I’m eternally grateful to live in Oakland. Yeah, I said Oakland. It doesn’t have the best rep and it’s completely understandable. What you should know is Oakland is changing for the better. The past is the past so get over what you’ve heard about Oakland. Gentrification has direct positives and negatives that affect the citizens. Fortunately, I’m on the receiving end of gentrification. I’m sad to see so many locals being pushed out by tech but that’s an issue I can’t control. I’m currently living in Jack London District and love it. The environment has changed drastically within the last 10 years. High rise apartments, the most scrumptious restaurants, recreational activities, BREWERIES, art showrooms and music venues populate most of the district now. It was once a marsh but then Oakland was established and it turned into an industrial port. It’s named after author Jack London who wrote “Call of the Wild.” He grew up in Oakland and would often drink at Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon which is still operating today. Jack was a great writer and some say he was an even better storyteller. I’m guessing he had a lot of practice while he sat at the bar chatting up sailors who stopped at port. What I do know is he left his mark on this part of town and I love it.

A positive to living in this district is it’s right on the San Francisco Bay. I woke up and decided I wanted to go kayaking so I took a two block stroll and rented a kayak. As a wheelchair user I’m often asked a lot of questions when participating in recreational adventures but the staff at California Canoe and Kayak didn’t see to be amazed that a person in a wheelchair wanted to kayak. After letting them know I’m an experienced kayaker they mentioned the only issue would be their dock. It isn’t exactly ADA but what is? This is no problem to me. I honestly expect everything to not comply with the 29 year old law that no-one regulates :( It was only a small wave that rocked the boat. Everything was smooth sailing once I was off the dock.

Pushing my limits is a must. I test myself daily and have found that I’m pretty damn adaptable. The weather has been a little bipolar lately but luckily for me there was a sunny gap. I couldn't have asked for a better time. The sun was glistening off the water, the birds were singing a tune and my paddle stroke was splashing. I highly recommend a kayaking on the bay. It’s super doable for any ability level with the right equipment and attitude. I took along an extra seat cushion to help protect my little boney rump and a bottle of water to stay hydrated. Nothing more was needed but if i was allowed to have a cold brew I sure would have loved that.