A bygone world of whimsy and magic lies beyond the gate to Oakland’s Canine Circus School for dogs. The Metcalfs, masterminds behind the school, have curated their backyard with unusual trinkets, archeological artifacts and colorful collectibles, turning the space into part sculpture garden, part creative playground for man’s best friend.

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Local artist Refa has been painting murals in Oakland for over 15 years. The little girl in this mural is "looking forward into the future." (Ryan Lindsay/Oakland North)

A former grocery store and pizza spot turned community center is getting a fresh look thanks to the work of Refa One, a community artist. Refa started painting the sprawling seven-panel mural in October and hopes to finish by the end of the year. The mural, located in West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood, includes a…

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Joshua Gause, security guard of 1544 Events, guards the door during the "Hope Art" project on Sunday, November 11, 2016. (Yesica Prado/Oakland North)

On election night, protesters gathered in downtown Oakland after midnight yelling angry things like “Not my president!” and “Fuck Trump!” in the quiet streets. Others took it a step further and lashed out against nearby businesses, breaking glass doors and windows and spray-painting graffiti anywhere visible, like on the windows of the Chase bank, the walls of the BART public elevator and the pillars of the Oakland federal building.

Garbage cans were set on fire and worried faces peeked out through doors after the angry crowd passed. Confused bystanders were upset at the damage to their property, and others worried about their safety, while the rest followed the trail of fires left on Broadway, trying to catch up to the mob either by running or riding their bikes. By the next morning, garbage, broken glass and graffiti covered the downtown.

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A brown building with tall doors opened to the ringing sound of sewing machines. Inside were racks of red-and-white leather jackets with pieces of the Cadillac logo, multicolored wrist wallets and leather bags.
It was a typical Thursday night at Platinum Dirt, Page’s leather workshop and storefront on 25th Street. He was turning salvaged material into a duffle bag, part of a resurgence of Oakland-based manufacturing.

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In the window display of Vivian Truong’s studio there are rose petals as soft as a newborn’s hair, tulips as vibrantly colored as wild birds, and daffodils as bright as the early morning sun. It may appear that Truong has finally found the trick for keeping fresh-cut plants alive longer than a week. But a closer look reveals that these flowers are actually carefully handcrafted out of felt and fabric—Truong is a “fiber florist.”

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Adam Hubenig grew up in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, surrounded by lush forest, hidden brooks and rivers, with access to a secluded cabin where he could completely escape into nature. He moved to Oakland in 2001 for a technology job, but, more importantly, he wanted to be just a few hours a way from Yosemite…

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