Yesterday you all indulged me in a riff about the oft competing ideals embedded in the culture of our fair city. Today I want to write a bit about ideals that work best in concert. In Oakland, some things just go together: jogging and Lake Merritt, protests and Spoken Word, overcast skies and Oaklandish hoodies. Such is the case with craft of featured culinary artist, Jay-ar Pugao, a lead chef at No Worries Catering. No Worries Catering is ...

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When I first started this series, I mentioned that some of the things I'd be profiling would be ideas. In my (often less than) humble opinion, Oakland is best described as a matrix of inspired, if often competing, ideas. As Oaklanders we believe fiercely in the idea of autonomous, free, thought. We also root for the Warriors, en masse, regardless of wins, losses, or logic. We eat free range eggs and organic chicken in homes that sit squarely ...

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There are a few emcees in Oakland. One or two. Or seventeen thousand, or so. I mean, really, ever since the homies cracked ProTools 3 back in the day, you're hard pressed to find a man of color living in the town that hasn't spent a little time in the studio. We hustle hard in The Bay, in the truest sense of the word. We make art by night, teach by day, and promote by commute. Spitters who'd head nod to that routine include Do D.A.T., Rafael ...

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"Shhh!", said Chinaka while writing about herself in the third person. "If you just put up a new post and back away slowly, perhaps no one will realize that you missed an entire week and a half of this brand new, month-long blog. Or maybe, you do double time all of next week, and get caught up. Oh, that's a great idea. Two a days. Two folks per day for the next two weeks. 30 posts total. Great idea. Now back away slowly. And no one gets hurt.....

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I am Oaklandish // 2 // Red, Bike and Green

Posted on September 2, 2011

There is an idea in your head about what Oakland is. If you have only seen Oakland on the news, you might think of a certain whistling tailpipe. If you're a Brad Pitt fan, you might be eagerly awaiting the film about the Oakland A's releasing on September 23rd. If you watch too much reality tv you might think about a certain singer and her mama. If you learned to dance from Video Music Box, maybe the image in your head is of Stanley Burrell in ...

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I travel a lot. This Wednesday and Thursday, in the course of 24 consecutive hours, I'll breathe air in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That's where I am now, gate C-54 at Pittsburgh International. I spent most of my day at TSA checkpoints, or curled up in an awkward tray table ball, or narrowly missing the closing doors of an airport tram. For a moment though, I did get outside, and I ventured to a part of ...

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It's Wednesday, which means my writing is due. Today, I wrote 24 haiku after Notorious B.I.G. One for each year of his unfathomably short life. I'm also linking you to the newest release from my dear, brilliant friend, J.Period, who re-released and re-mixed his mixtape collaboration with G. Strong, March 9, today. Why not download for all 3 volumes for free, and use it as a soundtrack whilst you read? click here: MARCH 9. small poems for ...

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You should come to a family reunion with me sometime. The food's always on point, the conversation is intriguing, the fist fights are fair and fairly limited and the music's always on cue. We have one of those clan's that's ever increasing. New relatives arrive almost every time we throw links on the grill. Sometimes I can't keep up. I found out a few months ago that, Bambu, one of my all time favorite word jugglers happens to be my cousin. He ...

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There is a story I'd like to tell you, but I think it wouldn't be prudent to type it online. Suffice it to say that today, just now, really, I had a brush with TSA, the good folks of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's department and American Airlines. All's well, but I'm reminded now, as I was before the whole ordeal that I am blessed and highly favored. I am constantly in God's favor and grace, even when I do not deserve it. I'm sorry. Let me ...

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I know it's late. But as long as you're up, and checking this insomniac's blog, we may as well do some mental pushups together. I know, generally, when we talk about mental health (or avoid the discussion like black plague in some communities) we mean that which relates to the psyche, ego and id. Or other terms that are more culturally meaningful, perhaps. I'll be the first to admit that I had a wonderful relationship with my mental health ...

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