I have a great love of city streets. A good day for me is a day of wandering, with food and drink, and whatever else comes my way. Or that's what i keep telling myself. Here's a look at an afternoon in Downtown Oakland.
Downtown Oakland is no crown jewel of American city centers. On a recent wander, I was struck by all the unused space. On a weekend, you'd think the bomb had been dropped.
All this wasted space. Office workers are at home in the depressing suburbs, and maybe their cars have only moved to one of the many mega stores and their parking lots. With the work week finished, there's absolutely nothing happening downtown.
There's very little going on, but there's always more than enough parking.
I'm of two minds about this. One: it's depressing that such a large area of town is a deserted concrete wasteland. But: I also do kind of enjoy the desolate and crumbling city. These depressing scenes can be really fascinating.
These scenes say as much as or more than any article in a newspaper about all the fashionable parts of town. But in the end, it can all be a little soul sucking. When the days are short and cold, and there's nothing going on, it can fill me with immense sadness.