Is Oakland Low-key Falling Apart?

Dumpster fires pale in comparison to whole construction sites set ablaze.

It’s been a tough year for Oakland…and we’re only halfway through. In the past week, we’ve seen up-and-coming residential buildings, brimming with the promise of a brighter tomorrow, succumb to lit gallon of gasoline.

Whatever hope and promise the city hoped erect soon became kindling.

The streets around Downtown Oakland resemble that of a pre-teens complexion, which is to say uneven, rough, dimpled with convex surfaces. Potholes and hazardous debris and sizable slabs of abandonment concrete seemingly apparate out of nowhere.

If you reside under the same black cloud I do, your car’s already well-worn tires might have been preyed upon by the patches of asphalt near 15th Street.

Crossing the Bay Bridge in the dead-heat of rush hour is an act of patience. At the very least, the three-mile passage will, surely, test your iPhone’s battery capacity—should you have left your lighting cable at home.

Broken glass from shattered car windows litter the curbsides. Those who might have called to report their auto burglary are, probably, still waiting to hear back on any progress. Plot twist: you’re more likely to find a Loui Vuitton receipt along Oakland’s tent village then receive a callback from a justice-promising clerk.

The Warriors are leaving; the Oracle Stadium’s fate hangs in the balance.

Lake Merritt has always been, for me, a scotch-free patch of uninterrupted East Bay bliss. Just last Thursday, I stepped on a dead rat, presumably poisoned by an edible pesticide.

Now this is all not to say Oakland is merely a blemish on the Bay Area’s landscape. No metropolitan is either perfect nor an unfettered paradise. But we should all be able to agree that there’s room for improvement.

And that bettering is an activity we should all try to push for. (Here’s a list of Oakland Townhalls coming up.)

The adage, “things have to get worse before they get better,” is widely overused and grossly inflated. Hyperbolic, perhaps.

But having a large swath of scaffolding, valued at a few million dollars, become a torch in a summer night does, however, leave plenty of room for improvement.

Is Oakland Low-key Falling Apart?
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