Walking in Oakland, Issue #3

published16 days ago
1 min read

Hey there, walkers. I'm Nat Bennett, photographer and sometimes-dog-walker, and you're reading the 3rd of 31 daily issues of Walking in Oakland.

This is our local corner store. Williams Liquor Market and Deli, on the corner of 59th and Telegraph. We go there a couple times a week, to buy Yerba mate and ice cream sandwiches. Occasionally, when we run out, we buy eggs.

They also sell incense, in big fat sticks. We’ve never bought incense there. I’m kind of prissy about incense. I use Japanese coreless incense, almost exclusively Nippon Kodo Kayuragi. Occasionally I’ll mess with Fragrance Memories. My lungs, unfortunately, don’t like incense much, so I haven’t been burning it lately.

Jesse had never lived next to a corner store. The closest he ever came was downtown Denver in a big high rise tower near Elitch’s, where he could walk to Whole Foods if he wanted to.

When we moved back to Oakland from Los Angeleese (sic), I inspected each candidate residence in Google Maps, looking for the nearest corner store. A nearby coffee shop. The restaurants.

Jesse thought I was nuts. “We’ll have a car,” he said.

“What do you do when you run out of eggs?” I asked.

“You get in the car and you drive to the grocery store,” he said. He stopped to consider. “Or a gas station, maybe.”

“Yeah, but you have to get in the car.”

“That’s easy.”

I ignored him. When we moved here, maybe the first night or two, we needed laundry detergent and paper towels. He walked a couple of blocks to the corner store, and came back with the supplies.

“Wow,” he said, “Did you know there’s a store you can just walk to?”

What old stories about yourself are you carrying around, that are no longer true?

I let folks make me think I’m not fit or in good shape, because I’m small fat, and I’ve been rather sedentary lately, but I am strong as heck.

I was asking my chem professor for career advice today and she said (slightly paraphrased) that grad schools would rather have someone with common sense, people skills, and real life experience vs someone who has no human skills, is a complete wreck, and has done research before. This isn't the first time that someone has told me I have people skills but each time it happens it surprises me.

What's your local corner store? What do you do when you run out of eggs? Send me sentence or two that you wouldn't mind being shared anonymously, and I'll include it in a future issue.

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