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We’re coming to make the neighborhood nice for the people who are there already. That’s the antidote to gentrification: to build the community within the community and work with them.

Nigel Jones, Kingston 11's chef and co-owner.

I feel like black folks in Oakland really need to reclaim the part of Oakland that’s trying to push people out. And it’s not an issue of black or white — all working-class people and people of color are being pushed out.

—Sarah Kirnon, Miss Ollie’s

read more: Can Black-Owned Restaurants Combat Gentrification? 
A new breed of restaurants with diverse staffs provides a haven for people of color — and brings community and diversity to Oakland’s homogenous food scene.

eastbayexpress, 01.10.14.

portland pedal power delivering bagels to OCOM on nw couch st., 14.03.14.
» Black People in Portland Said No to a Trader Joe's to Keep White People from Moving In

I usually love VICE mag, but there’s just so much context missing from this piece “this week in racism”. if i had read only this article, i would think, yeah, that’s dumb. people in living in west oakland “food deserts” would welcome a trader joe’s no question!

but as i’m an urban planning student in a program that gives a decent focus on equity, i had heard some more news about the issue.

similar to how the bikeways controversy on North Williams Ave. sparked, trader joe’s did not consult the community before making plans to locate there. the neighborhood didn’t say they wanted a TJs. pretty much, they weren’t given a choice until recently to reject it.

the better way of doing things would have obviously been for TJs to talk to the community and see how they would feel about moving in. instead of getting permits, etc. and just shoving itself into a neighborhood.

and looking at a larger context, a community should be able to choose what they want. yes, they want easily available fresh produce, but maybe not within a trader joe’s. there’ve been ideas for a community market like the forthcoming (2014) Portland Mercado (15.11.13), a latino public market at SE 72nd/Foster. something like a farmers market that’s open every day, with independent vendors.

so now that North Portland eliminated trader’s joe, maybe it’ll be closer to finding out exactly what the community really wants (national supermarket or local market or..) and getting it.

Supermarket Street Sweep (groceries by bike)


After skipping last year, I rode the Supermarket Street Sweep again, with two friends. This is a fundraiser / food drive for the SF Food Bank, combined with a little light competition to collect the most food or collect it the fastest.

It was an amazingly successful year for the food drive— 149 cyclists brought in 10,615 pounds of food, about 2,500 pounds more than the previous record.

A few photos snapped along the way…

An impressing tower of cases of ramen (which almost tipped over):image

One of the more serious cargo loads:


Parking lot loading:


And,somehow, we made it last last few miles with over 300 lbs of food between us, and no bent wheels or crashes.


On a personal note, I also set a record for the most weight I’ve ever carried by bike— after collecting about 20 lbs of food in 2010, and 100 lbs of food in 2011, this year I hauled 156 lbs (of dry beans, peanut butter, orange juice, pasta, and lots of rice), with the two extra-deep panniers, a large backpack, and a rack:


i just found out, via g.maps,

that I live equidistant (0.7miles, a quick bike ride away) from a whole foods and fred meyer (big supermarket). 

a month after living here and only through g.maps did i find out there’s a whole foods nearby. v___v;;; i have been in that area, but the bike routes are on the parallel residential streets so i never wanted to get out on the busier high-traffic arterial streets just out of curiosity.

i so don’t live in a food desert.. 

makes me feel hella privileged :/

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