Day 11 & 12 (Oakland/San Francisco/Berkeley)
I have about 30 minutes to get this posted while sitting at Lux coffeehouse in Phoenix. I'm going to try to do a quick recap and some photos now, and then post the interviews later tonight in Santa Fe.
If you've been there, you know there's no way to accurately paint a picture of the Bay area, or California for that matter, in 36 hours. But that said, I was left with a few very specific impressions:
--Much like Buffalo, Oakland has the potential and infrastructure for growth! The city was planned to death, with neighborhoods being torn apart by freeways. But they are coming back. I met Tina "Tamale" Ramos, an entrepreneur from Oakland who's family business is in year 64. Her restaurant and market has been a hub and meeting place for the neighborhood and, from the looks of it, she's not going anywhere.
--San Fran was all it was cracked up to be. Hipsters, ethnic, cafes playing music at night with revolution in the air (we literally went to a place called Cafe Revolution which you can see in the slide show). We ate at a Restauarant called Chow that had the words 'sustainable', 'local' and 'organic' all over their menu. All their beers on tap were local (ps - Great White is DELICIOUS!)
--California as a whole, however, was really troubling. After I got out of the mountains past Nevada, the sprawl/car/smog reality set it. It was really depressing. California has such beautiful landscapes....but I couldn't or could just barely see them on the horizon. It's the first place in America that I experienced that (first time in my life for that matter) and it really drove home the point about our need for sustainable and green changes (btw - I realize that by driving this whole way I'm contributing to the problem, but we have some plans to mitigate that which I'll discuss later in the project.
--Last point for now. Before a couple years ago, I couldn't claim one living hero. All my heroes were dead. I have to say that my involvement in this movement has given me access to some of the most incredible people in the world. Jody Colley of the East Bay Express is one of those individuals. She'll hate me for saying it (not really), but Jody is absolutely a living hero of mine. She's a connector, and entrepreneur, an organizer and a voice for those who have none. We'll meet her and learn about her incredible work in the Indie media soon.
So here are some images from Day 1....mostly taken in San Fran:
Alright, I headed off to do more interviews....i'm meeting the organizer of "No Pants Day" in Phoenix @ 2:00...that should be fun :)