Hellos and Goodbyes in the Blogoaksphere

Okay, good news first. I am thrilled to welcome Coolhand Luke, author of the stellar blog 38th Notes, back to Oakland. Even while living on the East Coast for the past several months, Luke has been serving up a steady stream of music videos and song clips from Oakland artists, peppered with occassional insightful commentary about Oakland and its challenges. With his return (for good, we hope) to Oakland, we can hopefully look forward to even more frequent local writing from one of my favorite Oakland voices.

Other local blogs have celebrated some major milestones recently as well. Fragmentary Evidence, which has featured two of the best responses I’ve seen to this whole parking controversy, cracked 100 posts a few weeks ago. And Eric, of the always incredibly informative Transbay Blog, celebrated his second blogging anniversary last week.

But sadly, not all the news on the blogoaksphere front is good. I was thrilled to see two new Oakland blogs pop up in response to the destruction and vandalism downtown last January. Gene from Our Oakland is still going strong, with a really neat ongoing photography series showcasing Oakland signs and some great posts highlighting Oakland events, like the Lake Merritt Boathouse ribbon cutting and Chabot Space and Science Center dinner and a movie event.

The other one, however, Michael Caton of An Oakland Citizen, is leaving us for San Diego, although he notes in his farewell post that he hopes to return when circumstances allow:

Don’t worry, it’s not because I want to move down there for its own sake – if there were a great med school with an excellent neuro program in Oakland (and they let me in), I would love to stay. In Brazil people say “We are the country of the future – and always will be.” I used to talk up Oakland as a place with great potential, but the fact is, it’s a great place now! People just have to figure that out, both inside and outside the city. So hold the fort down for me, because I’m already scheming to get back here for my residency.

Good luck in medical school, Michael. An Oakland Citizen had a great run, and I hope you’ll consider resuming it when you return.

Another local blog I adore, monteskewed, won’t be shutting down, but will soon be losing its Oakland focus, as Monte, its author, is moving to France for the next two years. Monte skillfully mixed reflections about life in Oakland with musings on faith and modern life and uplifting reporting about neighborhood improvements. Over the past few weeks, in anticipation of his departure, Monte has been running a touching “Ode to Oakland” series, cataloging the things he’ll miss most while gone, like Lake Merritt, Big Longs, Fairyland, and of course, the food. Good luck in France, Monte! We’ll miss you.

A finally, and most sad for me, A Better Oakland guest blogger Chris Kidd is leaving us this week as well. Like Michael and Monte, Chris is embarking on an exciting new adventure – he’s beginning a Master’s program in urban planning, and he has to move to SoCal to do it. I’m thrilled to see Chris getting the opportunity to turn his passion into a profession, but of course very sorry that Oakland has to lose his energy, and I have to lose my Estuary beat blogger, for it to happen. Enjoy grad school and study hard, Chris, and please come back when you finish!

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