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Vanessa Guerra

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts, Cover Stories, Oakland »

[By Steven Luo, Vanessa Guerra, Jennifer Courtney, Tashina Manyak, James Keith and Heather McDaniel | 9 Jul 2010 | No Comments]
A large banner reading "Oakland Says Guilty" was hung from a stoplight in Downtown Oakland during a gathering after the verdict in the Johannes Mehserle trial. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

(7/9) — UPDATED 14:15 PDT — OAKLAND — A large, peaceful gathering of people in Downtown Oakland following former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter was followed by violence as the sun set.

Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts blamed the violence, which included looting shops and setting dumpsters on fire, on a small group of about 50 anarchists.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 6 Jul 2010 | No Comments]
Artwork of Oscar Grant is painted on the Youth Radio building at Telegraph and 17th Streets in Downtown Oakland. (Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

In downtown Oakland — where it seems nearly every business is preparing for the absolute worst that the BART shooting verdict could trigger — there are a handful of businesses who aren’t boarding up their storefronts or putting up posters of shooting victim Oscar Grant in fear of angry protesters breaking windows and torching cars.

They’re not giving in.

San Francisco »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 24 Jun 2010 | No Comments]
Apple fans eagerly waited for the release of the iPhone 4 at the Apple Store in San Francisco Wednesday. (Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

After months of anticipation, Apple’s iPhone 4 finally went on sale today, delighting Apple enthusiasts and fans in the Bay Area who eagerly put in pre-orders to bring the new device home.

Nightbeat, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 30 May 2010 | No Comments]
Oakland's Beer Revolution offers up a tasty selection of over 500 brews at their popular pub. (Photo by Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT)

Beer lovers: bottoms up! Prepare to do some serious tasting at a new Oakland hot-spot, Beer Revolution.

This new addition to the Jack London Square neighborhood opened just a few months ago and it’s already earning rave reviews for their delectable selection and super friendly service.

Bay Area Snapshots, San Francisco, San Francisco City Guide »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 16 May 2010 | No Comments]
BOOGIE DOWN in the City by the Bay during the 99th running of the ING Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco Sunday, May 15, 2010. (Photo by Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT)

To the naked runners — and those who chose to wear nothing but the boxers and bikinis — it must have been pretty darn cold for you during Sunday’s 99th running of the ING Bay to Breaker’s race in San Francisco.

But it didn’t really matter, did it?

Arts & Entertainment, Nightbeat, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 2 May 2010 | No Comments]
Opening weekend at the renovated museum drew thousands of visitors -- all free of charge. (Photo: Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT)

After a major $62.2 million two-year transformation, the Oakland Museum of California reopened its doors to the public this weekend.

The consensus amongst museum visitors was clear: the renovated museum is impressive.

Arts & Entertainment, Nightbeat, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 18 Apr 2010 | No Comments]
Co-owner Guy Karmi pours wine for customers at his Downtown Oakland restaurant, Spice Monkey, a two-year old spot that is quickly drawing a loyal following.

After a long period in the doldrums, Downtown Oakland is coming to life again.

And it’s being resurrected thanks in part to restaurants like Spice Monkey, a busy Webster St. spot that draws a loyal crowd of suit-and-tie regulars along with casual locals looking for a great spot to eat.

It’s located inside a beautiful art deco era building that once housed Oakland’s historic Howden Tile factory. Remnants of the old factory — and the ceramic tiles it used to manufacture — are located all over the restaurant.

Nightbeat, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 1 Apr 2010 | No Comments]
Farley's East owners Amy and Chris Hillyard's coffee shop has transformed into a community gathering hub for Uptown Oakland.

When Amy and Chris Hillyard opened Farley’s East, a community coffeehouse in Uptown Oakland last summer, both said the goal was to create a place with community, comfort, great food and coffee.

So far, it’s been successful all the way.

Nightbeat, Oakland »

[By Vanessa Guerra | 29 Mar 2010 | No Comments]
LIKE A CHEMIST, the skilled bartenders at Grand Tavern concoct brilliant mixed drinks.

The Grand Tavern, perhaps named for the street it calls home, is a converted two-story Victorian that has become a local hotspot for dining out along Oakland’s Grand Avenue.

On a recent visit, my guest and I sat at a wooden table right next to a fireplace and front bay window in the Victorian’s converted living room.