I decided to hang around the Berkley/Oakland area today. I had a lot of walking and driving yesterday and, honestly, I saw much of what I wanted to in SF yesterday.
My friend, Ange, and I went down to the university area of Berkley, had a great breakfast, shopped and took pictures. The area reminds me a little of Rice Village, but without the 98 degree heat. A lot of really odd people out today. There’s quite a bit of volatility as you have a lot of rich, hippies living in and around Berkley and a very impoverished African American community right next door in Oakland.
I actually witnessed an incident between a white woman (obviously from New York based on her accent) and a black female cashier at a drug store. It got to the point of yelling and spitting…seriously. You can literally feel the racial tension. According to people here, a lot of the rich folks are pretty pretentious in this area and they are bounded by a ton of poor minority families and there have been clashes as the area becomes more gentrified.
In general, I’ve found most Californians to be fairly affable people, but there is a certain degree of superiority that you don’t get in Texas (Dallas excluded 😉 ). You don’t realize just how friendly and helpful people are in Houston until you get out of it. And it isn’t as if people here are rude. They aren’t. It’s just that people in Houston are over-the-top friendly and polite.
We’re going to hang out and eat around here tonight with some of Ange and Collen’s friends. Tomorrow, I’m getting up to go to Golden Gate Park early in the AM to take pictures, hopefully of fog and sunrise. What trip to SF is complete for any photograher without a trip to Golden Gate.
Tomorrow night, we go to see the Black Crowes with Drive by Truckers and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. Should be a fun open-air show. Then, Monday, I start to wind my way back to H-Town. Sweet.