Suburban lifestyle is exceptionally different from living in the city. Communities are a lot smaller with fewer town establishments such as parks, city centers, etc. Citizens often stay to what they are complacent and familiar with. Oftenly there are limited amounts of diversity within the suburbs due to the small population. Cities such as Oakland and San Francisco include a large populace which creates a sense of community throughout various cultures. Within these cities are popular areas in which individuals are not afraid to familiarize themselves with the area and possibly others. In society, we have been accustomed to avert your eyes away from strangers and avoid confrontation. In recent generations there has been a boost in immigration resulting in a melting pot society mixed with various colors, races, sexes, etc. It is then that we must comply to the new standards of maintaining a neutral environment by familiarizing ourselves with the ideas of others. Personally, San Leandro marina feels like a sanctuary in which everyone belongs. A variety of individuals come from various races, ages, social classes, etc. It brings a sense of community in which people can partake in several activities together such as walking, fishing, going to a restaurant, or simply talk. Elijah Anderson uses numerous anecdotes to demonstrate the conventional way of behaving in society and how it has changed throughout the years due to a higher amount of diversity. In his work he defines how certain areas in society make up a cosmopolitan canopy and how people have become more comfortable with the idea of socializing with others despite various social differences. The San Leandro marina is an example of a cosmopolitan canopy as Anderson describes, because, “ [it] allows such people of different backgrounds the chance to slow down and indulge themselves, observing, pondering, and in effect doing their own folk ethnography…” (22).
The photograph above was taken May 13, 2017 at the San Leandro marina. Behind me is a beautiful view of the oakland airport. This has always been my favorite place to go when I need to clear my thoughts or if I am going through a difficult time. My friend took this photo at approximately 6 pm at night, a few hours before sunset. Another reason as to why I enjoy coming here is the captivating scenery. As you look at the water you can see the airplanes lowering themselves closer to the water to finally land at the airport. To the very left of the scene you see the San Mateo bridge which leads into the city. To the middle of the view you see the bay bridge and a small view of San Francisco. Captivating the bay bridge’s beauty is the sunset which fills the sky with blurred colors of orange and red. As I look to my sides I see older, mature individuals fishing and enjoying the marina. I see others simply sitting at the picnic tables eating with their families and young children. In the car next to me I see young adults sitting in their cars admiring the view, while talking and listening to music. Despite everyone being different ages and coming from a variety of different backgrounds, they are all enjoying their time. Anderson mentioned how people tend to be more open among others because they are surrounded with a large variety of people, offering racially, ethnically, and social diversity (15). Seeing everyone at the marina enjoying themselves and talking amongst others spreads a positive environment as he describes, “trusting attitudes can be infectious, even spreading feelings of community across racial and ethnic lives” (16). The San Leandro marina is a colorful place such as the terminal Anderson describes in Philadelphia. A place filled with lively conversations and community among individuals who are from different demographics, a place with a long history behind it.
San Leandro Marina is a cosmopolitan canopy that is located close to Oakland which is one of the biggest cities within the bay area. It’s located east shore of San Francisco. According to the city website of San Leandro, settlers first came to the region of Oakland and San Leandro between 3500 BC and 2500 BC. They were to believed to be apart of the Jalquin tribe. Town development began in 1850 and up to this day. Various establishments were made such as the marina, history walk, museum of San Leandro, city hall, etc. After the marina was built other establishments were made onto the land. This included various restaurants and hotels in which families and individuals can get together to enjoy the beauty of the ocean. I ate at the El Torito which is located right on the marina and it truly is a beautiful site. As you enter you see the Spanish inspired decorations and the smiles and laughter from people spending time with their family. This type of atmosphere feels as a judgement free-zone as Anderson puts it, “…such neutral social settings, which no one group expressly owns but all are encouraged to share under this protective umbrella, represent a special type of urban space” (21). As you walk into the dining area you see a large window which peaks into the bay. You get to view the oakland airport and water as you enjoy your diner. At the marina there is also a yacht club and city center in which hold weekly meetings that are open to the public. They talk on future plans for the marina and the city of San Leandro. Individuals from all over come together to admire the scenery and enjoy the various establishments at the marina.
Places such as the San Leandro marina offer a cosmopolitan canopy where individuals can come together and enjoy themselves. The large amount of diversity allows people to share their own ideals and perspectives with one another. Anderson talks about how this exposure to unfamiliar ideas allows people to expand themselves mentally, emotionally, and socially (29). This results in a society with social sophistication, a social state in which allows people to communicate with one another and get along. There are various activities at the marina in whcih allows individuals to connect on a mental state. Restaurants such as El Torito for example allows people to eat other culture’s food which allow interaction across the culture line, “a social good is performed for those observing. As people become intimate through such shared experiences, certain barriers are prone to be broken” (18). The marina is a cosmopolitan canopy because it is filled with various types of people among different races, ages, sexes, and cultures that come together as one to share a friendly atmosphere.