Oakland was named so because once upon a time the whole area was filled with ancient oaks. Today, one would be lucky to spot a few stumps left in place as a reminder of the once lush landscape. The Bay Area was not always as enlightened as they claim to be today.
But thats all in the past. California is always in a state of becoming. People who come to California seeking the good life, in search of the Californian Dream have always shaped the environment and been shaped by it. We shape our surroundings and afterwards our surroundings shape us.
What can be said about Oakland except that those who give it a chance tend to like it. It is cheaper than the city across the Bay Bridge. It is a whole lot more tolerable than Berkeley. It sure isn’t as dull as South Bay. Overall, it is the best of all worlds in the Bay Area.
“Dust always blowing about the town,
Except when sea-fog laid it down,
And I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.
Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
‘We all must eat our peck of gold’”
— Robert Frost
“Massachusetts has been the wheel within New England, and Boston the wheel within Massachusetts.
It has therefore been the source and fountain of the ideas that have moved and made America, and is, in a high and honourable sense, the hub of the New World”
— Foster Barham Zincke
“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
— Andy Warhol
“The missionary comes after the whiskey — I mean he arrives after the whiskey has arrived; next comes the poor immigrant, with ax and hoe and rifle; next, the trader; next…
…All these interests bring the newspaper; the newspaper starts up politics and a railroad; all hands turn to and build a church and a jail— and behold, civilization is established for ever in the land.
But whiskey, you see, was the van-leader in this beneficent work. It always is.”
— Mark Twain
“And it is awful here, there is no other way to say it. But I believe that Detroit is America’s city. It was the vanguard of our way up, just as it is the vanguard of our way down. And one hopes the vanguard of our way up again.
Detroit is Pax Americana. The birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, the refrigerator, frozen peas, high- paid blue-collar jobs, home ownership and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here.”
— Charlie LeDuff
“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.”
— Walter Kirn