Random Oakland Thoughts

11 Feb

I’ve been ridiculously busy lately and also caught up in election madness so I’ve been neglecting my Oakland musings lately. Luckily, others haven’t, and somehow I’ve managed to keep up with what they’re writing:

  • I was a bit appalled when I read the Grand Lake Guardian’s views on Out of the Closet, a thrift store, opening up on Lakeshore. I was even more appalled when Council Member Pat Kernighan joined the NIMBY neighbors in calling for a more upscale store, which they think would be a better fit for the neighborhood. Luckily though, Dogtown Commoner picked through these arguments before I could get a chance to, asking if poor people are not welcome on Lakeshore Avenue? Please read this piece, as it brings up many important questions about who’s determining the direction of Oakland neighborhoods. I don’t know about you, but most of the people I know who live near Lakeshore are renters who don’t have tons of disposable income and would appreciate a reasonably priced place to shop.
  • On a lighter note, the DTO is back, with a post about the modern apartment complexes that are being completed in downtown Oakland. The pictures and descriptions are quite alluring to anyone thinking about moving downtown, but I’m left to wonder, who can afford these rents?
  • Discussions about BRT on the 1 line are still alive and well. Eric at Transbay Blog proposes an alternate route around Lake Merritt, while V Smoothe explains why BRT isn’t redundant to BART.
  • And while most of us are fixated on the presidential primaries, Oaklanders are revving up for council elections. At Future Oakland, dto510 discusses the slew of candidates entering the races and brings up the question of whether we’ll have June elections or be using instant run-off voting in November. V Smoothe later confirmed that elections will be held in June, so get ready for another round of political ads and lawn signs.

Hopefully I’ll be giving more attention to this blog in coming weeks, since I still have Oakland on my mind…

4 Responses to “Random Oakland Thoughts”

  1. m February 11, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Those rents are outrageous!

  2. Eric February 11, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    Wow, those Uptown rents are crazy! Like, Manhattan-level crazy.

    I too was very disappointed to see Kernighan’s reaction to the Out of the Closet. Not surprised, but disappointed. It seems that folks are forgetting that diversity in all shapes and forms is perhaps the foremost feature that makes urban neighborhoods the lively places they are.

  3. Becks February 12, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    I’m guessing and hoping that the rents will go down when they realize that no one’s willing or able to pay that much during a recession.

    Yeah, I unfortunately wasn’t too surprised by the NIMBYs, including Kernighan… I guess that’s just motivation to find someone to replace her and some of the other council members who are stunting growth and change in Oakland.

  4. V Smoothe February 12, 2008 at 12:37 am #

    I guess my friends must be right when they keep telling me I’m incredibly naive, because I was floored by the original GLG post, the majority of the comments, and Pat’s letter.

    I’ve been hearing that Forest City is having trouble renting – looking at those prices, I can see why. Ouch!

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