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I'm interested in forming an Oakland group-blog if anyone else is interested in joining. Oakland's in a pretty interesting spot these days and I'd like to help document it. My neighborhood, Temescal, is gentrifying pretty visibly. Uptown is becoming more vibrant all the time. Artists have been moving into West Oakland for years. We have a new mayor, a proposed new ballpark, and one incredibly bad budget problem. We have a new bridge that's going up, a huge new Kaiser complex going up, and transit-oriented development is going to be going up all over the place at the Fruitvale and MacArthur BART stations. What's going on in your neighborhood? What Oakland blogs do you read, if any? What would be good topics for future diaries?

So here's some notes from Temescal...

Here in Temescal, the new mac-and-cheese restaurant Homeroom on 40th St has been open for two weeks and looks packed all the time; it's not that big but every time I've driven past (it's right on the way to Piedmont Ave) it's wall-to-wall people inside and a line of people outside waiting for a table. I keep thinking I'll go when the crowds die down, but now I'm not sure they ever will. These guys got a buzz going so bad that people are driving over from SF, according to comments on Yelp if you can believe it. For mac and cheese! Good grief. I mean, I had some at Eat Real last summer; I know it's good, but all the way from SF? Sheesh. Please let the crowds die down in a week or two.

Another crowded new place is the Target way over at the other end of 40th near 580/80. This is in the "East Bay Bridge" shopping center (does anyone ever call it that? it's mostly "that group of shops down on 40th in Emeryville"). The store is technically in both Emeryville and Oakland and the sales-tax arrangement is such that Oakland will get one-third of the revenues. I went over today partly to get an umbrella and partly just to check it out, and it was jam-packed. The store has a huge parking lot but there was a backup just getting into the lot and I had to search a couple of rows for a parking space. Inside it was crazy crowded. It reminded me of Disneyland. Oakland is so starved for decent retail that a shiny new Target brings everyone and their brother out of the woodwork. I'd say this store is a frigging success.

The salient feature of both of these places: the stuff they're offering is really cheap but seem to be good values.

Within a week of Homeroom opening, somebody on the local Yahoo newsgroup was complaining about the parking problems. I thought, well, shit, of course there's going to be parking problems but would you rather not have a new inexpensive restaurant in the neighborhood? But parking is going to be more of a problem. The MacArthur BART station is going to start construction of a whole new apt/condo development on its parking lot, which is going to mean they're losing 100 parking spaces while the buildings are under construction and 150 when the buildings are done. I'm sure more people will try to park in this neighborhood; they've got some sort of plan for residential parking permits but who knows who will get one or how it'll work. The MacArthur BART developers are holding a community meeting next Wednesday; we'll see what they have to say, and if I can make it there I'll report back.

A Better Oakland
Ghost Town Farm
Living in the O
We Fight Blight - in South Berkeley and North Oakland
Rebuilding Oaktown
Oakland North
Oakland Local

OAKLAND TWITTER-ERS: - V is the blogger of A Better Oakland - Becks is the blogger for Living in the O - dto510 is the blogger for The DTO

Originally posted to tmo on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 09:47 PM PST.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by tmo on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 09:47:10 PM PST

  •  I miss Oakland... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Ebby

    ...and always will.  Too bad I can't live in both Portland and Oakland!  Well, I guess I could if I had like a bunch of $$$ but I don't and never will sooooo... so I'll stop rambling now.


    Eat Real = Awesome.

    I never quite made it far down there, in fact never made it out of living in motels in the Jack London Square area before I headed back up here to Portland.  To be fair, I was in a hectic, screwy period of my life when I was there, though.  Distracted by a million things and I never really had a chance to bear down and get settled.  Almost did get a job in San Francisco, though.  Came thisclose.  Responded to a live-in assistant manager position at a little house hotel thing near Van Ness & California.  Turned out they just hired the first person who walked in, I was second by about ten minutes.  Mainly because I walked all the way there from the Ferry Building as I was unfamiliar with the transit system.  Oh, well.  Live and learn, and all that...

    Thanks for the links to those blogs, I'm gonna check them out.  I was familiar with a couple already, Ghost Town Farm and A Better Oakland.  Good luck with the group (come on, step up Oakland!), I'll be checking youze out.

    "Tacos are like that." - flumptytail

    by JayinPortland on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 11:38:54 PM PST

    •  Woot, thanks for the kind words (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I lived in Portland OR for a year myself and after living there I started seeing some similarities between Oakland and Portland. Glad the blog links were useful.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:22:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm definitely for O. group, and here is link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Ebby

    Local Jonathan Cadle giving his assessment of his area after six.

    My interest in primarily in seeing what is happening in Emeryville, Temescal and Downtown happen organically in the East without replacing the residents.  Gentrification without hipster douchery?  I believe it is possible, if we can stem the Black community's brain drain out of East Oakland.

    Let me close with a compliment--a person with even a small amount of money feels like a miniature god in Piedmont, and that has been so as long as I've been alive.

    •  Are you interested in contributing to an Oakland (0+ / 0-)

      Would you be interested in contributing to an Oakland blog? I think we could create a lot of community around one but I don't think I can do it by myself.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:19:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, I have a few Oakland blogs in me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Project Interface (Math and Science program at Allen Temple Church), the fate/status of Oakland's Boys and Girls Clubs, Overview of the Emeryville Economic Zone and whether Oakland got screwed, A retrospective of new Oakland Resident reactions during the Oscar Grant Riots, Charting the Influence of '100 Black Men of Oakland' over the last 20 years,
        The Legacy of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey etc.

        That's where my brain naturally leans, I'm not sure those are reflective of the current tone of the Oakland series and your civic gentrification-neutral links.

        I want to help, not hinder, so let me know.

        -Currently enjoying Kyle Baker's 'Nat Turner', it's amazing.

    •  Thx for link to Jonathan Cadle's blog (0+ / 0-)

      Small world, he must within six blocks of me; I know exactly where he's talking about with the vinyl-record-store next to the bike shop next to the coffee place.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 04:53:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re: MacArthur BART (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Ebby

    Anytime I'm going to the area, I don't bother driving, so the loss of the spaces isn't going to hurt me, thankfully.  My good pals live a few blocks from the Station, it has always been convenient to me even when I wanted to walk to Piedmont or Kaiser for something, but now that the neighborhood is semi-renovated, it's a special treat just to get out the station and walk.

    Thanks for the links, I found out about the 'Other Change of Hobbit' store move, good to know, I was panicked at their Shattuck store closing but didn't get close to see the new address signs.

    I guess their store would be the ideal test of South Berkeley's new gentrification.  They moved to get away from the homeless in the doorways and just general trashiness of Shattuck, but will the customers follow/new customers be enough to float them?

    I used to live on the forum 'Oaksterdam' which had all sorts of nice tangents regarding city improvement, incoming SF bourne gentrification, etc, but then tribe died.

    •  That area of south Berkeley improving fast (0+ / 0-)

      That area seems to be improving pretty fast; it's a bit of a hike from Ashby BART is the only thing, but it just feels sunnier than downtown Berkeley. Glad those blog links were useful. :)

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:35:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Historic Aikido Institute on Telegraph (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at 51st in Temescal!!, celebrated it's 40th Anniversary in 2010.
    I started training there in '86.
    I lived in Oakland for 15 years, worked at the old Holmes Bookstore downtown for a year. Remodeled houses. Moved into a condemned building on 23rd Ave in '82. Eventually managed it. Started a community garden in the lot behind for my Laotian tenants, it's still there.  

    •  I drive past that all the time (0+ / 0-)

      I drive past that Aikido place all the time! It seems very active and you see people doing their maneuvers in the windows. You know that Bakesale Betty's is like right next to them? I wonder if that has helped get them more exposure.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:27:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Repub'd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to CA politics. Cheers from an Oakland native :)

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