10/30/2012 11:27 am ET Updated Oct 31, 2012

Peralta Junction, Art Project Carnival, Brings Life To Vacant West Oakland Lot (PHOTOS)

Burning Man is a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it thing in the Bay Area. But a new West Oakland project built mainly by Burners is surely putting even the most skeptical Playa-haters to shame.

A group of East Bay artists has transformed a previously vacant lot in West Oakland into Peralta Junction: a family-friendly, steampunk-style playground that's open to all (and largely free of charge).

"We conjured up a magical creative space," said Leslie Pritchett of Commonplace Productions, the studio that created the installation with collective One Hat One Hand. "Now, we invite anyone and everyone to visit and share in this fun and evolving social project."

A temporary installation (sadly, the place disappears come December), Peralta Junction features a carnival game midway, pop-up shops, a circus tent with kids' workshops and a stage for performers and musicians. And every Thursday is neighborhood movie night. (This week it's The Picnic and other short films.)

For anyone who lives in West Oakland (the author of this article included), the vacant, weed-ridden lot on the corner of West Grand and Peralta Street has long been home to more beer bottles and used needles than art. But for the past few weeks, Peralta Junction's carnival lights, sprawling murals and kid-friendly attractions have brought a new shine to the neighborhood.

Check out photos of Peralta Junction below:

Peralta Junction