true #graffiti #oakland #frasier
oakland is calm. earlier today, when we were getting on the highway, we had to swerve to avoid a guy pulling a shopping cart full of bottles who was taking up the majority of the on-ramp. three bottles fell out of his shopping cart. he looked stunned. in berkeley some people were honking and screaming, but in oakland no one gives a fuck. people in berkeley - in concord, in pittsburgh, in antioch, in dublin - give a fuck. oakland does not exist to them. when they go to san francisco they say they are going to “the city,” as if they are not going through one city to another one. corcord, pittsburgh, antioch, dublin, and berkeley exist in relation to san francisco, not oakland. oakland does not exist. stein was right: there is no there here. it is halloween in oakland.
when i got on the bus, the bus driver had a transfer card stuck to her forehead. she thanked me for waiting for the parade of elderly asian women and men to get off the bus before i got on. she did not remove the transfer card from her forehead. was it a costume?
hearing a few too many helicopters. is occupy oakland back?
i woke up this morning to the sound of helicopters. normally this means that there is some kind of occupy-related event happening, but today it meant that there was an enormous fire in west oakland that damaged the BART’s capacity to function and thus fucked up everybody’s commute. the fire was apparently arson - the san jose mercury news says so, relaying an awfully familiar story about a man threatened by he-didn’t-know-what so he went to a nearby subway sandwich shop to hide. fifteen minutes later, as you perhaps have read by now, shit started burning.
the fire was lit in a spot that was going to be a senior center: red star senior living apartments. the structure, as you perhaps have read by now, was also meant to house a shopping center and parking garage. i can imagine, and i challenge you to challenge me on this one, that the elderly were a convenient excuse to get permission to build a mall and shopping center in the “new” west oakland, a land of garish condos with names like “the ellington” that looks remarkably like everywhere else. the williamsburg coast, for instance. aside from feelings of strong remorse, i have no real opinions regarding gentrification, but i wish somebody would build something that wasn’t so fucking boring and ugly for all us young rich assholes who want to move into an “edgy” neighborhood.
good news: traffic taxi to the airport, talked about the blessings and dangers of oakland, got invited to join his indoor soccer team at the alameda palladium. he told me some guy once stole a rockstar energy drink and a bag of cookies from a grocery store he used to work at near 98th ave; he chased the guy down. the guy gave him the cookies back and pulled a gun when he asked for the rockstar: “tell me how crazy that is!”
he said that in indoor soccer you can bounce the ball off the wall and that the women are often better than the men. it sounds pretty great.