The Beauty of Oakland

Oakland, California has a long and sordid history.  It started out as a port city and is still incredibly busy; servicing all of the San Francisco Bay, and much of Northern California. The population of Oakland doubled after the big quake of 1906, and then lessened by several flu pandemics in 1918.  It thrived with the advent of aviation and the World Wars, and is extremely diverse in its people.

Starting in the 1980’s, Oakland became known as an unsafe town, due to several gang-related shootings, as well as drug transactions.  And in the last few years, it’s gained in notoriety because of the Occupy movement, not to mention the Fruitvale fiasco.

But I recently got to see another side of Oakland.  A photography Meetup group in my area held a self-guided photo tour of Oakland.  They gave us an address and date and we got to decide when to go there and what pictures to capture.

I was excited to see this event, because I’d been wanting an excuse to walk around Oakland and capture some of the amazing architecture through my lens . . . and here was my opportunity.

Google Maps directed me to an area that was several blocks away from the correct location, but I wound my way to the intended spot eventually, and picked up some great gems along the way.  The puffy clouds in the sky added to the day’s ambiance.

There’s the gorgeous Fox Oakland Theatre, which looks great from a frontal view (somewhat reminiscent of the grandeur of the early cinema, a la Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), but took on a whole new look when I captured just the top of the building.Oakland Fox Theatre

Another gorgeous structure is the Oakland City Hall.  Constructed out of white granite and Terra-cotta, this Beaux-Arts style building and clock tower (captured here) sits grandly over the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.  This is one of my favorite structures, and I’m thrilled that I finally got to snap some photos of it.Oakland Clock TowerAnother of my favorite structures sits amid Latham Square, where Telegraph Ave branches off from Broadway.  This building–called the Cathedral Building–looks more like a fortress to me and is similar to the Flatiron Building in New York City.  The green tiles on the roof of the Cathedral Building set off the white stone quite nicely.Latham Square FortressBut it wasn’t just architecture that I found there.  I also saw some cool beauty in non-architectural things around the city.  There were some lovely flower beds to be seen near the BART entrances, and even this bike rack has some really nice movement to it.Cycling CirclesIt’s nice to know that beauty can be found in any city.  And this adventure was a good reminder for me of Oakland’s original grandeur.

These and other images taken that day will soon be available at both our Etsy store and on our website: MAS Artwork.com.  We’ve currently got a sale going on at our Etsy site:  Buy 2 images (same size) and get 30% off!  We’re looking into how to offer that sale on our website as well, so until we do, feel free to email us to request the discount, and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice for the sale price (plus shipping and handling).

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