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Downtown Oakland

Downtown Oakland is the hub of jobs – from government offices to major corporations. But popular entertainment venues and historic sites also are arrayed near the BRT route.

Near the northern terminus of the route are the Paramount and Fox theaters, popular venues for touring shows and local celebrations.

Oakland’s City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it was completed in 1914. Nearby is the Pardee Home Museum, home of two Oakland mayors and one California governor in the early years of the 20th Century. And downtown is also home to the African-American History Museum and Library.

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African American history on display in Oakland

To discover a unique side of the history of Oakland, the state and the West Coast, take the East Bay BRT to the African American Museum and Library (AAMLO) in downtown Oakland. This museum is the place where you can indulge in the cultural experiences of African Americans and learn something new about the neighborhood where you live.

The African American Museum is an extension of the Oakland Public Library located conveniently near the East Bay BRT on 14th Street. It was founded in 1946 by Eugene and Ruth Lasartemay and Jessie and Dr. Marcel Ford, who created a collection of artifacts and documents of African Americans in California. AAMLO has more than 160 collections that contain pieces from prominent families, churches, pioneers, and organizations that trace the development of California and the west coast.

The second floor museum hosts exhibitions that highlight the art, history, and culture of African Americans. Exhibits in 2014 have included “The Mood, The Music, The Passion of Art,” a display of works by visual artist Charles Blackwell. It showed how the influence of jazz accentuates his art pieces and the history of radio and culture in Oakland.

In the museum’s reference library, students, researchers and the public can explore topics as diverse as California history, genealogy, religion, the Black Panther Party, and the military. These are just a few of the archives that make up the 12,000 volumes of material on African Americans. To enhance the enjoyment of your research, the reference library has an extensive DVD and video collection that can be viewed on-site.

Want to read the old Black Panther Party newspapers on microfilm, or research a paper on Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement? Take East Bay BRT to the African American Museum and Library and discover the cultural history and experiences that make up California.

Step back in time at Pardee Home Museum

The East Bay’s Gold Rush past is on display at the Pardee Home Museum just a short walk from the BRT route in downtown Oakland.

A beautiful home with great architecture and exterior beauty resides on the corner of 11th and Castro Street in one of the historic neighborhoods in Oakland.

Midwest immigrant Enoch Pardee built the house during the Gold Rush era of the 19th Century. His family played a big role in the development of the East Bay. To preserve the Pardee legacy, the Oakland Preservation Park Historic District declared the home a landmark in the 1970s. Later, both the city and state designated the home as a landmark as well.

Today, the Pardee Home is run by volunteers who lead visitors on guided tours of the three-story home. For a $10 fee, visitors learn all about the furnishings and collections that make this a remarkable landmark in Oakland. Two floors of collections range from weapons from Africa to altar pieces from China.

The Pardee Home is also popular for its “Tea Time” and private tour, available by appointment for groups of four to 12 visitors. In the home’s elegant dinning room, you can enjoy a high tea menu with homemade savories and tartlets. The donation is $20 per person.

The Pardee Home hosts a variety of themed events, exhibits and even offers rental facilities for weddings, garden parties, memorial services and more. The garden landscape wraps the home with Japanese camellia, oak trees, antique roses, and even a vegetable garden.

Historic theatres light up Downtown Oakland

The Paramount and Fox Theatre are keeping alive Oakland’s well-earned reputation as a venue for live music and entertainment.

And the East Bay BRT line will bring you within a few steps of these two regional entertainment gems.

Paramount Theatre of the Arts

From symphony to soul, hip-hop to rock ‘n roll, The Paramount Theatre is one of the best seats in town to discover the arts in Oakland. Many Grammy award-winning artists and local legends have graced the stage of the largest multi-purpose theater on the West Coast.

Oakland’s Paramount Theatre was designed by renowned San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger in 1931. After the building suffered through some hard times, the Oakland Symphony, the city of Oakland, and other donors saved the building and remodeled it to authentic perfection. It was then declared a national historic landmark in 1977, and got a full upgrade.

Guided tours are available to the public the first and third Saturdays of each month, highlighting the art deco architecture of the building.

Located on Broadway in downtown Oakland, this theatre seats 3,040 people in its balcony and orchestra levels. The box office is open daily.

Fox Theater

The Fox Theater serves as the renaissance of Oakland’s uptown entertainment district. Located on Telegraph Avenue, the theater grounds open out to a courtyard of trees, benches, and open sidewalks that provide an upscale yet inviting location for a red carpet experience.

Since the reopening in 2009, this uptown Oakland district location has been a popular perk of living in the East Bay. This wrap-around building is not only a place of entertainment but it’s also the home of a charter school dedicated to artistic and academic excellence, the Oakland School of the Arts.

You can hangout at The Den located on the side of the building before or after a show. If you purchase a ticket you can upgrade your experience to VIP and visit the Telegraph Room, which features a private bar, preferred viewing, and complimentary treats.

Whether it’s music, food, or art, The Fox Theater has an experience for everyone.

Chinatown

The hustle and bustle of Oakland’s Chinatown features a wonderful mix of tastes and smells, languages and unique goods. Local merchants are the driving force but picking a favorite restaurant can be difficult. Whether your tastes run to Shanghai street food or classic duck, you’ve got choices in Chinatown.

Also along this stretch of the route are the Oakland Museum of California, home to everything from fossils to art, and the campus of Laney College where about 14,000 students are enrolled in variety of disciplines.

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Opportunity awaits at Laney College

Whether you’re interested in obtaining your associate’s degree, starting down the road toward transferring to a four-year college or university, or you just want to take a class to stay busy or learn something new, Laney College is at your service.

More than 14,000 students attend classes in everything from chemistry to journalism, culinary arts to mathematics, machine technology to ethnic studies. The atmosphere and energy of its campus provides a nurturing environment for its diverse audience.

Getting to campus is convenient and easy—just ride the East Bay BRT to get to your classes all year round. Laney College is the largest of the four Peralta Community Colleges that offer academic and enrichment programs. Its campus is located just a few blocks from Chinatown.

Laney College’s opportunities and curriculum are geared to the socioeconomic and cultural needs of the Bay Area.  With a mission to enrich the education of every individual in the community, its faculty and staff can help students work toward college readiness and career technical skills.

Every Laney College student also has access to a career center, counseling services, support services and financial aid. An expansive Technology Center with over 100 computer workstations provides students with access to the Internet and state-of-the-art tools.

Students can enroll for spring, summer and fall sessions. View the current catalog here.

Tracing California’s history

For more than 40 years, the Oakland Museum of California has showcased its vibrant and aggressive approach to displaying art, history, and natural sciences to the community.

The critically acclaimed 300,000-square-foot museum houses more than 1.9 million items. And its diverse programs run the gamut from art seminars to hands on activities to collaborative events that are fun for all ages, races, cultures, and backgrounds.

OMCA (1000 Oak St. at 10th Street) has deep ties to the community and to keep up with the fast-growing neighborhoods, a mobile museum called the “rover car” has been added. It goes to events and partnering locations to provide art and crafts, activities, and fun on-site.

“I love the idea of seeing BRT come through our area because it will connect us with our community engagement work,” said Cynthia Taylor, assistant director of public programs. “Everyone is welcome at OMCA and especially on Friday nights where you can have a good dinner, hear music of your neighbors, and explore the museum of California.”

Since 2013, the weekly night series — Friday Nights at OMCA — has gained in popularity. In partnership with Off The Grid, Friday Nights @ OMCA features special in-gallery programming from 5-9 p.m., live music, food trucks, hands-on workshops, family friendly activities, and more. East Bay BRT riders have the opportunity to experience a night out with enjoy half-price admission.

“It’s really an honor to serve the community on Friday nights,” said Taylor.  “We know Oakland is working hard and if the community is going to spend time with their families, OMCA is going to give them an affordable, safe environment, and educational opportunity to do so.”

Chinatown is alive, diverse

Oakland’s Chinatown is a sight to see.

It is rich with history and pride. And it just steps away from East Bay BRT.

On any given day the streets are bustling with people going in and out of the restaurants, businesses and attractions that reflect the region’s vibrant Chinese culture.

Whether your tastes run to Shanghai street cuisine or fine carved jade, this neighborhood provides an authentic experience in the heart of the city.

The whole family can enjoy a variety of Chinese cuisine. Pass by a dozen storefronts and you will see live seafood, fresh produce and meats hanging in the windows. Walk into almost any shop to find the best herbs and imported teas from China and Hong Kong.

Traditional attire is displayed alongside ancient artifacts and toys as you stroll through the market. Fine china is a particular delight in Chinatown retail stores.

Visitors, businesses and residents feel welcomed and at home, with the wealth of community services also available in the area, from healthcare to banking.

The area hosts events year-round focused on ancient traditions and the tastes of China.  Every August, the streets shut down and come alive for the two-day Oakland Chinatown StreetFest. Entertainment becomes the spotlight and attracts thousands of people from all over the Bay Area.

Beat the traffic by taking East Bay BRT to the festival for an easy way to experience a full day of fun.

Eastlake

As the BRT route turns onto International Boulevard, it is on the doorstep of the Oakland Unified School District headquarters. The Kaiser corporate center is also nearby, making this a major jobs center.

The community takes its name from the adjacent Lake Merritt, home to a boating center, gardens and a children’s fairyland. All are a short walk from the BRT route.

Eastlake-Map

Lake Merritt – an urban treasure

Lake Merritt is considered the heart and soul of Oakland. Bird watching, paddleboats, live music, and waterfront restaurants are just some of the attractions East Bay BRT riders can experience here.

In 1869, Dr. Samuel Merritt donated 155 acres of tidal water and the addition of a dam created a lake in the heart of Oakland. Since then, Lake Merritt has been the focal point and jewel of the city. People from all over gravitate to this picturesque man-made lake east of Downtown Oakland to enjoy what is the only salt-water lake in the United States located in a downtown metropolitan area.

Great for exercising, Lake Merritt is 3.4 miles around with multi-use paths that are very popular among walkers, bikers, and joggers.

The Lakeside attractions are for everyone. Conveniently located a short walk off the East Bay BRT, you can enjoy the picnic areas, discover the wildlife and go bird watching at the Rotary Nature Center. The Children’s Fairyland — which includes rides, storybook themed attractions, and theatre arts inspired by Walk Disney — is the place where every kid can use their imagination. There is also the Lake Merritt Boating Center where you can rent sailboats and kayaks.

The community also comes to the Lake Merritt area to experience some of the best restaurants in town. A neighborhood favorite — Lake Chalet — is right on the water and perfect for happy hours on the dock. The farmer’s market located adjacent to Lakeshore Avenue is open on Saturdays, giving the community a new way to enjoy both fresh produce and lunch.

Access to Lake Merritt is just a short walk from the East Bay BRT route, making your adventure to the Eastlake neighborhood of Oakland simple and easy.

Culture Center open to all

Looking for a place to explore your artistic and cultural expression?

Visit the Eastside Cultural Center on the East Bay BRT route in the San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland.

The center was built by the Eastside Arts Alliance to provide a creative environment for residents and local artists to gather in the community. The center offers public programs that focus on empowerment and brings people of all ages, races, and cultural background together.

Eastside creates a dialogue of understanding by providing an open forum for artists to express themselves. It also hosts town hall meetings, after school art programs, and film screenings for the public.

Take East Bay BRT to the center’s annual Malcolm X JazzArts Festival, which draws thousands of people from the Bay Area to San Antonio Park.

This center doesn’t just act as a vibrant and colorful building for artists to visit. On the second level, Eastside Cultural Center also offers 16 affordable housing units to the community. One bedroom and studio apartments, and even live/work commercial units are available.

Opportunity awaits at Laney College

Whether you’re interested in obtaining your associate’s degree, starting down the road toward transferring to a four-year college or university, or you just want to take a class to stay busy or learn something new, Laney College is at your service.

More than 14,000 students attend classes in everything from chemistry to journalism, culinary arts to mathematics, machine technology to ethnic studies. The atmosphere and energy of its campus provide a nurturing environment for its diverse audience.

Getting to campus is convenient and easy—just ride the East Bay BRT to get to your classes all year round. Laney College is the largest of the four Peralta Community Colleges that offer academic and enrichment programs. Its campus is located just a few blocks from Chinatown.

Laney College’s opportunities and curriculum are geared to the socioeconomic and cultural needs of the Bay Area. With a mission to enrich the education of every individual in the community, its faculty and staff can help students work toward college readiness and career technical skills.

Every Laney College student also has access to a career center, counseling services, support services and financial aid. An expansive Technology Center with over 100 computer workstations provides students with access to the Internet and state-of-the-art tools.

Students can enroll for spring, summer and fall sessions. View the current catalog here.

San Antonio

This neighborhood offers another glimpse of the melting pot of cultures that is Oakland’s rich heritage. Small businesses – including many run by Vietnamese entrepreneurs – mark this area.

The San Antonio Recreation Center and Sports Complex is a short walk up 19th Avenue.

The neighborhood is also home to the innovative educational program at Think College Now.

(Photo Credit: Welcome to The Historic San Antonio District, City of Oakland sign ( CC-A Photo by HiMY SYeD )

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Park has something for everyone

The San Antonio neighborhood doubles as the melting pot of all cultures and home to one of the best free sports complex areas in Oakland. The children’s playground, lighted tennis and basketball courts, and a soccer field are just a few of the many recreational activities the San Antonio Recreation Center and Sports Complex (1701 East 19th St.) offers to the community.

Surrounded by beautiful trees and grass, San Antonio Park sits at the top of the lower rolling hills of the East Bay making it the ideal location for outdoor activities and family fun.

Every year the San Antonio neighborhood comes alive when Eastside Arts Alliance hosts the Malcolm X Jazz Festival attracting thousands of people from all over the Bay Area. The festival features live performances from local artists, food vendors, live painting, and more. The park is just a few blocks away from the East Bay BRT stop making this festival experience easily accessible, no matter where you live.

Youth sports activities are available at San Antonio. Boys and girls can learn how to play basketball or brush up on their tennis skills with the help of highly trained instructors.

Every Tuesday through Friday after 6 p.m. or on Saturdays, San Antonio offers adult fitness and weight training to the public. For a small fee, take Pilates or breathing classes and access the weight equipment to get your body in shape.

After school programs aren’t limited to just sports, children and youth have the ability to improve their academic skills when they join the Scholars Homework Club. Every day after school, the San Antonio staff helps with homework and teaches effective study skills.

San Antonio park is also available to host family BBQs or outdoor gathering. There is a lot of open space, tables, and benches available to the community.

From the two children’s playgrounds to the community garden on the top of the hill, the park is a highlight to the San Antonio neighborhood.

Stay active at Senior Center

The San Antonio Senior Center is dedicated to promoting good health, education, and physical development to seniors in the area. Regardless of your economic status, background, and physical ability, every senior can take advantage of a rich program where you feel welcomed and at home.

The services at the San Antonio center cater to every senior’s need. Highly trained bilingual volunteers greet visitors with open arms and build healthy long lasting relationships. The San Antonio center staff makes an effort to provide information and interpretation of documents in Spanish, Khmer, and Laotian for all of their workshops so no one in the community feels left out.

Staying active as a senior isn’t easy. The San Antonio center has a plethora of activities such as zumba and yoga classes, bingo, and holiday parties that stimulate the mind, body, and soul. You can play pool in the game room or relax on the patio at your leisure. A low-cost lunch is provided daily and seniors can participate in the monthly food bag program at no cost.

Seniors can also exercise their brain and learn new technical skills with computer training courses and art projects.

With the East Bay BRT, San Antonio Senior Center and Alameda County will be able to better serve over 1,000 low-income seniors that make up the neighborhoods. More seniors will be able to attend seminars that will help them in applying for food stamps and Medicare. There also are nutrition classes.

The San Antonio Senior Center is located in the Fruitvale Village and is a community asset for both the Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods.

Program fuels college dream

Think College Now is an Oakland Public School program for grades K-5 that specializes in building expectations that will put students on the right track for college.

All students should have an equal opportunity to attend college. Through community and family involvement, students in Oakland’s diverse Fruitvale/San Antonio community are given the necessary tools and support. After-school programs foster academics, cultural development, and career interests.

Located in the Cesar Chavez Education Center (2825 International Blvd.), Think College Now is easily accessible right on International Boulevard. Students attending this school are able to take East Bay BRT right to class so they don’t have to worry about transportation or hardships getting in the way of their education.

Every Think College Now student receives at least two sessions a week in the science lab. Students can attend TCN after school and access the computer labs to do homework assignments, practice creative writing skills and join the “Super Star Literacy” program for reading comprehension.

Since 2003, TCN has aimed to offer all kids in the community a college-bound experience. Just as early as kindergarten, students can go on tours to visit campuses around the Bay Area.

Take East Bay BRT to Think College Now to take advantage of the programs that bring high expectations to students and will help them pursue their dreams.

Fruitvale

This area has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years and is home to many restaurants, shops and the popular Fruitvale Public Market.

It is the home to the Cesar Chavez branch of the Oakland library, the nation’s first library branch designed to serve the Hispanic community.

Each October, the Fruitvale community plays host to the Dia de los Muertos Festival, one of the region’s largest of its kind.

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Healthcare options abound

The Fruitvale neighborhood offers a wealth of health resources arrayed along International Boulevard and along the East Bay BRT route.

Native American Health Center

(510) 535-4400

Perhaps the most visible is the Native American Health Center, which maintains clinic facilities at 3124 International Blvd.; its 7 Directions program at 2950 International Blvd., and its administrative offices at 2920 International Blvd.

Since 1972, NAHC has been serving communities in the Bay Area by providing an array of resources ranging from medical, dental, therapy, support groups, and HIV/HCV services.

From its original mission of providing comprehensive services for the well being of Native Americans — American Indians and Alaskan Natives – the health center has grown into a community healthcare resource open to everyone.

Today, the health center has nearly 300 employees in 12 sites throughout the Bay Area.

“We are committed to advocating for strong and healthy families and communities,” said Parke Ballantine, Native American Health Center media manager. “The Fruitvale area is rapidly growing and so are we.”

“We are very excited to have East Bay BRT in our community because it will make all of our resources more accessible,” said Ballantine.

In addition to health, nutrition and fitness programs, the Native American Health Center also provides youth services and hosts cultural events.

Offerings span all ages and include men’s drum circles, computer and coffee time, sewing and quilting classes, traditional arts, and parenting classes.

For more info visit www.nativehealth.org.

Other healthcare sites in the district include:

  • La Clinica

3351 International Blvd.; (510)500-9058

La Clinica offers community health care in wellness, prevention, and patient-centered care. Addressing the needs of the diverse Fruitvale neighborhood, La Clinica provides culturally and linguistically appropriate resources so that no one feels left out. Tattoo removal services and teen health are just a few of the many special resources offered to the public.

For more info visit www.laclinica.org.

  • Access Health

3351 International Blvd.; (510)532-8831

Are you looking for affordable healthcare that doesn’t require a membership or insurance? Access Health’s experienced doctors and professionals can provide convenient, quality primary and urgent care. Walk-in or schedule an appointment for checkups, routine exams, or for urgent attention.

For more info visit www.myaccesshealth.com

  • Westcoast Children’s Clinic

3301 E 12th St; (510)269-9030

The Westcoast Children’s Clinic delivers individual therapy for both children and family. Clients have access to programs that meet the needs of adolescents. Westcoast has highly trained clinical staffs that are available to help assess each child and cater a program to their needs.

For more info visit www.westcoastcc.org.

  • Street Level Health Project

2501 International Blvd.; (510) 533-9906

Street Level provides temporary services like food, clothing, and health programs to help people get back on their feet. Check out the clinic and get free assistance on navigating community resources.

For more information visit www.streetlevelhealth.org.

Food just part of Fruitvale’s appeal

Handmade ice cream, fresh produce, and Latin American cuisine are just a few of the treasures creating a buzz at the Fruitvale Public Market.

The Unity Council established the Fruitvale Public Market in 2008 to provide an affordable, attractive, and storefront space in the heart of east Oakland. Eleven businesses make up this indoor-market and they each provide an array of colorful goods visitors to the Fruitvale Village.

The market serves a one of the primary shopping destination in the neighborhood. Relax and enjoy the Latin American flavors that surround the courtyard area of the market and take advantage of the Farmer’s market year-around on Sundays and Thursdays.

The home-style cooking at the Taco Grill attracts foodies from all over. You can even try a caramel-filled churro from Churros Mexicanos. All of these delightful foods are what makes a trip to the market worthwhile.

The Fruitvale Public Market was created to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, create jobs, and to expand the resources in the Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods. Each business holds a high standard of quality, freshness, and variety of service that is needed.

In addition to being an essential part of the Fruitvale neighborhood, the market is also the epicenter of Fruitvale’s popular fairs, arts and crafts demonstrations, and healthy living resources. The Unity Council hosts an annual Dia de los Muertos celebration that showcases Latin culture and live entertainment.

Don’t get stuck looking for parking when you can ride East Bay BRT to Fruitvale.

Librarian looks forward to BRT service

The start of Bus Rapid Transit service along the International Boulevard corridor will make life easier for commuters. But it’s also going to provide new opportunities – and more potential clients – for the many businesses and community services located along the route.

One of those who is eager to embrace the prospect of increased traffic is Pete Villasenor, the head librarian at the Cesar Chavez Branch of the Oakland Public Library (3301 East 12th Street, Ste. 271, at Fruitvale Village).

BRT would be really beneficial for our patrons,” said Villasenor. “I can only see benefit from this project.

“I expect more people will visit the library as a result of BRT. BART is nearby, but we draw mostly from the nearby neighborhoods, within a 1-2 mile radius. Parking isn’t easy here, but with this, it should be easier for people who don’t want to drive here and who are not able to make the walk.”

Villasenor knows his clientele well. He has worked for the library system since 1996, serving at Cesar Chavez for nine years and leading the branch for five years.

The Cesar Chavez branch has a rich history. It opened in 1966 as the Latin American Branch Library, the first library in the nation to specifically serve the Spanish speaking population. And it continues that tradition today with computer classes in Spanish every Saturday and bi-lingual story time for toddlers and preschoolers.

Today, libraries provide other services too.

“In a way, we’re becoming de-facto day care for these kids whose parent or parents have to work,” Villasenor explained. “This way, they are not on their own. They eat here and hang out here longer. We feed their stomachs and then feed their minds.

“This is the third summer that we will be offering free lunches for kids up to (age) 18 healthy lunches Tuesday through Friday. We feed on average 50 kids on each of those days during the summer.”

Villasenor also is looking forward to BRT on a personal level. “I’m a bicycler and I’m very happy that there will be bike lanes.”

Havenscourt-Lockwood

Much of this stretch of the route is lined by manufacturing and warehousing facilities as well as small business. But that doesn’t mean it’s short on things to do.

The Digital Arts and Culinary Academy offers teens a place to make their artistic, musical and food preparation career dreams come alive.

For fun of another kind, check out the Parks & Recreation Department’s Rainbow Recreation Center at 5800 International.

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Take digitals arts, culinary classes

The diversity of smells in the kitchen and the harmonic sounds coming from the production studio are just small aspects of what makes up the beauty, heart and soul of The Digital Arts and Culinary Academy (DACA).

The DACA is a state of the art facility designed for teens and adults to excel and create a better life and community for themselves and others. Teens are offered after-school and summer programs that are intensive and engaging for the creative mind. During the summer, DACA holds five-week sessions where they open up the facility for teens to maintain urban gardens and try cooking classes in the Culinary Arts & Urban Agriculture program.

“Here at DACA, we are well invested in each member and consider ourselves an extension to each individual’s family,” said Andrea President, co-site director and guitar instructor. Instructors help each student discover his own talent and mentor them even after they have moved on.

Summer programs aren’t just limited to teens. A new program for adults has been introduced that offers comprehensive classes twice a week. Learn how to plan and make meals that are healthy and nutritious. Take a gardening class and learn the secret of composting and harvest veggies that you can take home to your families. If you have a love for music and visual arts, take video production and develop a hands-on approach to creating your own music.

“East Bay Bus Rapid Transit will be a great opportunity for the community that we serve to see that there are other things to do in this world,” said Claytoven Richardson, co-site director and piano instructor. “DACA offers programming, like technical skills and urban agriculture, which are not available to teens in schools.”

DACA is located adjacent to the Rainbow Recreation Center at 5818 International Blvd. giving East Bay BRT riders an opportunity to experience two east Oakland treasures on one bus trip.

The mission of DACA is to help teens build self-confidence to develop skills that they can use in everyday life. Explore the world of video production, cook meals of varied cultures, or discover a new musical talent through piano or guitar. The opportunities are endless at DACA.

Plenty to do at Rainbow Rec Center

Rainbow Recreation Center (5800 International Blvd.) is a fun destination on the East Bay BRT route where everyone — kids, families, and seniors – will find a variety of safe and healthy recreational programming.

With a skateboard park, open basketball gym, large playground, and cooking classes, Oakland residents of all ages can come relax, unwind, and enjoy life.

The Rainbow staff treats every resident like family.

“We take it to the next level,” said Horace J. Houston, Rainbow Recreation Center director. “Not only is our center a place to come for fun but we have a weekly food program that we open up to the community.”

Three times a week, Rainbow opens a free pantry that is full of fresh produce, bread and groceries that residents can take home to their families.

During the summer, Rainbow Recreation Center is buzzing with lots of things to do for children. There are arts and crafts programs, a T-Ball team to join, and even field trips all over the Bay Area. Of course each kid will work up an appetite so Rainbow makes sure to satisfy that hunger with free lunch and afternoon snack each day.

“I look forward to seeing East Bay BRT come through here,” said Houston. “Hopefully this will increase our population at Rainbow and will give exposure to future riders of all the great things we’re doing.”

The location of Rainbow is in the heart of Havenscourt-Lockwood area, right at the Seminary stop on the East Bay BRT route.

Gateway to entertainment

Ride East Bay BRT and you will be connected to the home of the Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and some of the best live entertainment in the west.

The Oracle Arena and the O.com Coliseum are located just a few blocks from the BRT route on International Boulevard. The complex is the venue for sports, entertainment, and family fun.

For basketball fans, there’s never a dull moment at the Oracle Arena, home of the NBA’s Warriors. Enjoy a wide variety of concession stands circling the venue, win prizes, and see the halftime shows.

The fun doesn’t stop at basketball. Many travelling shows — like Disney on Ice and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus –stop at the arena, providing a night out the whole family can enjoy. Big name musical performers also come to Oracle Arena so you can take East Bay BRT to see some greatest entertainers of the day.

Right next-door is the O.co Coliseum. As the home of the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders, this multi-purpose venue acts as a ballpark and football stadium year ‘round. Attend one of the games and you will feel the true meaning of Oakland’s pride.

Pick your view at the coliseum. You can sit in club seats, luxury suites, and general seating in a venue that can be configured to hold 35,000 for baseball and more than 50,000 spectators for football.

Don’t worry about the hassle of parking when you can take East Bay BRT to enjoy the sports, entertainment, and family fun.

Hegenberger

This neighborhood is the gateway to the sports and entertainment complex – Oracle Arena and the O.co Coliseum – and to Oakland International Airport via Hegenberger Expressway.

In recent years, the area has seen an influx of offices and business development rippling from the airport, making this a growing job center.

Hegenberger

Gateway to entertainment

Ride East Bay BRT and you will be connected to the home of the Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and some of the best live entertainment in the west.

The Oracle Arena and the O.com Coliseum are located just a few blocks from the BRT route on International Boulevard. The complex is the venue for sports, entertainment, and family fun.

For basketball fans, there’s never a dull moment at the Oracle Arena, home of the NBA’s Warriors. Enjoy a wide variety of concession stands circling the venue, win prizes, and see the halftime shows.

The fun doesn’t stop at basketball. Many travelling shows — like Disney on Ice and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — stop at the arena, providing a night out the whole family can enjoy. Big name musical performers also come to Oracle Arena so you can take East Bay BRT to see some greatest entertainers of the day.

Right next-door is the O.co Coliseum. As the home of the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders, this multi-purpose venue acts as a ballpark and football stadium year ‘round. Attend one of the games and you will feel the true meaning of Oakland’s pride.

Pick your view at the coliseum. You can sit in club seats, luxury suites, and general seating in a venue that can be configured to hold 35,000 for baseball and more than 50,000 spectators for football.

Don’t worry about the hassle of parking when you can take East Bay BRT to enjoy the sports, entertainment, and family fun.

Boys & Girls Club offers haven

At the Ossain E. Carr Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland (8530 International Blvd.), youth in the Hegenberger and Elmhurst neighborhoods can find a safe place in which to learn, grow and play.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland began in 1941 to develop the community’s youth and provide a safe place to serve families and children ages 6 to 17. With a goal to serve over 5,000 youth and 10 percent of the Oakland Public School District’s enrollment, the Boys & Girls Clubs work year around to provide programs that cater to all backgrounds, disadvantages, or special circumstances. Club membership costs $20 for the whole year.

During the school year, kids can participate in the “Power Hour,” which is a tutorial and homework assistance program that is coordinated with the work of Oakland public schools. Starting at age 11, youth can be introduced to different career options through the “Career Beginnings” program.

“We have a big academic focus here at the Boys & Girls Club,” said Fred Fraizer, director at Ossain E. Carr Branch. “By networking with feeder schools, we are able to design programs that are needed outside of the classrooms.”

Health and life skills are important values that the club promotes. There are programs designed to establish a positive self-image, develop healthy eating habits, and grow individuals to be self-sufficient adults.

This branch offers free lunch and snack programs as well as cooking classes in the clubhouse. The club also provided free health screenings and physical fitness assessments that can be catered to each child.

Sports and recreation is one key to the development of each child and the Ossain E. Carr branch membership includes sports, art classes, and zumba classes in the dance room. From the basketball court to the game room, kids can find an activity that they enjoy and participate in daily games to stay fit.

“We’re looking forward to the East Bay BRT because it will provide access for our members and comfort for their parents,” said Fraizer. “Our kids will arrive safely and affordably.”

Seniors have convenient housing

The Allen Temple Development Corp. provides safe, affordable housing to senior citizens along the East Bay BRT route in facilities such as Allen Temple Arms I and II, Allen Temple Gardens, and Allen Temple Manor. All of the housing communities are easily accessible and within walking distance of BRT stops on International Boulevard.

Allen Temple Arms I & II (8135 International Blvd. and 1388 81st Ave.) provide 128 units designed to meet the needs of seniors who are on a fixed income. The apartments are one bedroom or studio and include paid electricity. The common areas of Allen Temple’s housing developments are what make each facility enjoyable. There’s a beauty salon, outdoor patio for summer cock-outs, library, and lots of space for holiday parties and events.

“I enjoy the open door policy that they provide to the seniors,” said Annie Allen, 89, who has been a resident of Allen Temples Arms I since 1997. “Any time that we have concern the staff is always here to help.”

“I take the bus to downtown San Leandro to see my doctor all the time so I look forward to East Bay BRT getting me there with less hassle,” said Allen.

Other housing developments include Allen Temple Gardens (10121 International Blvd.) and Allen Temple Manor (7607 International Blvd.), which also are located on the bus route. The Gardens and the Manor include 50 one-bedroom apartments offering similar amenities.

Residents at Allen Temple Development Corp. facilities enjoy activities that cater to the social, wellness, and learning needs. There are grocery store trips, weekly coffee hour, massage therapy sessions, and field trips.

Friends and family can visit the housing communities easily when taking East Bay BRT. And getting to off-campus appointments will be a breeze when you live in an Allen Temple housing community.

(Photo Credit: Calvin Walker)

Elmhurst

Variety is the key in this community.

For the young, the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland has a major facility at 8530 International Blvd.

The historic Allen Temple Baptist Church offers many things for all ages. Its expansive campus includes a theater, a gymnasium, a library and a living center, all of which host community activities. The church also operates several affordable housing communities in the area.

Elmhurst-BRT-Map

Roots offers health options

The Roots Community Health Center at 9925 International Blvd. offers quality comprehensive healthcare services in East Oakland. At Roots, families can get health services and assistance. Whether the need is an annual exam, immigration services, or primary care, the Roots clinic is open to all.

Roots Community Health Center was founded in 2008 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to address the health needs of East Oakland residents by providing culturally appropriate health care and high-quality services. The Roots clinic continues to improve the health of its community and collaborates with cross-agencies to ensure that all Easy Bay residents can get the help they need.

“Roots staff is dedicated to healing our community from within through high quality care that emphasizes self-advocacy and empowerment,” says Noha Aboelata, MD, Roots CEO. “At Roots, East Oakland’s health hub, we treat the whole person by ensuring linkages to community resources, removing barriers to employment, and providing workforce training in healthcare and light manufacturing, which has a positive impact on the family and the entire community. ”

Lab tests, physical exams, and check ups are just an appointment away. Get set up with your own personal doctor quickly and easily. Residents of East Oakland who need in-home care assistance can also join the Residence Based Care Program.

Community-based services such as personal assessments or on-site screenings are offered and are just a short ride away on Easy Bay BRT.

Men’s Health Services, mental health services, pre-employment physicals, substance abuse resources, and counseling services are just a few of the general programs that are offered.

To schedule an appointment please call 510-777-1177, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Campus hosts community services

Allen Temple Baptist Church offers a plethora of health and social services on its campus at 85th and International Boulevard.

From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., the Family Life Center provides services for children, youth, seniors, and families. Regardless of your church affiliation or religious belief, Allen Temple Baptist opens its doors to the community for anyone seeking resources and support.

The Family Life Center offers the community programs that provide positive approaches to all of life’s challenges. Attend educational health classes to learn about caring for hypertension and diabetes. Every fourth Wednesday and first Friday of every month, representatives of the Department of Veteran Affairs are available on-site to assist active military and veterans with counseling, information, and referral services.

At the Dr. Robert C. Scott Wellness Center, also located on the Allen Temple Baptist campus, the community is offered a safe place for counseling services. Sign up for the certified anger management/domestic violence program; take parenting classes, and get free mental health counseling from a supportive and highly trained staff.

Unsure of what services you need? Stop by the information and referral center to get assistance on housing, medical, transportation, and more.

Allen Temple Baptist Church was founded in 1919 with a commitment to serve people of all ages and cultural backgrounds in ministry and the community.

Take East Bay BRT right to this campus.

(Photo Credit: Calvin Walker)

Boys & Girls Club offers haven

At the Ossain E. Carr Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland (8530 International Blvd.), youth in the Hegenberger and Elmhurst neighborhoods can find a safe place in which to learn, grow and play.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland began in 1941 to develop the community’s youth and provide a safe place to serve families and children ages 6 to 17. With a goal to serve over 5,000 youth and 10 percent of the Oakland Public School District’s enrollment, the Boys & Girls Clubs work year around to provide programs that cater to all backgrounds, disadvantages, or special circumstances. Club membership costs $20 for the whole year.

During the school year, kids can participate in the “Power Hour,” which is a tutorial and homework assistance program that is coordinated with the work of Oakland public schools. Starting at age 11, youth can be introduced to different career options through the “Career Beginnings” program.

“We have a big academic focus here at the Boys & Girls Club,” said Fred Fraizer, director at Ossain E. Carr Branch. “By networking with feeder schools, we are able to design programs that are needed outside of the classrooms.”

Health and life skills are important values that the club promotes. There are programs designed to establish a positive self-image, develop healthy eating habits, and grow individuals to be self-sufficient adults.

This branch offers free lunch and snack programs as well as cooking classes in the clubhouse. The club also provided free health screenings and physical fitness assessments that can be catered to each child.

Sports and recreation is one key to the development of each child and the Ossain E. Carr branch membership includes sports, art classes, and zumba classes in the dance room. From the basketball court to the game room, kids can find an activity that they enjoy and participate in daily games to stay fit.

“We’re looking forward to the East Bay BRT because it will provide access for our members and comfort for their parents,” said Fraizer. “Our kids will arrive safely and affordably.”

San Leandro

San Leandro

The BRT route leads through San Leandro’s historic retail district. Commerce is a major focus along this stretch of the route, with the Durant Marketplace and the East 14th Street Business District.

Among the interesting sites is the San Leandro Plaza History Walk. There plaques detail the development of the historic community that dates to more than century before California achieved statehood.

The BRT route concludes at the San Leandro BART station.

San-Leandro-BRT-Map

Explore San Leandro’s history

The City of San Leandro takes pride in its history, which is on display just a block south of the BRT line on West Estudillo Street.

There history buffs will find History Museum (320 West Estudillo), Casa Peralta (384 West Estudillo) and part of the City History Walk.

The History Museum tells the story of San Leandro. Wall murals and life-size portraits set the scene for exhibits. A timeline of San Leandro begins with the first people, the Ohlone/Costanoan Indians, and follows the changes through Spanish/Mexican California, the Gold Rush, the beginnings of a new American town, and the developments of the 20th Century through World War II. Concept exhibits include People from Many Lands, Oysters and the Bayshore, and Agriculture and Industry.

It is open Thursday and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m.

On weekends, Casa Peralta, the city’s historic house museum, is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the city, three descendants of the original land grant of Rancho San Antonio (ranging from the San Leandro Creek to what is now the City of El Cerrito) lived in the Casa. The home was remodeled in 1926 as a grand Spanish-style villa, with hand-painted tiles imported from Spain, that tell the story of Don Quixote.

For those who feel like mixing a hike with their history, there’s the City History Walk. Start at the history wall at the Plaza on East 14th Street. The wall tells the story of the city’s growth and development. There are 12 markers at historic buildings or sites nearby and three concept pylons on West Estudillo Street.

Live theater in San Leandro

Opera. Improv. Broadway musicals.

They all come alive at the former California Conservatory Theatre in San Leandro. And the new BRT line runs right by the door.

In 2013, Curtain Call Performing Arts signed a five-year lease to take over the theater space adjacent to San Leandro City Hall. After some renovation work, what has emerged is a 67-seat black box theater that offers the flexibility to house a variety of production formats.

Curtain Call Performing Arts was founded in June 2008 to bring the magic of Broadway style theatre to San Leandro. The company has produced critically acclaimed musicals such as Aida (2009), Into the Woods (2010), Suessical (2011), and Cinderella (2012). In addition, Curtain Call has entertained more than 10,000 local school children and exposed them to the magic of live theater.

Resident companies include Opera on Tap and Gray Matter Improv. Opera on Tap is a non-profit company that seeks to transform opera so that it can be enjoyed by all audiences. Gray Matter Improv is the comic brainchild of Kathleen Dyer and Gil Brenum, who worked together in various theater groups for about four years before starting their own improv operation.

A concert series also brings touring acts and local performers to the stage.

​In approving the lease, Mayor Stephen Cassidy wrote: “The arts are vital to a city’s quality of life and economic progress. We hope that by providing a long term lease at almost no cost, CCPA will prosper and grow into one of the leading theater companies in the East Bay. CCPA already does so much for our city, including providing free performances to student groups and developing the talent and skills of our youth.”

Making government accessible

From time to time, we all need to interact with the various levels of government.

East BRT makes that easier with service that runs right by government offices in San Leandro.

Need to take to officials at Social Security about your benefits? Need a replacement Social Security card or to file a disability claim? The BRT line runs right in front of the office at 320 Davis St. Call for an appointment and avoid the lines.

Just around the corner lies the San Leandro municipal center. At City Hall, city residents can watch their government in action. It’s the place for exploring zoning rules and file for permits. There also are opportunities for civic involvement with various advisory boards and the oversight committee.

San Leandro has made governance accessible its compact City Hall complex. And East Bay BRT makes getting there even easier.