I'm in Oakland for a portfolio showing today.

I feel like I've entered another world. The streets are very dirty, trash and graffiti is everywhere. The sidewalks, unlike on the peninsula are caked in grime. You can tell they aren't steam cleaned every third Tuesday.

The buildings are different as well. In my part of the peninsula everything is modern, post modern or craftsman. I sit in view of a gorgeous art nouveau clock tower, a stylish modern office building, wonderful edwardian storefronts and one hideous 1970's glass and stucco facade that cares for nothing and sends the massage that the people, the place and the time is irrelevant to the existence of those who are inside.

All the blinds are drawn in the street level windows. The doors are secured with large padlocks and half of the windows and doors serve more as frames for wrought iron bars than portals or passages. The people move with a distinct lack of enthusiasm as though nothing matters, not where they're going, where they've been or what they're doing.

It is a sad street with xerox posters calling for justice for Oscar Grant long after the fact that there will be no justice for anyone here has been force fed to those whose lives are impacted by such a strange and forlorn environment on a daily basis.

AuthorDean Birinyi