Cynthia Mackey, a 56-year-old self-employed digital marketer, loves to talk about Airbnb. She laughs and smiles, growing excited as she talks about the joy that comes from opening up her home in Oakland’s Adams Point to a world of strangers. Mackey started hosting for Airbnb, an online international marketplace for booking accommodations, in July, 2013.…

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A glimpse to an aisle at the Video Room in Piedmont Ave. on Friday December 2, 2016. (Yesica Prado/Oakland North)

A big red house stands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue, two blocks from the Berkeley border with Oakland. It resembles Santa’s workshop: fun, colorful and packed with a massive amount of “stuff.” The building is two stories high and even on a normal day, found objects hang all over the property. From giant drive-thru Jack in the Box signs, to headless mannequins, vintage Victorian furniture or small quirky ceramic figurines, James Cross, the owner of the Antique Centre has it all—hidden somewhere in a corner of his store.

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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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Howdy Listeners, This week on Tales of Two Cities we take a look at four unique businesses and how they reflect what’s happening in Richmond and Oakland’s economies. From a legendary deli in the heart of Temescal on the brink of shutting down because of rising rents, to a local factory that hires an unexpected workforce;…

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Revamping an ice cream truck into a mobile tea business is just one part of Molly Gaylord and Karina Vlastnik’s vision for Steep Tea Company, based in West Oakland. They are renovating the “Steep Jeep,” a 1967 Jeep named Belle, so they can use it to serve hot tea, iced tea, tea lattes, tea soda,…

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