I live next to the Oakland Estuary in a mostly industrial neighbourhood of the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, on the border of the Jingletown and San Antonio districts of East Oakland, near Union Point, Fruitvale, and Alameda. The Google Map image above shows the approximate center of my immediate neighbourhood; it's an interesting, unusual, and not well-known place, even by Bay Area standards, an uneasy and changing mixture of heavy industry, wholesale markets and suppliers, specialist small businesses (boatyards, propeller manufacturers, sailmakers, precision machinists, blacksmiths, body shops, etc.), artists, artisans, lifestyle lofts, public and private housing, and offices. Parts of Jingletown have over the past decade or so become a self-consciously hip arts area, and lately the rents and the storefronts have reflected this, with a relentless gentrification that's slowly turning what was once a low-rent industrial area into yet another expensive residential enclave. The artists will meanwhile just move on (as we did in San Francisco).
I've lived and worked in the area for years (in an old factory that houses my studio and living space), and during
that time I've taken literally thousands of photos of the area and surrounding places like West Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda, Berkeley, etc. The Around Jingletown site is an attempt to put some of these images up for other people to see; the site includes a photoblog and a comprehensive gallery (not quite there yet with the gallery, though), and other stuff if I ever get the time. The blog is updated whenever I feel like it (which is typically a couple of times a week), and doesn't pretend to give a comprehensive view of the world around Jingletown (or Jingletown itself, for that matter), just those little bits of what I see and what interests (or obsesses) me (and if you really do want to see just the Jingletown and close-by bits, check out the Jingletown and / or San Antonio pages). And a lot of the images are just snapshots (sometimes done while trespassing), so don't get too hung up on the technical deficiencies and obvious problems. Note that the date an individual image is posted is almost never the date the photo was taken; I try to include at least the year that the image was taken somewhere in the commentary.
The images concentrate mostly on the built and natural environment rather than the people, but sometimes actual residents are shown or even named. In reality, though, I'm waiting to do a different site and blog for the people shots, something that may take a lot more time to get together (it's hard to get all those releases retroactively…).
Unless otherwise noted, virtually all the images are only lightly edited, mostly for contrast and cropping, etc., i.e. I haven't done anything extreme or misleading: I hate cropping out things like telegraph poles or wires — they're so much a part of the environment here that cropping or erasing them kind of also erases the whole point of an image.
A note on the name "Jingletown": when I first moved here the name wasn't much used by locals (for the first few years I was here I don't remember anyone using it except as a historical footnote in a conversation); it's interesting to see how the name's become a part of the local identity as the neighbourhood grew some sort of self-confidence and started asserting itself as a self-consciously arty or hip place to live. Yes, I'm ambivalent about that, especially since it's now "The Jingletown Arts District", a sure sign that the artists are being forced out of the area to be replaced by galleries (and lifestyle lofts).
If you want to leave comments on individual photoblog entries, you can currently do so anonymously (without registering), or you can register, but if you don't register you may need to pass an automated captcha test if you haven't commented here before, and the comments will be always be moderated (which may not be so painless).
If you want to get hold of me, click
here for a captcha-protected email address. If you want to use some of the images for commercial use, get in touch, but please don't use these images commercially without my explicit permission.
And if you want to see some of my other images, my main HamishReid.com site might provide some food for thought, even though (like most of my web sites) it's hopelessly out of date.
Hamish Reid, Oakland, October 2007 (updated December 2010).
Around the World
Chronophotography by PJ Reptilehouse
Russ Osterweil Photography
The Occasional Odd Crop
This Isn't Sydney
Newscastle Australia City Photos Plus Hunter Valley and Beyond
photoTiura: Jan Tiura Gallery
Institute of Mosaic Art
The Jingletown Arts and Business Community