Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park.

The rising sun cuts deep contrasting shadows across the face of each civil rights leader, etched in dark, rugged steel, staring down onto each onlooker gazing up to the metal monuments in Henry J. Kaiser memorial park in downtown Oakland. This park, only half a city block long, is more than a casual area for dog…

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Golfers teeing it up on Thursday morning at Lake Chabot Golf Course must count themselves among the luckiest people in Oakland. Or perhaps not. “Golf is like a love affair,” the sportswriter Arthur Daley once wrote. “If you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.”…

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Thursday, 11 a.m. at Koreana Plaza Market was quiet. The fish-stocker went about his daily routine, organizing the freezers and cleaning the crab tanks. An elderly couple, a man and a woman, shuffled their way to the ice-filled buckets laden with the fresh catch of the day – wide-mouthed catfish, red-eyed snapper, slimy black eel.…

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Weekday mornings in Temescal Alley are quiet. The clinking of a spoon against the side of a coffee cup can be easily heard over the faint hum of traffic from nearby Telegraph Avenue. The occasional burst of male laughter or the sound of a buzzing electric razor escapes through the barbershop’s open door. A small…

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Trains rumble through the West Oakland BART station every five minutes, some packed with people, squeezing together like little sardines, en route to San Francisco, others nearly empty, with just a few stragglers aboard heading toward Fremont. As each train’s doors slide open, three or four people board. Some pull suitcases and others wheel bikes. Almost…

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When you walk into Oakland’s African American History Museum and Library, it feels as if you’ve transported back into 1965 – when the organization started off as the East Bay Negro Historical Society. Frederick Douglass, an African American leader of the abolitionist movement, greets each visitor that enters into the museum. His sculpture mimics Mount…

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A man sits alone in one of the last pews at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.  The man, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, stares at the altar where at the center, a grand full body image of Jesus, which looks like a projection, overlooks the inside of the cathedral. The place is empty, but…

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Greetings from Space Burger, a red and white striped shrine to fifties kitsch. Official people would call this the 2200 block of Telegraph. Space Burger’s set between two gas stations and sits next to the kind of street sweeping machine a person can sit inside. There’s a church across the street and, from the hours…

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The 1R bus stops to pick up passengers in downtown Oakland.

Her eyes shift from the stack of papers in her hands then to her watch. She’s wearing a navy blue blazer, a peach-colored pencil skirt and a pair of black peep-toe heels. Watch to papers, papers to watch. The bus stops at Telegraph Avenue and 40th Street and a handful of people walk on. They…

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Negotiating the port by bike means dodging eighteen-wheelers.

If you want to know how a mouse would feel if it got caught beneath a stampede of elephants, ride your bike around the Port of Oakland at 11 o’clock on a Thursday. All sense of scale is lost against a limitless stream of 18-wheelers rumbling to pick up their cargo container. They join the half-mile…

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