It was the place to be: the Oakland Museum of California’s grand re-opening today. Along with other faithfuls, we entered the temple after it was fully blessed by an Ohlone tribal member and various dignitaries. The outside hasn’t changed, although the entry shifted to Oak Street.
Notice anything odd on the wall? Project Bandaloop performed today, with dancers held aloft by climbing harnesses! It seemed quite difficult to maintain grace during the entire dance, but these two wall dancers succeeded in spades.
Once inside, we headed directly to the History gallery and enjoyed seeing old favorites like the 1898 steam-powered fire truck. This expanded gallery also housed evidence of the groovy 1960s to the current day. Getting our fill, we headed over the Art gallery and were forced to wait for others to leave first. Opening Day crowds are an aberration, though.
Anyway, these permanent galleries are simply more interesting and far easier to navigate than a year ago. You can tell that museum planners thought deeply about our experiences. Interactivity means high-touch, and not just computer screens planted all over the place.
After visiting the galleries, the new museum store was next on the agenda. While it’s located in a more centralized and open location, the offerings disappointed us today. All the local books and materials, once sold in the old store, have vanished from the shelves. Maybe the place hasn’t been completely stocked, so the jury’s out.
If you would like to visit the museum gratis, then head down tomorrow. There are many great events and concerts all day, including the always-inspiring Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir between 2-4pm.
Welcome back, old friend.