Brita and I start driving north. Our final destination is Salem, Oregon. The sky is yellow and the mountain ridges are a jagged threat on the skyline. Wildfire.
You stand at the sink again, scrubbing again, the basin filled three-quarters with warm soapy water, your panties bobbing in the suds, your white knuckles squeeze whiter, twist the crotch, pumice stone across the folds back and forth a washboard rhythm...
Downtown San Francisco is, like any city center, a place where sectors of society overlap. It’s the financial hub, the “Wall Street of the West,” where banks and law firms first opened after gold was found in California.
On the last Wednesday in August I closed the door to my apartment in Oakland and put the key through the mail slot. Buh-bye.
It’s only as I approach Brooklyn’s Golconda Playground, nestled underneath the BQE, that it dawns on me: I am about to be at a skate park, with skateboarders—dudes doing kick flips, smoking blunts.
Once me and Jenny Odell actually get on the trail, it starts to feel good to be on the trail. It was borderline hectic getting up here, with a wall of traffic and confusing Google Maps directions. And the heat. We’re a few days in on a late summer heat wave. It’s usually so mild in the bay. When the temperature rises a few degrees, we feel it.
As I approach the current downtown Oakland Aburaya location on Seventeenth street, I can already see the heavy traffic of all black-clad cooks zig-zagging to and from the produce truck double parked outside. The energetic rush of pre-opening prep time is emanating from the floorboards.
The Thursday night crowd packed Oakland’s East Bay Booksellers to hear the poetry of one of their own. A framed painting of a bald bearded man hugging an even taller fish somewhere in a far away field of magical daisies looms behind and above the empty brown podium. Rows of folded chairs are slalomed by small kids and the elders eyeing them.
The final stress dream in a string of stress dreams the night before my appointment—I arrive at Modern Electric Studio to meet guest artist Astrid Elisabeth, eager for her to unveil the design for my tattoo. It is my first visible piece and my stomach is doing loopdeeloops.
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Stephen Steinbrink, Jennifer Williams, Jenny Odell, Abdullah Shakur, Umeko Motoyoshi, Jeff Cheung, Gabriel Ramirez, Jessie Alsop, Lena Sok, Yalie Kamara, Sarah Simon, and Astrid Elisabeth
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Samantha Espinoza, Abdullah Shakur, Paolo Yumol, @laurencesss, and Coco Spencer
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