Saturday, January 10, 2009

Heavy Metal in West Oakland

Metal flows in West Oakland's veins: it arrives on boats, trains, and trucks. Scrap metal collectors wheel it around the streets on bikes and in shopping carts. Processing plants turn scrap into raw material. Metal fabricators, building contractors, steel platers and pipe makers make industrial products from raw steel and other metals. Artisan welders, sculptors and blacksmiths create one-of-a-kind useful objects and art. There is a whole hive of metal and fire artists and hobbyists. Metal is in the air that we breathe and, consequently, in our bloodstream and brains. It creates jobs, commerce, movement, and health hazards. 

Amid the clanging and banging, hissing and blaring, residents go about their lives in a somewhat magnetized state. It does tend to make everyone extremely social.

This pile of anchors can tell plenty of salty tales and can be interviewed here.

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