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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
Yes, Oakland is as hellish as you imagine, and you should stay far far away 
11th-Sep-2009 01:51 pm
cancel my subscription I don't want your
From an SFGate article on the upcoming 2010 Oakland Marathon — the first marathon in Oakland in more than 25 years:
News of the marathon is beginning to make its way through local online groups of long-distance runners, university track programs and personal trainers.

"Is it going to go through the city's better neighborhoods, or are we going to need a police escort for part of the way?" asked Debbie Falls, a veteran of more than 40 marathons over the years and owner of Fleet Feet, an athletic shoe store in Pleasanton.
No, madam, it's going to go through ALL THE WORST NEIGHBORHOODS IN OAKLAND, straight up International Boulevard. Welcome to the shady 80s! Now passing through the lovely dirty thirties! Watch out for the homeless people camped near the 11th Street underpass — they're scary! Better run quick, or the gangstas and thugs will get you!


I love my post-industrial hellhole.

Poor Ms. Falls, having to run through awful, dirty, dangerous Oakland. Maybe this is the problem. Ya think?
11th-Sep-2009 09:55 pm (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, has the route been announced. If what I have read is correct, the New York City Marathon passes through neighborhoods of vast wealth disparity, and there is a heavy police presence in all of them, as one might expect any time a crowd gathers in an urban area. I doubt Ms. Falls has anything to worry about.

Let's all show up at her shop wearing our I Hella (heart) Oakland t-shirts (I have two in case one is dirty) and talk to her about what a wonderful, diverse, vibrant place Oakland is. I'll volunteer to drive. I lived there happily for nearly seven years, play games there weekly, and would happily live there again if I didn't happen to be happily living right next door in Alameda. And I'm an upper-middle-class educated Caucasian. I love busting stereotypes.

11th-Sep-2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
"Is it going to go through the city's better neighborhoods, or are we going to need a police escort for part of the way?"

Good grief.

I will admit I try not to walk through the area around the 80s right between 580/880, but in the middle of the day with a huge crowd of participants around you? It isn't exactly the fifth circle of hell.
12th-Sep-2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
I know that I, as a country bumpkin from Vermont, the last time I was in Oakland I felt terribly threatened while feeding the ducks.
13th-Sep-2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Those are some bad-ass 510 waterfowl.
15th-Sep-2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Oakland's bad rep helped me buy a house for a crazy low price because the appraiser was from Pleasant Hill and was afraid of all the nice dark skinned fellows with an understandable taste for malt liquor and sunshine on a Tuesday afternoon.

I might try and arrange a sideshow along the route during the marathon just to add some authenticity to the whole experience for people.
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