Once again I've fallen far below my goals about posting here more often. I've been planning a long critique of Oakland culture for some time now, but I think I'm going to do the short version now instead.
The most famous thing that's ever been said about Oakland has to be Gertrude Stein's famous observation that when she got there, she found out there was "no there there." For most people not in the know, Oakland is at best a footnote to San Francisco and at worst "California's Detroit." I can't say I'd ever thought much about Oakland before the possibility of my moving out here for the summer came up, but when I did, it was often through the lens of my own childhood in those other Twin Cities. Specifically, coming from the big one and not thinking the other one had much to recommend it at all (though I've changed my mind about Saint Paul a lot in the last few years).
So of course, I was pleasantly surprised when I came out here and found that I actually prefer Oakland, in all of its decrepit, funky weirdness to its more touristed, upper-class sister across the bay. I mean, how uninteresting can a city that inspired these guys:
and these guys:
Also, what other city would purchase dozens of Imperial AT-AT Walkers to guard the coastline?
Due to my job, I've also been following a lot of great Oakland bloggers. They're saying more about Oakland culture then I ever could, so let me round this out with a few links. Living in the O and A Better Oakland are two of the very best. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out just how awesome Oaklandish is.