It didn’t take too long for BTWD attendees to realize that we weren’t like the other booths at the event. A few walked by with quiet curiosity. Soon, we were talking to loads of people who wanted to know what we were up to. As we explained the project, people were eager to help us with information concerning the whereabouts of West and East Oakland. By the end of the two-hour event, we had spoken with a diverse group of over forty people.Here are some of their comments:
'I'm a teacher at Fremont High School and I talk to my students about the all the time---we're actually in the south not the east because the bay runs southeast.'
'Where are West and East Oakland? Stay above the 580. Homicide is a big worry.'
'Thumbs up to ecotourism!!'
'I really have no idea---is there a there there?'
'You know you are in East Oakland when the street names change---You know, to First Ave and so on.'
‘Are you going to change the neighborhood names?’
Q: ‘Do you want to give your opinion about where West and East Oakland are?’
A: ‘No, I live there—I’m cool.’
‘They never put the neighborhood names on the map. And if they do, they’re wrong.’
‘West Oakland is easy: that’s where the West Oakland BART station is.’
'People identify with their neighborhoods, but above the 580, people don't say they live in East Oakland.'
'I'm scared to say! I have a terrible sense of direction.'
‘Do you have maps that show where West and East Oakland are?’
‘Good question---people are always talking about different places when they say West Oakland or East Oakland.’