Lots of people in Oakland were surprised, even those who aren't marijuana supporters, when the beautiful Oaksterdam mural was painted over earlier this week. According to Matthai Kuruvila on SFGate, Oaksterdam University moved out of the space in November after the building was sold. The new owner apparently didn't want to be associated with Oaksterdam and the medical marijuana community.
If you look in Google Maps Street View, it shows the mural, as well as various photos of it. But if you walk by in person, all you'll see is a blank beige wall. That's what it was for a long time, and was frequently tagged with spray paint. Then it was a large, collegiate-looking Oaksterdam University sign, which apparently fell afoul of city regulations regarding the size of signs. The mural was partly a response to that, by creating something that highlighted all of Oakland. Sadly, even the mural got tagged (with large red letters), which was probably part of the new landlord's decision, as fixing the mural would have been extremely difficult.
Read more about the mural and the original controversy, and see some pictures of the painting in progress in an old post on Living in the O.
Here's a closer look at the whole mural:
Note: I fully intend the new photo of the week feature to be, well, a photo from the current week. And while I have some photos that would work, it seemed appropriate to include this one from last year's walking tour of Uptown since the mural was painted over this week.