Stand at the end of Fourteenth Street in West Oakland. This neighborhood has seen the worst of Bay Area gentrification, and its reflection is in the glass that covers the sidewalks, flowing down into gutters, stretching into the distance. It sticks to the walls of buildings and the fronts of homes, where everything as tall as the average person is covered with decades of graffiti frescoes.
A leather recliner, like the one your grandfather used to sit in, is now tipped over on to the asphalt, lacerated from end to end, hemorrhaging foam into the storm drain.
There are no people here. There are signs of their presence, though there are merely only clues as to where they may have gone, yet the only sound is the static of the constant humming vibration of traffic from the overpass overhead.
Track homes are huddled, wall-to-wall, all the way down the street, only broken by a chain link fence surrounding a dirt lot where one of those houses burned to ground so many years ago.
But this lot is not vacant.
Tucked behind the trees lies a treasure. Shrouded in shrubbery sits a shack, only slightly smaller than a garden shed, fitted with a loft, a fire burning stove, a desk and an old grand piano.