you can talk to them without worrying that they will pressure you into buying something. Even with all my art experience, including a BFA and 25 years being married to an artist with art books all over the house, I always learn something from a conversation with an artist, and hopefully, I offer some encouragement.
With all this talking, my friends and I never made it beyond 25th street (we visited five galleries there), except for a short walk to Sweet Bar on Broadway to buy a big cookie. Then we returned to 25th for the tasting at Two Mile Wines where we were served five distinct and delicious tastes for five dollars. Wine tasting is such a great way to slow down, visit with each other (and with the wine host), and generally enjoy your life. And the way things are going, you no longer have to travel far to partake. At Two Mile Wines, the host explained that the winery’s name was taken from an old law that prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within two miles of Cal (the University of California at Berkeley). Humorously, many establishments, including the prestigious Claremont Resort, were built exactly two miles from campus, and that is where Two Mile Wines first had its tasting room. But now the tasting room is conveniently placed amidst the art in Oakland. Next time you have a Saturday afternoon free, why not take part in the Saturday Stroll, followed by a tasting at Two Mile Wines?