The time has come for me to say goodbye to reporting on West Oakland. Ok, take a break is probably more accurate because I'm not leaving the Bay Area anytime soon if the school budget cuts have anything to do about it.
Over the past 3 1/2 months, I've been yelled at by crack heads, shared 40's with hipsters and walked, (well, ran) down West Oakland's notorious 8th Street past the time a woman should be walking alone there.
West Oakland has been the greatest test of my journalistic skills that I've ever had to endure. I had my pre-conceived notions of the neighborhood and was terrified that I would not be able to finish this assignment. I've had to leave my comfort zone so many times this semester I lost track as to where it is anymore. I think it's on 7th Street somewhere actually.
Yet, the neighborhood has taught me so much about my natural abilities, its revived the spirit I've had for the craft since I declared my major almost 3 years ago.
I've made some friends and even more contacts. Ate some great food and heard even better music. I'm a little sad it's over, but I'm sure I'll be back soon.