Reflections on the Oakland Museum’s Reopening…

If you didn’t know, this weekend the Oakland Museum threw open its doors and exhibits for all to come and enjoy. Read all about the reactions to this epic event on with Oakland Local’s ongoing coverage, or take a photo tour through Oakland Seen or read about the open ceremony by life long Oaklander William Wong. This celebration lasted 31 hours, from 11am Saturday, May 1st to 6pm Sunday, May 2nd. People from all around showed up to experience the newly redesigned museum and bask in the wonderfulness that is Oakland. Many, many great activities went down at the Museum (hula hoop workshops, non-stop Bhangra, panels on radical creativity, an all night dance party, a pancake breakfast, yoga classes and open exhibits) and 4 Square of the East Bay was invited to host a 6 hour marathon square by the Koi pond on Sunday. What else can we say? We held it down to represent for all of the playas and ballas from coast to coast, but mainly, we did it for the East Bay.

The crowd was a wonderful mix of young, middle and elders and the game was never short of players. Sometimes the line got so long that it wrapped back on itself making it so much sweeter when you got in. The kids ruled for most of the time, but the older (maybe not wiser) players managed to work their way to the top. 4SEB had printed up bookmarks with the rules in hopes of getting everyone on the same page, but soon after the game started this idea was thrown out and the main rules became “Don’t hit the people who are eating or selling food. Don’t hit the ball in to the Koi pond.” The main object was for everyone to have a good time and, overall, we think we accomplished that. There were those who got called out unjustly or stayed in longer than they should have, but no one got mad. In a game that’s all about turn-over no one player dominated the square and all got a chance to play. Of course, even the mad scrambling of children and the bouncing of brightly colored balls can go unnoticed. Multiple times the game had to be stopped because some wayward museum visitor would find themselves in the middle of the square without even realizing it. Some laughed it off, some put on faces of disgust, some even jointed the game. Hopefully, we made more friends than we did enemies.

At around 5pm, we ended the way we usually end, with an elimination round. The crowd had dwindled and final players were mostly adults, some who had been watching for hours and had finally worked up the courage to play. At the end of it all, a Thursday regular won the last round and took home the win. Congratulations Adam! You’re historic victory could end up in the museum one day…

4 Square of the East Bay would like to thank everyone involved in making this a kid-friendly, community-smiley, warm-and-fuzzy event. We’re glad to have been a part of the celebration. Shout out to Snowy and Rebecca for being our Oakland Museum contacts and for having our backs. Shout out to Sam, Lee, Jordan, Phil, Paul, Robert and Uriah for holding it down all day, for monitoring the energy, for calling kids out when they were out and for catching all the stray balls so that they didn’t hit people. Shout out to the regular Thursday players Adam, Mike, Gabby and Travis for showing up and showing everyone how it’s done. Shout out to the Strive For crew (Rebeccah, Adam, Matt and Amanda) for showing up and supporting. And final huge shout to all the people who stepped in the square and played with all their hearts. These type of things couldn’t happen without you and 4SEB couldn’t be more grateful. It can be summed up simply: We Hella ❤ Oakland.

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