Thursday, January 14, 2010

Historic California, Part 3 - Emeryville

Working in Emeryville, I used to take the opportunity to explore my surroundings. I found some pretty interesting things, but this post is specifically about the Bay Street Mall.

The Bay Street Mall in Emeryville is fancy. It’s got condos built into it so you can look out your balcony and watch people wander in and out of any number of the expensive big name stores. Perfumed air comes wafting out of each entrance you pass and security officers go whizzing by on Segways.

Then, one day I heard that Ohlone Indians were protesting the mall and declaring a "don't buy anything day". Thinking that was an odd place to protest, I looked it up and the reason they are upset is that the mall is built on one of their burial grounds.

One thing that movies teach is never build anything on top of an Indian burial ground. However, I never saw any pots flying through the windows of Williams-Sonoma. I never saw any books acting strangely in the Barnes & Noble. No furniture magically putting itself together and taken apart at IKEA. So, I come to the conclusion that maybe it’s the specific store or stores that sit right on top of the burial site that would be the one to avoid.

Bay Street Mall has 65 stores, 10 restaurants and a movie theater, but there is only one establishment that sits right on top of the burial site. One business that risks the vicious anger that movies say will come upon them for their disrespect. And that place is : Victoria’s Secret.

I find the thought of haunted lingerie hilarious. I imagined a storyline of a husband buying something special for his wife and it tormenting the family by showing up in odd places. “Honey, why is there a bra in the casserole?”

So, in conclusion, that is what I think about when the topic of California history comes up: hanging, cannibalism, and lingerie.

Seriously, though, I like where I am. I try to take advantage of being near a wonderful city like San Francisco, and even find great places and people even closer to home in less recognizable cities like Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, and all the others.

I guess there’s “gold” everywhere you go, not just the mines in the California hills – in the people, the places, and the stories. Personally, I think there’s richer mines out in Europe, but I totally understand when people say they’d rather try their luck in my sunny backyard.


AngelaCorrias said...

Great post, I agree: every place has interesting stories to tell, it's up to us finding them out!

Matt said...

You got that right, Angela. :) I'm doing my best to keep my eyes open!