Friday, July 07, 2006

Jingletown to Jack London Square:

We rode for a few miles on E. 7th, passing through Jingletown. This part of the city, which extends from International Blvd. to the Estuary and from 23rd Ave. to Fruitvale, was the site of cotton mills in the early 1900s. A lot of small, beautiful cottages still dot this part of the neighborhood. It was called Jingletown “…because of millworkers’ habit of jingling coins in their pockets on payday to show off their earnings.” To learn more about Oakland’s neighborhoods, we highly recommend taking a look at a new book called Oakland’s Neighborhoods, by Erika Mailman. She has compiled an excellent collection of photos, accounts, poems and short stories organized neighborhood by neighborhood. (Our only complaint about the book is that she neglected to highlight specific West Oakland neighborhoods.)

We wound our way through some of the bike paths by Jack London Square, taking a short rest stop by one of the residential areas. There, two young guys approached us (who didn’t want to be photographed). They were very confident about where East and West Oakland were located, and described the east as “the lively part of the city” and the west as “the grimy part of the city.” From Jack London Square, we took our tired selves home, feeling satisfied that we covered a large part of what many call East Oakland.


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