The Blair family are an upper middle class (or maybe just upper? not sure - they're doing ok) white family with six kids. The dad, Ben, runs a company that makes homeschooling software or something, the mom, Gabrielle, is this super design blog world entrepreneur (she also writes a blog about their life). The family spent the past few years living in France and they just moved to Oakland and decided to send their two oldest kids to the local public high school. You know, the one they were assigned to. The one that is 30% black, 30% Hispanic, 30% Asian, and 10% white. The one that the other families in their neighborhood vowed never to send their kids to. The school is scored a 2 out of 10 on GreatSchools, a site that scores schools based on a variety of criteria but probably mostly test scores, and neighbors warned them away from it, but the school year is a few weeks in and the family is happy with the choice.
High school friends Yoko Kumano and Kayoko Akabori started Umami Mart as a food blog in 2007 and now have a brick and mortar store in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here's how they got to where they are today.
Lauren Quinn's essay "Still Moments in Vampire Town" in Vela contains a series of vignettes showing what it's like to live in Oakland, Calif.—the "robbery capital of America". Quinn describes a community of people being afraid to be outside at night, and who decide that only walking in groups is safe—essentially living like vampires exist.