This blog explores my efforts to try to live at the intersection of art, sustainability and frugality in the urban wilds of Oakland, CA. These categories often reinforce each other - except when they don't. I'm constantly looking for the sweet spot of overlap where my ideals fit my lifestyle.
Urbanite typifies the sweet spot for me. It's a cheeky name for the broken up concrete pieces that are left after you, for instance, break up the parking lot in your backyard to plant a garden. You can either get a dumpster to dispose of the mounds of concrete, or try to use the waste as a recycled building material. There's so much of it in cities that it started to be called urbanite, as in "What did you use to make the retaining wall?" "It's made out of urbanite, of course!" I've been using a lot of it to make mosaic stepping stones, with broken tiles from Heath Ceramics and Caesarstone, among other places. Our garden stepping stones are an example of quirky urbanite.
And then there's the use of "urbanite" to refer to a city-dweller. I think of quirky urbanites in this sense as people who cultivate interests and hobbies outside of what may pay the bills (although, if you're lucky, they can be one and the same). They're people who remain alive to all the possibilities that surround us in our urban environment, people who are doing amazing things with very little, lifelong learners. They are artists whether they are cheesemakers or filmmakers. I aspire to be one - a quirky urbanite - and I'm in awe of the the many fascinating people around me who already fall into that category. This blog chronicles the quirky urbanites I run into in & around Oakland, CA, and my journey towards becoming a quirky urbanite myself.