Finding A Better Oakland

One of the things I like to do when I need a little break is to look at the search terms people use to find this blog. The top 10 are pretty predictable by now – number one is almost always “a better oakland,” followed by something like “better oakland blog.” “v smoothe” always makes it on the list, and one or two variations of “recall Dellums,” usually something about crime or “oakland most violent,” lately some election related searches, and every single day, guaranteed, something about Flora.

Yawn. I’m more interested in the less popular searches. I wish I’d kept a catalog of my favorites over time, because there have been some real doozies. But here are some of my favorites from the past week. They range from the practical to the very, very silly:

west oakland grocery store

Sorry, you’re out of luck. Take two buses to Emeryville.

city of oakland publice works teen center crime plagued disaster waste of money dangerous for kids

You’re thinking of Campbell Village.

stupidest law ever

Actually, I don’t think Oakland is guilty of that one. That crown goes to Canonsburg, PA, where the Mayor banned outdoor grilling for air quality reasons (although he repealed the order less than a day later). Speaking of stupid laws, you guys heard Chicago repealed their foie gras ban?

things to make you puke

In the interest of being more civil, I’ve discontinued use of this tag.

nonnude tribbing

Not a clue.

hillary clinton sobbing

Again, not sure why this led to me. Or why someone is searching for that.

illegal artists stealing precious industrial land

Max, care to weigh in on this one?

And my absolute favorite, and the whole reason I decided to write this post today (besides, of course, the fact that I’m too busy to write a real blog):

so you think you can hoop, desley brooks?

Well Desley, do you?

Tune in next week for a return to real posting.

11 thoughts on “Finding A Better Oakland

  1. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    I was guilty of searching for Flora a few weeks ago and checked out your posting (again) because it had been so long since I’d read it. Glad I did.

    Great restaurants are really taking hold here in Oakland!

  2. josh abrams

    I’ve seen the same thing on every website I’ve ever been a part of – you have the really normal search strings and then the ones that make you wonder 1) what the heck were they looking for? and 2) how in the heck did that lead to me?

  3. V Smoothe Post author

    Another bizarre one I’ve gotten two or three of almost every day this week is variations on “Phil Tagami boat” “Phil Tagami yacht” “Phil Tagami boat investigation” and stuff like that. Somebody’s really interested, but I can’t figure out in what. Is there something scandalous going on with Phil Tagami and a boat that I’m not aware of?

  4. Robert

    As someone who mostly values my privacy, I am just disturbed that you can tell what search terms I used to find your site. (Actually not, since I first linked to it and did not use a search engine, but in general, I find it very disturbing that you or anyone can find out that information.)

  5. oaklandtruth

    Too funny. Please let us know if Ms. Brooks can hoop. I was going to challenge her to a game of b-ball, but I’m reconsidering now.

    Here’s another interesting set of search terms:

    Crook Oakland Russo Lawsuit Response Council Race

    It leads you to this great link that has posted the City Attorney’s Office response to CIty COuncil District 5 Candidate Mario Juarez’ accusation that John Russo sued him for “political reasons”. It is a must read for anyone who is a fan of Russo’s “I-don’t-take-shit-from-anyone” style, and good ol’ blue collar, scrappy Oakland politics:


  6. Max Allstadt

    illegal artists stealing precious industrial land?

    Maybe one of the West Oakland Commerce dudes was having a bad day?
    Doubtful. They have bigger fish to fry than us.

    I’m betting is was a certain journalist student friend of mine who likes to play devils advocate. He often refers to me as an “agent of gentrification”. Actually, I’m pretty damn sure it’s him.

  7. Chris Kidd

    Actually Max, I was thinking more along the lines of the Lucky Charms leprechaun:

    “Those darned illegal artists are always tryin to steal me precious industrial land!”

    And Oaklandtruth: we get it. Anyone who even weekly reads this blog has seen your posting to the anti-mario website. It’s starting to get to the point where it will become counter-productive. Your constant harping on Mario might even make him a sympathetic character in some people’s eyes.

  8. oaklandtruth


    Excuse me then. I didn’t know you all had a lock-down on the dialogue. Sorry for interfering in your internal feel-good mental-indulgence blab. For a moment I thought it was open to the public to comment freely. I understand now it is the turf of a few, and not the venue for truth. As if the rest of us don’t get bored with the more-than-ocassioanal over-ansalysis of mundane issues by the top 5 posters. Call V Smoothe. I’m sure she can explain how these link things work. And by the way, please, be my guest anyone reading this…vote for Mario Juarez. And when you’re done with that, vote for Ron Dellums for his re-election in 2010. And along the path of your yellow-brick-road, don’t forget to chastise the truth-tellers.

    I remember cliques from high school. Never liked them then, either.


  9. Lou Zer

    I assume you’ve noticed that a Google search for “a better Oakland” returns a *sponsored* link for Nadel’s re-election site, with this site ranked first of the non-sponsored links? Nevermind, you’re the top-ranked link with a search for “Nancy Nadel sucks” and that’s what counts.

  10. Chris Kidd


    Not trying to hate on you. Nothing I say could ever stop you from doing your thing, so why get so uppity? I’m certainly not trying to stop the “truth”, or be “elitist”, or take part in “mental-indulgence blab”. I’m trying to stay relevant to the topic. I’m getting bored with off-topic postings that don’t really have much to do with the original thread. If the thread is about D5, by all means post your new D5 election info; I welcome it. Seriously, I want more D5 issue threads. Fruitvale, International, Jingletown, Glenview, San Antonio, all of it. Otherwise, let’s keep things within the thread. I’m not being elitist, this just isn’t craigslist. (but thanks for noticing I’m a top 5 poster! Do I win a prize? =D)

    And if it makes you feel any better, I’ve already voted and volunteered for Ignacio. I even voted for him for mayor instead of Dellums. But for the record, your website has made me less excited to vote simply because of the vitriolic element it has brought to the election.

  11. Max Allstadt

    I’m gonna second Chris Kidd’s sentiments here. I don’t really think Ignacio needs people to help him win this way. It’s unnecessary. I mean unless district five has some sort of bizarre nostalgia for the way politics were done in the ’20s, all this window breaking and hysterical mudslinging is really kinda worthless.