Oaklavía: No Cars Go

On Sunday, June 28th 2010 Oaklavía took over the streets of Oakland. Modeled after San Francisco’s Sunday Streets and inspired by Ciclovía from Bogota, Columbia residents of the East Bay (and beyond?) explored the city from Jack London Square to the Uptown on a bike path laid out by the organizers and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. And at the center of the whole thing stood 4 Square of the East Bay, playing games and yelling at passers by. 4SEB set up a square right in the middle of the intersection at Broadway and 10th between Chinatown and Downtown. The music was bumping by 9:45, the square was taped and chalked by 10:15 and the first players literally rolled up around 10:45. They were on unicycles. And they played 4 Square.

And that how the day went… after the unicyclers from the Berkeley Revolution made their way to the basketball courts, 4SEB was joined by kids, families, random bikers and regulars from the Thursday games. Big thank yous go out to Sam, Michelle and Robert for helping set-up and promote the games. It was also good to see Adam, Molly, Gus, Monk, Ben and Canela in the middle of the street. Some folks from Mosswood Kickball (Jacob, Lara & Alissa) did a ride-by before coasting off to their games. 4SEB made new friends and had some really good players showing off their skills. Rules made their way into the square and people were soon calling out countries, acting like pirates, jumping in the air and spinning. The hardest new rule of the day was the ‘Stay in the square’ rule where if a player stepped out of the big square, they’d be called out. Needless to say, new addictions were made, fliers were handed out and everyone was invited to the Thursday games. The people playing ranged in age from 6 to 71. Awesome!

Not only was this event fun for the community, but it was also news-worthy! Check out the photos and quotes about 4SEB from the San Francisco Chronicle’s sfgate.com or Patsy K. Eagan’s Daily Brief in Oakland Local (she also did an Oakland Magazine blurb on us) or Dara Kerr’s piece in Oakland North (she missed us in her photos but did a 4SEB piece for Cross Currents on KALW a couple months back). 4SEB was happy to be a part of this street party and bring games to the people of the East Bay!

Sadly, the streets couldn’t stay closed to traffic for the entire day. As 2pm rolled around 4SEB had to close out the games and get out of the way. The day ended with a friendly elimination that knocked out all of the kids waiting to get to A square and resulted in Robert striking the pose of victory in the middle of Broadway.

4SEB had much fun taking part in taking over the streets. It’s almost like what we do in the parking lot. Our urban game is all about the repurposing of public spaces and building community. On Sunday, we did that and it was a blast. Thanks Oaklavía, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and the people of the East Bay! See you in the streets real soon!

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