You may have wondered why I’ve been blogging a little less about carpool these days. Sadly, it’s due to the GOB-SMACKING AUDACITY of what took place at the Claremont & Hudson carpool a couple of weeks ago. Click here to drill down on the unsavory details. I honestly have not been able to process it, which is odd because I’m in Rockridge a lot. I see the hand-made crime alert flyers, I hear over and over again that muggings, iPhone grabs and break-ins are steadily on the rise, but somehow I had figured out a way to push this information into the ”not really happening” part of my consciousness, which is a skill that most city dwellers develop over time. Having lived in London, Lagos, and for the past 20 years Oakland, my urban crime denial faculties are honed to a needle point, let me tell you. So, when I read about the robbery, I experienced bloggers’ block. I sat down to write but just couldn’t pull the words together. What is the point I asked myself, of writing cheerily about the daily vicissitudes of carpooling (how many passengers were in the car, whether or not the passengers offered to subsidize the toll, was it a nice car/grumpy driver etc. etc. etc.) without also chronicling the nastier side of it?
The entire situation pisses me off TO NO END because now when people ask, as they invariably do, “So, is casual carpool safe?” Instead of the heart-felt reassurances I used to give, I now have to say; “Totally safe, but you will need to keep an eye out for masked gunmen.”
It’s also further evidence (as though you needed any) that Mayor Quan is doing a piss-poor job of managing the city.
So, where does that leave us? I think the brazenness of the incident has served as a catalyst. People are rallying and looking for ways to assist the woefully-understaffed OPD with privately-funded neighborhood patrols and surveillance technology. Good will come of this eventually. It has to, because at the end of the day, we hella ❤ Oakland!