Oakland Stories

Stories of life from Oakland, California


Fuck the Gentrifiers


What’s the point of moving to a city where you don’t belong if you’re not good in bed? Who let all the ugly people into Oakland? I’m quite ashamed and little bit embarrassed that despite marked economic upturn in this city, somehow every person that belongs to the “Die, Techie Scum!” demographic has turned out to be: So. Fucking. Boring. As in, how can so many people be so…


Tarantino Has Been to Oakland

Or: That Time Our Car Got Straight up Jacked


The comparison between the respective cities of Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY has been made ad nauseum in the blogosphere, but for those who don’t follow the bloggers, those titans of internet-based opinion-expression, the basic idea is that the two cities each have a purported fresh energy…


The Invisible Fight for (and Against) Graffiti Art

Culture vs. cleanliness in the SF Bay Area


“Graffiti is great, it’s mysterious, it’s real, it’s…

Who watches the watchers?

The future of privacy, as distilled by a controversy in Oakland, California.


How We Came to Love Baseball

It happened by accident.


When I think about it now, it was that one night, twelve years ago, when my daughter’s choir sang the national…


My ghosts


My childhood robbed me of being a kid.

I was on survival mode every day.

I was removed from my crack-addicted mother when I was six years old and…


The issue is place, not race


I recently published The Ghost in the Cell, a long story about trauma, violence and the biology of stress. The piece focused on a woman named Yokia Mason, who grew up in family where children from multiple generations had been exposed to violence and abuse. Yokia is African American, a fact that one reviewer, the writer Annalee Newitz, has used as the basis for…


From Juba to Dogtown


In the fall of 2010, I packed my clothes into a duffel bag and moved from Cape Town to California. I had been awarded a year-long fellowship to report on the impact of…

Oakland Stories
Oakland Stories

Stories of life from Oakland, California

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