Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Oakland Surprises

Today I walked through Old Town and came out on the other side of it. My gut feeling is that this is where West Oakland begins. There, around Interstate 980, it starts to feel a little run-down, and you start to see projects. It’s the kind of Oakland neighborhood with really nice Victorian houses that are completely falling apart.

I wasn’t really in the ’hood; it felt safe. It was just interesting to see the transition.

I found two things there that took me by surprise a little bit. Maybe surprise isn’t the word—it’s certainly not surprising to find either one in Oakland. I guess I’m just a little embarrassed to find that there are points of interest in parts of town I’d at least subconsciously dismissed as having nothing for me.

The first surprising thing was a museum of African American history. I have to admit, I didn’t realize Oakland had one. But we do. It was closed when I went by, but I will definitely check it out soon.

The other nice surprise was discovering that there was a Unitarian church with a rainbow sticker across its sign. I wondered for a moment if they knew what it meant, but then I noticed that right below it, it said “EVERYONE welcome.” There was also a quote from the Taoist Chuang Tsu, something about how everything you need to know can be found in a drop of water. I thought about that all the way up to Broadway. I was really thirsty when I got there. But I liked Oakland even more.

No comments: