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Sean Mandell

Catalyst

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6

From Acorn to Oaktown

I am really excited to be part of this class - I have always been fascinated with maps and may even discover my inner ancient mariner cartographer of Babylon through this project ;)

Oakland, California is an incredible city despite existing in the shadow of its nearby larger city of San Francisco. San Francisco undoubtedly is the source tree of which the "forest" of the Bay Area has grown and prospered with diversity, economy, natural beauty, and social destination.

I sought this class as means to develop a map of Oakland highlighting its nightlife in order to both appeal to San Franciscans, encouraging them to enjoy Oakland's nightlife independent as a destination, and to create a depiction of Oakland's neighborhoods of character - both historically and contemporary Oakland. 

Imagining San Francisco as the "mother oak tree" and with the Bay Area as its saplings, I want to show Oakland as a strong Oak Tree in its own regard, with a defined "grove" of East Bay destinations of its own defined nightlife. My map (please excuse my mediocre drawing) intends to show Oakland's neighborhoods (& drop-down menus of bars & restaurants) interposed on an oak leaf.

While this project is first fun in nature, I want to develop it as a component of a website serving as a guide of various bars & restaurants in Oakland. Ultimately, there may also be an opportunity to develop it as a portable travel/visitor's brochure guide and encourage its distribution at varibars destinations around town.

I have lived in both San Francisco and Oakland for a combined eleven years and I am an enthusiast of the nightlife in both places. As is too often the case, San Franciscans have declared they do not wish to come to Oakland, in large part, because they do not know where to go. I feel that this map/site/brochure could offer great value to bridge the two communities closer with detailed mapping and details of Oakland's nightlife. The target audience is the 20-30-something's that are currently enjoying Oakland's nightlife, those in San Francisco that would consider Oakland if better informed of the variety of social destinations, and any visitors to the area who erroneously believe Oakland only as accommodations while they socialize in San Francisco.

Despite my obvious third grade level drawing skills, I hope to design this map digitally.

I want to include pin points orather bears and restaurants of each neighborhood, and inclusive of their contact information, unique menu items, and each of the social networking links associated with each of the destinations.

The class would be invaluable to offer guidance and insight on two main areas:

1) How do I sustain some level of permanence with this project despite the everchanging landscape of nightlife in any city?

2) Where do I draw the line? It would be near impossible to list every bar and restaurant for mapping purposes.

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