That has to be the most shocking title you’ve ever seen me post. Come to think of it, it’s shocking even if you’ve read my blog for the first time. Let me get to the second part of it first: the gang-rape mention.
I was told this by someone who regularly attends The Alley on 3325 Grand Avenue and it had to do with a woman who frequents my personal favorite place to go and sing, and with the best steaks in Oakland.
I will call her ‘Stephanie,’ but that’s not her name, and I’ve taken to basically ignoring her over the years because she has a tendency to do wacky things and say racist stuff – but that does not excuse what I’m about to report one bit. Let’s get that out of the way.
On Friday night, as I was singing along with other patrons at the piano, Stephanie walked over to a woman I was singing with, pointed at a white guy who was sitting on the other side of my female friend and asked her “Is that your boyfriend.” I said to her “no” because Stephanie placed her head between us in a rude fashion. The guy she was talking to said “She’s been chasing me all night. I’m trying to get away from her.” That was the last time I paid attention to Stephanie, and at that I was forced to because of the way she presented herself at that moment.
Stephanie is by appearances 5-foot-three, slender, 130 pounds, red hair, and about between 50 and 55 years old. She wore a bright red long dress that Friday evening – nothing revealing.
The man she was trying to nail managed to successfully ward her off, and wound up talking with The Alley’s server waitress. The last time I saw her, I thought she left the place. Not even sure what time that was.
So, fast forward to last night at Luka’s and after dancing I ran into one of The Alley’s regulars, more an acquaintance than a friend, and a little toasted, who then proceeded to ask me if I saw this “crazy woman” Friday night. And after a more detailed description, I figured out that he was referring to Stephanie. Well, The Alley regular then explains that two people he knows (and I don’t know) wound up in bed with her and as he put it “ran a train.” And he also told me they took some of her money.
I lost it. I asked him if anyone told the police – he said no. So I didn’t know what to do with what I was told, except to just get away from him. So I called a cab – Luka’s was closing at the time – and went home.
After thinking about it, I decided to post this information because no one should be treated that way, and The Alley should be on alert for anyone who might even think of doing that and also talk to Stephanie to see if she’s OK. I love the Alley, and I’m sorry she’s associated with it, in this way, but it’s no reflection on this establishment.
Look, the matter, as I understand it, did not happen at the Alley, but it involves an Alley Patron. Perhaps she went to their place of her own free will, but that doesn’t mean she had to be treated that way.
I don’t know but my guess is Stephanie was drunk and already upset that she didn’t get the guy she wanted.
I remember last December, before Christmas, and a woman I met at The Alley, who was quite attractive, and we had drinks, a conversation and eventually a good kissing session. Then I went to sing a couple of songs, one she requested “Fly Me To The Moon”. When I came back to the bar seat, she, who’s Jewish, said “You’ve got this white thing going, huh?” In other words, because I sing at the piano, to her, I’m white. Then, with the booze obviously having kicked in while I was singing, she said “You’re not a real black person,” and walked out of the place.
The bartender said “Go after her and make sure she gets the cab we called.” So I walked outside and was trying to get her to wait for the cab, just standing next to her and trying to talk reasonably with her on the side of The Alley, and suddenly, without warning, she walked away from me and to this 1998 Cadillac Deville that was parked in front of us. As I watched from the wall I was leaning against, she opened the back door of the four-door car and got in, and wound up sitting on some brother’s lap. After about 3 minutes, she got out, opened the door, and got into the front seat.
Yes, the men were black. I think they were at Kingman’s Lucky Lounge, or some place. They were wearing thick ski-type jackets. Not a suit in the bunch. They looked like the kind of brothers the drunk Alley woman would think were “real black men” who don’t have a “white thing” going on.
I wish I were making this up.
The driver of the car looked at me, so I walked over to his side of the car, he rolled down the window, pointed at her and asked “Is she with you?” I didn’t know what she said, didn’t want to get into a drama scene, and wanted to get out of there, so I said “She’s not with me” I was trying to get her a cab. And then I told her “You’re on your own.” She did not object, which was fine with me.
When a woman gets that drunk, and acts that way, she can only make problems for other people. I decided it wasn’t going to be me. I went back in to The Alley and told the bartender what happened. As for what happened to her, or if she made it home, I do not know.
Oakland’s Wild Yet Seedy Nightlife Side
Now what I’m about to blog is going to be considered snobbish, but I really don’t care. Over the past few weeks when I’ve been in town and decided to hang in Oakland just to keep my money in the city, I’m reminded of why I hang out in San Francisco. There’s too much of a seedy strain of human being over here, especially at night. By contrast, I get more of the kind of woman I enjoy dating when I go out to, say, The Balboa Cafe in San Francisco’s Marina District, as I did last night (and for my friends who say I should not meet women in bars, first, it’s better than the personals, and second, introduce me to someone you think I will be good with). But I didn’t want to stay in SF past BART closing so I came back early, when I should have stayed at The Balboa.
While I did have a good time dancing at Luka’s, there’s a weird racial divide that is evident at times on the dance floor. You have a diverse mix of people, but then you get this group of young, cliquish, overly-defensive white and Asian groupies who dance in a circle as if they’re afraid of the people of color surrounding them. They look around at the scene as if they’re tourists in a strange land. I see that scene played out all too often at Luka’s and so much so that I don’t go there as much as I used to.
It’s hard to find a good dance place in Oakland. Luka’s is it, and there’s the other bar on Telegraph near the Fox Theater – but that’s not really a true dance place. There’s also the Layover, which has a better vibe than Luka’s, but you get smushed on the dance floor. The Uptown could be that place, maybe, but it focuses on live shows. And all of the places have a kind of funky, low income feel that I’m just plain getting tired of.
Oakland, even with its growing eatery scene, still doesn’t have that really high-end bar and restaurant and hotel development. Something like Room 209 at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. What we have are a collection of half-developed, make-shift, low tenant improvement places, and then there’s the bar Make Westing, but that’s not for dancing.
I blame Former Oakland Mayor and current California Governor Jerry Brown for this because he killed a Downtown Oakland baseball stadium plan that would have changed all of that. Oakland needs a large-scale investment downtown to draw the development of the places like Room 209. The one place we do have, and it’s not for dancing, but one could do it on the dock, is the Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt. That’s a nice, upscale place – the kind Oakland needs more of. I’m tired of being reminded that Oakland has a lot of low income people, and I don’t care how anyone takes that.