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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Sarah Kirnon and her business associate were putting the finishing touches on their new restaurant in Old Oakland—Miss Ollie’s, specializing in Afro-Caribbean fare—days before it was scheduled to open. In the kitchen, spices were still in their packaging: cardamom, cumin, dried and smoked habanero peppers.  Tables were stacked in front. The grill shone brand new.…

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