Ode to Oakland 10 | Lake Merritt
Oakland wouldn't be Oakland without Lake Merritt. It stinks and still we go. It's been covered with signs, walls, construction stuff for months yet still the sidewalks and lake banks are filled with frolickers, runners, walker-pushers and tai chi doers. Located in the middle of the city it's a perfect living metaphor for the beautiful complexity that Oakland is: crime, skylines, the hills, parks, the new cathedral, urban decay that shows us not so much that beauty is in the beholder, but that each thing is beautiful.
Each day begins with numerous boot campers working out around the lake at the east end (pictured) and on the stairs as the sun rises, and ends with folks enjoying breath-taking views of the city at sunset (usually admiring the fog located across the bay in our more famous sister city). Is it any wonder that the take has been taken over by the immigrant Canadian Geese and their excrement? Maybe that too is an appropriate metaphor for the challenges that face our city: beauty that invites and in the invitation creates the problems that keep the city from becoming the beauty its destined to be.