My Hometown

We are back in Oakland for a time, and today we spent the day walking around my hometown…Oakland, the city in which I was raised and grew up...the city in which my family still lives…It is the city I have lived all my life, except for my college years in the Pacific Northwest in the Seattle area and except for the time we spent living in Vermont. As such, it is very much home. As such, it holds a very special place inside my heart and always will. Every I exists in time in Oakland. I at the rose garden at every age. I at the Grand Lake Theater at every age seeing different movies in its lovely theaters over the passing decades. I at my favorite donut shop I have been going to my whole life. I at the lake at every age. I at the Main Library branch, the Piedmont Avenue branch, the Rockridge branch when it was in a mobile, amongst many others. I at my parent's house. I walking down Grand Avenue, Lakeshore Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, and so many other streets at every age in the eighties and nineties and in more recent decades, though those streets, and the businesses upon them, look very different now from when I was young - as does so much of much has changed in Oakland since I was young...But also much remains the same.  It is the place from which I came…It is the place where I grew from a little livings into the being I am now. It is my hometown.

Here are a few photos I thought I'd share of us out and about in Oakland today...having coffee, stopping at the library, enjoying the beauty of the Oakland Rose Garden and Mountain View Cemetery, looking at murals around the city, eating donuts at my favorite donut shop, browsing used books at bookshops, and walking by the lake:

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And here, below, are a few photos of me when I was little in of I in Oakland from earlier days...from my life and times in Oakland while growing up...beside childhood homes...watering our backyard garden, learning to ride a bike, taking photographs with my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic (which I learned to develop in the makeshift darkroom my Dad made in the attic of our Oakland home), as well as a baby photo of me standing by a few of my Dad's records (he is the collector of collectors - my whole life he has been collecting them - the entire hallway leading to their living room is lined with shelves of records, and he has one entire room that, on all four walls, is floor to ceiling shelves of records too)...and also photos of I at Lake Merritt, at the Oakland Rose Garden, in the Grand Lake Theater, inside the main branch of the Oakland Public Library with a library book in my hands, at the Oakland Zoo, in downtown Oakland (where I was when the 1989 earthquake hit, standing outside on the sidewalk with my Dad and brother, waiting for my Mom to get off of work, across from the old Emporium Capwell store, where we watched, as the earth shook, its bricks crumble off the building as people ran out and as, at the same time, the huge sheets of glass in the windows of the bank we stood beside, just quaked back and forth, looking as if they would shatter (this photo, many photos below, was taken afterward though  when we were downtown again at at a later time and saw the damage). Also, below, is a photo of I with my parents with downtown buildings in the background, and a few photos with my Grandma (my Mom's mom) at the playground by Lake Merritt, though they have different children's playground equipment there now...and also the trees in those photos at the playground are now all gone:

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I ♥ Oakland...