(dto510 beat me to this, but I had already begun writing this and, as usual, our perspectives are a bit different, so here goes.)
2008 was an exciting year for the blogoaksphere. Not only did dozens of new bloggers begin writing about Oakland, but we wrote about a vast range of issues from so many different perspectives. There were hundreds of incredible blog posts written about Oakland this year, and here are a few of my favorites.
38th Notes – An Oaklander’s Rebuttal to Pine’s Needles: You might remember that I’ve now promised twice to write an extensive blog post about Mistah FAB. Well, that never happened, but Coolhand Luke beat me to it and wrote an excellent in depth post about some of the positive sides about hip hop. It’s well worth the read and might lead you to think a bit differently about urban culture and its effects on Oakland.
The Inadvertent Gardener – San Francisco Food Bank Hunger Challenge Series: In September, Genie over at the Inadvertent Gardener took the San Francisco Food Bank Hunger Challenge, eating for a week on a budget of $21. She then blogged about the entire experience, from creating a shopping list to making it through the final hours of the challenge, feeling sick of rice, beans, peanut butter, and oatmeal. To follow this challenge,, start here and then just click through to each of the next posts. Her experience sheds light on food insecurity that is experienced by so many Oaklanders.
Oakland Streets – A Tree Grows in Oakland: Crimson used the transcript of an NPR piece on trees, interspersed with pictures of trees in Oakland, to demonstrate how different low income and high income neighborhoods look.
Brooklyn Avenue – Oakland’s “hidden” murals: David often writes about interesting things he sees while walking through Oakland, but this post was easily my favorite. Head on over to see the beautiful murals he’s discovered while exploring Oakland by foot.
Future Oakland – Why are developers split over Oakland City Council candidates?: Though the race between Rebecca Kaplan and Kerry Hamill is now over, this post is still relevant, especially since Kaplan will be sworn in next Monday. dto510 explains why the developers could not agree on one candidate, and I think this post bodes well for Kaplan’s future on the City Council and what she will do for economic development in Oakland.
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland – knight rider: Check out this post about one biker’s adventure biking across Oakland to get to dinner at a friend’s house. As someone who doesn’t bike in Oakland because I’m terrified of it, I really appreciated hearing that even seasoned bike enthusiasts get nervous sometimes, especially when biking at night.
Transbay Blog – BART to San Jose Series: Well, this series isn’t directly about Oakland, but as dto510 explained, BART to San Jose has serious implications for Oaklanders. Also, this is one of the best, most in depth, and persuasive series Eric has ever written. Set aside some time to read this entire series. I have a terrible feeling that when BART to San Jose is completed, we’ll find out just how right Eric’s predictions were.
A Better Oakland – Van Hool/East Bay Express Series: It was nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite post from A Better Oakland, but as I looked through the archives, I realized that this series was one of the ones I appreciated the most. V Smoothe did an incredible job debunking the claims, made by Robert Gammon, that AC Transit is evil and Van Hools are the buses from hell. This series woke me up to the fact that it’s up to us local bloggers to write truthfully about bus issues because the MSM certainly won’t do it. Go read this post, then this one, and finally this one. I promise you’ll learn a lot.
Oakland Space Academy – STAND Best Picks: We all know that STAND is anti-development, but Raymond Johnson demonstrates in this post that they are also anti-design.
Thanks to all of the Oakland bloggers who have made this such a great year. I can’t wait to see what the blogoaksphere brings us in 2009!