Home Away from Home

This afternoon, I wanted to enjoy the perfect weather in sunny Oakland and scribble in my notebook. Plus I had errands to run: pick up the two things that I forgot to pick up at Farmer Joe’s. So I strolled down Lakeshore, completing errands on the way and stopped at Astro Park near Lake Merritt. I expected to see lots of folks loving the lake for Oaklavia, an annual event put on by Walk Oakland Bike Oakland that lets people walk, bike and play in the streets for an afternoon. I didn’t expect to stumble upon Home Away from Home, an Ethiopian and Eritrean art and music festival that featured a pop-up art exhibit (encased in a cool Ethiopian goji, or circular home) various vendors and a bike-powered stage.

Yes, a bike-powered stage!

Pedal pedal!
Pedal pedal!

Two man- or woman-powered bikes perched atop a tree-shaped trainer of sorts, as well as a row of bikes on the opposite side of the stage, somehow generated enough juice to keep the sound system running all day. A counter kept track of how much energy was saved. (Not sure what the number means….watts? kilowatts?)

bike powered stage

bike power

The Afro-funk band on stage when I arrived played a lively set while kids played soccer and goofed off in the playground. People of all races and ages hung out and enjoyed the music and the beautiful weather. Lots of folks had bikes. Lots of folks had nifty fixie bikes. I definitely strolled in the right direction!

The Home Away from Home pop-up art exhibit has been on display for the past week. The event coincides with the Ethiopian and Eritrean new year.

I heart Oakland.

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