Julia Irwin is a writer, a recent UC Berkeley graduate, and a soon-to-be law school student.
in 1984, Danny McMullan was zipping down the highway on his motorcycle —eager to join his friends by the bay—when he hit a power box. The force of the impact tore his right leg clean off and left Danny, then 21, with broken bones in his pelvis, ribs, arms, clavicle, and back.
Fine art photographer Kirti Bassendine was appalled when friends returning to England from their visit to San Francisco posted vitriolic sentiments about the SF’s “homeless problem” to their social media page; voicing their disgust with the trash, needles, feces, and people on the streets, they warned others not to visit.
On Thursday, May 16, at the First Congregational Church of Oakland, the youth leaders of Youth Spirit Artworks unveiled what they believe is a solution to the East Bay’s affordability crisis: a 70 square foot Tiny House, featuring a skylight, several windows, two doors, solar-energy heated floors, and two brightly-painted murals along each length of its exterior.
Tim Nishibori disappears into the depths of his cramped but cavernous shack, which sits near the end of a strip of trailers and tents in West Oakland. His gray pit bull, Lady, plays hostess, entertaining me with enthusiastic kisses by the makeshift gate as Nishibori rummages around. Eventually, he emerges with two chairs, and invites me into his home. “Sorry about the mess,” he says
The first thing I notice about Geno is his impeccable sense of style: standing by the tent encampment under I-580 at Magnolia and 35th, he’s wearing khakis and a fitted olive-green sweater, boot-laced sneakers as clean as they come, and a spiffy straw fedora. He sports a large stud in one ear, and his beard is pristinely groomed. He looks like a suave sentinel, a GQ model moonlighting as—in his words—“the tent city’s point person.”