“Inspired in Oakland”
Beauty, Art & Inspiring Life in Oakland, CA.
It’s easy to obsess about all the crazy things that happen in a big city. Especially this one. Oakland has no shortage of bad news: another elementary school closing down; feds soon to take over our police department; high crime in spots; our mayor is being recalled. Heck, all of California seems mired deep. Like Greece, we too will get austerity measures imposed by the government. I know this isn’t unique; economic woe is everywhere.
So how do we all keep positive in this unsettling vibe, this cultural unease? Where is the hope? Should we all just move to the suburbs? The outback? Canada!? 😉
As a musician, for me to move away from the Oakland/SF metropolis would take me away from a huge pool of amazing, international musicians. And rich diversity really does translate into a rich cultural experience. (I’m thinking of my Chinese friends who love my Tex-Mex band 😉
But I’m realizing lately, that if I pay attention, there is an undercurrent of good energy and ideas going on here- big and small. For example, on a typical day when I might pass yet another shop vacancy sign- I will also happen on someone who’s just starting a business down the street; someone crazy-excited, talking fast about spending his last dollar on a dream, & asking ‘will you come to the opening tonight’? It keeps happening. A lot. It’s kind of baffling; haven’t they heard we’re in a recession? Where is this new energy coming from?
The thought that Dreams keep rolling in, that Inspiration and Muses keep finding us- wherever we live- is comforting. I keep hearing that Oakland is undergoing an ‘artistic renaissance’. Beyond the art walks, and public art, I want to see what that means. I suspect is has to do with building more community, more smaller businesses, and creating hope through more art & music.
So for this new prompt “Inspired in Oakland”, I will be seeking out the dreamers & doers- to shine a spotlight on what motivates them to stay creatively lush, and evolving. So tune-in my friends, for more “Inspired in Oakland posts.”
Today, I will keep it simple.
Did I tell you, Oakland is blooming!!?