Oakland Gems..revisited and newly discovered.

Hola Oakland Fans!

While I was away, taking care of some side-hustle business, I got an interesting response to my Oakland Mystery post!

The spreader of good Oakland news: Justin Kanalakis wrote in to share how he got started on his journey to share  “Who Made Oakland”. Check out his reply below:

To the People of Oakland!

What a phenomenal thread of discussion around this project! This kind of public reaction and curiosity is exactly what the project was meant to inspire.

To cast some light, my name is Justin A. Kanalakis and I found the WHO MADE OAKLAND? book in my Grandfather’s library shortly after he passed. This was a couple years back and I’ve been slowly archiving and condensing the volume into a series of messages that would translate Florence B. Crocker’s message in 1925, into one that speaks to our Oakland today. The original book can be viewed at the Oakland History Room on the 2nd floor of the Oakland Main Library (I encourage anyone who’s interested to visit, take a look).

Initially the project began by wheat-pasting large posters around my neighborhood:
…and passing out smaller posters to local businesses. It has since grown to include a sponsorship by the Downtown Oakland Association which has provided a modest art grant to spread this incredible message to the People of Oakland by any means necessary. As Gene discovered, you can view the initial proposed projects here: http://whomadeoakland.com/SPONSORED_PROJECTS.html
…a lot of the energy thus far has gone into passing out free prints to people on the outskirts of the Saturday Grand Lake Farmers Market (on the corner of LakePark & Lakeshore btwn the Sprint and TMobile buildings) and hanging oversized window displays that include various messages and photography from the original book. The first of which is at 1610 Telegraph (across the street from Van Cleef Cafe), the second is scheduled to cover the HUGE windows of the Newberry building at Telegraph & 19th. There are also banners on light posts at various cross streets of Broadway in Downtown that were just hung, which include Florence’s “Invest, Build, Prosper & Live Happy in Oakland” message. Go check ‘em out when you’re downtown.

As far as the future of the project and how you can get involved, you can contact me direct at whomadeoakland@gmail.com with any ideas of how to spread the message. You can also come visit my mobile booth outside the Grand Lake Farmers Market on Saturday’s from 10am – 2pm’ish (I won’t be there this Saturday (10/22), but I’ll be back the following Saturday). I can provide you with various size prints of “To the People of Oakland.” So if you want to take a stack and hang them in your neighborhood and/or to friends/family/neighbors please email me and specify how many you want and what size(s) and I’ll print them up for you.

Thank you all for your interest and support of this project and remember, through putting energy towards making our city a better place to live, work and play, WE ARE ALL GUARDIAN ANGELS OF OAKLAND! Again, feel free to contact me with any ideas you may have to contribute to the project!

Invest, Build, Prosper & Live Happy in Oakland,
Justin A. Kanalakis
– Also visit http://www.thelakemerrittmonster.com for more historic Oakland goodness!

Be sure to check out his website..and visit his booth at the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market! 🙂


Another good find in Oakland is the photographer of this picture:

Daniel is a worldwide traveler, DJ, photographer and a high school teacher/administrator in Oakland. After perusing his photos on Facebook, I immediately fell in love! Visit Domingoyu.com to learn more about this awesome Oakland Gem who has a mean camera aim.

Later taters..

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