I’m out of town for the holiday, having a blast with my mundane tasks like taking dogs for a walk, spending all afternoon preparing dinner, reading things that have nothing in any way to do with Oakland or planning or cities or public policy or anything that could ever be relevant to something I might ever want to write here. It’s great. But while I’m totally content to lounge around contemplating art forgery and counterfeit wine, I hate to let my Oakland-obsessed readers stuck without any local reading material during the break. I was going to suggest you go pick up some Oakland related books at the library, but then I remembered that you can’t, because it’s closed! Instead, please enjoy this list of some of the Oakland writing I’ve found the most compelling recently:
- Brooklyn Avenue highlights a seriously out of line statement from Pat Kernighan, which prompts him to reconsider his opinion of her as a particularly level-headed Oakland politician. Kernighan elaborates her position and gets downright frightening on KGO.
- When I was riding around East Oakland looking at holiday lights a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t help wonder about what a different world it looks like just across the San Leandro border. Crimson at Oakland Streets has been thinking the same thing, and has some photos up illustrating the dramatic difference.
- If you’re not reading Private Eye Confidential, you’re missing out. Check out how Mike Spencer spent his Christmas Eve.
- We had a pretty vigorous discussion here when I wrote about blight in downtown Oakland. Becks had the same thing on her mind recently, and adds some visual aids to the conversation. Her post prompted an impassioned defense of graffiti as “colorful and artiststic” and “a way for outsiders to speak.” What do you guys think? Head over to Living in the O and duke it out.
- If somebody asked me to list my favorite 10 things I’d read about Oakland all month, it would probably take me a while to put together the list. But within a few seconds, I could definitely assure you that two extremely cool posts from City Homestead would go on there, and probably pretty close to the top. You guys totally have to read Who’s been living in my house? and What’s in a (neighborhood) name.
- Charles Pine, like everyone else opposing the filming of Gentlemen of Leisure in Oakland, seems to fail to grasp the concept of what issuing a film permit means and what it doesn’t mean. If we deny the production company the right to film in Oakland, it does not mean that they will not move forward with the series, nor does it mean that they will not set the series in Oakland. It simply means they won’t shoot it here. There’s no permit somebody has to get to use the city’s name. So denying the permit will likely result in all the same reputation damaging, without any of the financial benefits. Anyway, Pine calls Oakland politicians hypocrites for opposing the series but celebrating “thug culture,” and Coolhand Luke suggests he maybe try to learn a little bit about his subject before being so quick to criticize.
- Frequent ABO commenter Kent Lewandowski responds in the Trib to Joe Haraburda’s op-ed against community choice aggregation.