January 10th, 2011

Oakland, CA neighborhoods, real estate, and skateboarding locations

Greetings, detailers!

I'm in need of some questions answered about Oakland, Berkeley, and the general areas surrounding.


(1) In what neighborhood might three lower-middle/middle class kids live in and where would they go to school? I need them preferably to live in neighborhoods where they're in houses rather than apartment buildings. Even more specifically, I'd like them to not be in row houses or brownstones (not that I even know if they're common to Oakland.) They're canonically from Oakland and mention Jingletown a lot, but from what I gather about Jingletown, it's much more upscale than where they would have grown up, and I think they're just mentioning it as a more general representation of Oakland. More specifically to this question, what would the character of this neighborhood be? Mostly white? Mixed ethnicities? Suburbs? City?

(2) In the mid to late 90s, where would these kids skate? I've been told by locals that there were skateparks in the area in that time, but they can't really remember where. I'd like them to have a central park where they could skate with friends, but then I need a separate location as well, which leads me to question three.

(3) Where could two 16-17 year old boys in approximately 1997 go to skate that wasn't a park. It would be ideal if there were stairs with a rail and some structures like low concrete fountains or concrete barriers that they could use. Even more specifically, is there an area like this in Oakland or Berkeley (or even San Fran) where they could skate without being run off by cops/shop owners?

(4) Finally, these same two boys, all grown up, are back in Oakland and living/working there in 2009/2010 ish. What neighborhoods might they be living in now, with a combined income of about $75,000/year? The rent for Oakland doesn't seem too outrageous compared to other cities. But... what I'm interested in more is... what would be the cool place for these guys to live in their early thirties? They were very into the Oakland/Berkeley punk scene when they were younger and have kind of grown into hipsters. Where would they live?


I've researched from asking friends who are from Oakland/SF/Palo Alto and I've looked extensively on Google Maps and Rent.com, but it's hard to get an idea of an area just from maps, even with the amazing invention of Street View.

Body type problems with swordplay?

I'm writing a fantasy story in which my heroine needs to learn swordplay. I know where to find the research on training, but what I can't find is what problems she'll encounter from her body type.

My heroine is very tall: around 5'11" and thin from malnourishment. I know that she'll be weak and such during training because she's not been eating right, but the real question is what advantages, disadvantages will she have in being so tall? Or is it a factor at all? Her sword is a basic broadsword and I think, from the little research I've acquired so far, that she will also have a shield, or at least a buckler.

I've searched google on "height factor in swordplay" but came up with useless info.
  • Current Mood: hungry

looking for a half-human half-beast god(dess) *editted*

 I'm working out a set of erotica shorts that are set Post-Ragnarök, the Norse version of the Apocalypse: the War of the Gods brings about the end of man. I've included all the other pantheons and have already used a Norse goddess(Freya), an African god(Domfe) with a Greek immortal(Ganymede), a Native American god(The Great Thunderbird) and still have to write the Azteca god(Tezcatlipoca) and his servants. [I stand corrected.]

But I want to write the actual sacrificial piece to a half-beast god. As you can see I'm trying to stay away from the Greek, Roman and Egyptian pantheons and work the lesser known ones. Yes, I thought of Ganesh but being a god of luck and prosperity the virgin wouldn't be as reluctant as I want.

I've search Google, Wiki and Godchecker; getting nothing but descriptions of human head/animal body and vise versa. I'd prefer it to be at least half human, more than one animal is acceptable. I have tried to do it world-wide, but with two Europeans their origin doesn't matter. What they guard/lord over does not matter. Not gender specific either.