"There is no there there," Gertrude Stein wrote
of the West Coast city of Oakland, California.
Oakland's been jacking up the heat ever since.
Locals still call it Oaktown,
and, unlike other fast-track metropolitan cities,
Oakland city planners have a respectful regard for
Oaktown architectural antiquities,
demonstrated by the fresh proliferation
of mirrored monoliths cropping up
next to renovated Victorians
and revamped Deco entertainment palaces.
A year ago, I walked into Bibliomania Books
looking for a used copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.
Turned out Eat, Pray, Love used wasn't "used" enough.
In Bibliomania, used means vintage. Old.
I guessed the proprietors were probably tired
of people wandering in looking for last year's
New York Times bestsellers in a vintage bookstore.
I tucked my tail between my legs
and beat it.
Oakland's Fox Theatre has just reopened
after 2 years of extensive renovations.
It shares space with the new
Oakland School for the Arts.
The Mission Revival Style complex
is large-format camera material,
too grand for my little Kodak Easyshare.