Ode to Oakland


The afternoon sun entices me out of my desk chair and over to the window. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, Downtown Oakland. Seven palm trees in front of the Tribune tower, next to the courthouse. OUSD, Laney College off to the left. I’ve looked at this view a million times, and it still hasn’t grown old. But for just a minute, I stop looking so closely. I crack the window open.

I listen.

Cars pass down below and over on 880. Trucks load and unload in Chinatown with a hum and a clatter. A couple crosses the street in casual conversation below. School children play in the playground. Sirens whir by in the distance. A train rolls down the tracks. I breathe it in– an aural map of my surroundings. Somehow, I know I won’t forget this.

I’ve grown to love Oakland more and more, even through my highs and lows of living here. But just as I was sure I couldn’t possibly love a place more, I went and moved across the Bay to San Francisco. Last night was my last night falling asleep to the view outside my window– sleeping on the floor in an empty bedroom.

I know I’ll forever remember the feeling of living here. It’s the feeling of home, of being surrounded by a community that wants so much and is struggling toward it, of bursting with potential and making real these endless possibilities, even when everything is underrated. And while I’m sure there are hundreds of things I will grow to love about San Francisco, I know I’ve already tucked Oakland away in a special place in my heart.

Downtown Oakland View | oak_8963_rt

Above- just another view of the view. But I have a special video brewing for my next post too. Keep an eye out. There’s time lapse involved.