Full gallery HERE.
Last weekend we took a trip to Oakland on what will be claimed as the 2nd official Trip trip ever…
As common as some of the spots in the bay area may be, not much attention has been paid to Oakland so we figured we’d give it a try.. After starting our first day at the infamous Berkeley campus, we wanted to see some fresh shit. Between Jackson Ratima showing us a few gems and doing some exploring of our own, we managed to come across some really dope spots.
Our crew of 10 consisted of Aaron Brenner driving his newly remodeled van deemed the “Trip Ship”, Andrew Castenada, Augie Simoncini, Boy Flores, Chris Mortenson, Gabe Brooks, Shawn Macintosh, Steve Croteau and myself.
We headed up to our AirBnB rented apartment Thursday afternoon after some seriously unexpected delays on my behalf. I tried to leave Long Beach at 11am when I was supposed to be in HollyWood at 10:30am to get the van loaded and leave for Oakland at 11. When I backed out of my parking space, I noticed my power steering was not working.. My car has been the car from hell this year and having this happen the day I was supposed to leave for a Trip I’m funding sucked. I quickly examined the power steering fluid reservoir to find that there was no fluid in the reservoir and the return hose sliced from the hose clamp. I thought to myself “ok, simple, I’ll ride down to Autozone and replace the hose”. When I got down there, I found out the hose in my car was actually a “heater hose” installed by some idiot that had the car before me. The hose expanded due to it’s lack of thickness and eventually split. After installing the new power steering hose and replacing the fluid, I tried to drive out of my parking spot to find I had power steering again, it was just rough and I could hear whining.. I decided I couldn’t drive it at this point and didn’t have the time to figure out how to make it right.. My problem was already announced to the group chat and Shawn was on his way to pick me up. I left my car to be fixed when I returned hoping there was nothing more than an air bubble in the system (which luckily was the case).
Hours later, we’re finally on the road just in time for N. Hollywood traffic! On top of the previous frustrations, there was also a heat wave in Cali last weekend just after having a week of nice weather. Going to Oakland definitely served us better than a 100 degree weekend in (Hel)L.A., but we weren’t getting out of there without a firm reminder of how hot the weekend was about to be. Sitting in Aaron’s flat navy blue van with a black roof and no insulation on the top or bottom of the inside made it feel like we were idling in a sauna. After about 45minutes to an hour of torture, we were up to 45mph.. Just enough to get a good breeze going and calm everyones nerves. After a few more stop and go points of hell, we were on our way up the middle of California to NorCal. Hours later, we arrived around 12a.m.
This was my third or fourth AirBNB experience, but the first time finding one myself and putting my card down. The listing allowed 4 people with “no additional charge” for extra people.. Some places wanted $25/head extra over 4 people.. As said before, we had 10! Luckily the owner was out of town so we were not expecting any random check-ins. There was, however, a downstairs neighbor. At around 1am, she poked her head out to ask use to be light on the stair as we were of course, above her apartment. I knew this could pose a problem going in, but figured everyone was respectable enough to keep it down late at night. Fortunately I was right and we had no problems. The neighbors actually had a rather rambunctious sister in town that kept the crew entertained from her banjo and fires in the backyard.. Speaking of the backyard, this place had a full garden, fire-pit and chicken coop. Somehow we didn’t manage to take advantage of the chicken eggs and veggies, but the firepit and backyard seating area got sessioned heavily as you will see in a few of the coming photos.
Friday night came around and a few of us were pretty beat from the drive and day pedaling around berkely in the heat. Jackson told us about First Friday and said we couldn’t miss it if we were in Oakland. It sounded good so we all decided to go.. The night turned out being awesome. We scoped a few bars Downtown, but decided to go to a spot towards the water Jackson knew about. As soon as we got there a few of us walked in and a few stayed back to grab a beer from the liquor store next door, drink it across the street and put one in the air.
As soon as we walked out of the liq, a car came down the street swerving from one side of the road to the other.. The doors suddenly swung open with first a leg, then an arm swinging out the door as they drove down the road from side to side. I had a feeling this was an indication of the lawlessness of Oakland. To my understanding, cops don’t respond to much underneath a murder/grand-theft. Most petty crimes are ignored and seemingly unapparent to the police. We walked across the street to Public Library where a few of Jackson’s friends were kicking it with a growing group of people drinking, blazing and just about every other thing you wouldn’t imagine the average partier be doing in public.
We went into the bar a little later to find the rest of the crew getting into the mix. A few shots were passed around the crew and everyone started getting into the mix.. After chilling for what didn’t seem anymore than half an hour, we convinced the crew to leave the bar and join the Library party across the street. That ended up being a good decision as more and more people showed up.. I thought surely the cops would shut this down soon.. But, to my amazement, cop after cop passed by and didn’t so much as look at us!
The night ended with everyone getting split up as we took multiple taxis home. After finally meeting back at the house an hour or so apart, Mac and I found out the neighbor’s sister had a couple guys over that ended up getting into a little scuffle that ended with one of them landing on homegirl’s banjo! She screamed at him for a little while which guilted the guy into showing up the next day with a brand new banjo.
Feeling a little hungover, we met up with Jackson at a dope waterfront spot filled with flat rails, out rails, down rails and a couple ledges.. We ended up spending the whole day there and almost everyone came away with something.. That night ended for some after visiting the infamous “Can’t Fail” Cafe. After dropping those dudes off, Gabe, Andrew, Steve, Boy, Aaron, Chris and I headed out to a rail Aaron went to the last time he was in Noral. The rail ended up being a ridiculous rail that seemed skatepark-like. The curb set-up ended up making the rail a little harder to ride than we expected, but it was still fun. After riding for a couple hours and Gabe, Boy and Andrew getting some fire clips, we headed home around 4am.
We woke up the next day with checking out heavy on our minds.. We had spread out a good amount of shit throughout the 3.5 day stay and had some picking up to do. Thankfully I woke up late to the house already cleaned for the most part. Thanks for that fellas.. So I picked up my shit and did some further cleaning and inspecting alongside some extensive lysol spraying. We left at about 2 and headed to a ledge spot that was 5 blocks from the house.. When we got there we were knocking ourselves for not being here every morning.. This place was sick. Stacker ledges, curved ledges, marble circles and so on.. The ledges were in a dope park that helped set the vibe. We rode til dark and even filmed a little into the night there. After talking amongst ourselves we decided it was time to get food and head south. A couple people had spots in mind so we stopped in San Jose to ride a couple famous rails. After a couple clips on one rail from Augie & Shawn and an endless battle with a trick we’ll hopefully be seeing in the near future from Steve on the other rail, it was now 4:30am again. The lights to the generator died and Steve called it quits knowing Andrew had to be to class at 1 all the way down in Santa Ana.
We packed up and got on the road just before 5am knowing we had one hell of a drive ahead of us. Aaron and Steve immediately got XL cups of Coffee and headed on the way. Steve vouched to do his best to keep Aaron awake as he went into beast mode for the 6 hour drive. Big thanks to those dudes for getting us back safe!
Several coffee and traffic stops later we were finally back in L.A. Andrew gave me a ride back to LB on his way to Santa Ana and managed to make his class on time .
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! Hopefully we will be able to do these type of trips every month or so while filming for Trip tape. The project is anticipated to take 6 months at this point and I’m excited to see where it goes. After the first month I’d say we’re off to a good start.