Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Walnut Creek: Diversity

By: Daniela, Laura, Yesenia, and Brian

Walking in the streets of Walnut Creek for the first time, you realize things that others don’t. You try to find something that reminds you of home to make you feel more comfortable. But what if you can’t find anything or anyone that does? The majority of the pedestrians on California Blvd in Walnut Creek were Caucasian. After many people refused to be interviewed, we tried to find non-white minorities. Going into fancy stores and restaurants,we couldn’t find anyone that looked like us. What was very shocking to us was that, during our interviews, people would describe Walnut Creek as “very diverse", but for us it was the opposite. This is because we have different definitions on how diversity looks.

People’s reactions when they saw us were very different than back home in Oakland. There were people that were staring at us, as though they have never seen people like us. For us, it was not as comfortable to be there, and we had to step out of our own comfort zone and interview different people. When we went into a fancy clothing store, we asked one of the workers there if we could interview her. She didn’t reply she simply looked from one person to the other. Then she laughed and told us “NO!” with a rude attitude. It was as though to her, we were just a joke.

At Walnut Creek there was a sense of diversity in food, but not the type of diversity we are used to. There were restaurants of sushi, crepes, wine, and other American restaurants. In Oakland, we might not have as many fancy restaurants, but you can definitely find at least a taco truck, a Chinese restaurant, Vietnamese sandwiches and many more things that we are used to.

Walnut Creek: Aesthetics

Play Walnut Creek interviews on Aesthetics

By: Delilah, Beatriz, Olivia, Vanessa R.

While walking during a typical day on Walnut Creek's streets, we noticed that they have big water fountains, a lot of trees, and wide sidewalks with no cracks. It’s a whole different story in Oakland and in our community. When walking in East Oakland's streets, it seems that everything is the opposite of Walnut Creek. Oakland's sidewalks are all trashy, cracks all over the sidewalk, and we don’t even have trees our anything like that. On the other hand, Walnut Creeks streets are very clean and well taken care of.

In Walnut Creek, peoples' appearance were very fancy. Some wore business suits and expensive clothing. On each street, there were expensive restaurants, when you walked by people seemed to have a good time and were not worring about how expensive it was. They also had a very expensive jewelry shop called Tiffany's. In Walnut Creek, people drive very nice cars, and most of those cars looked like new cars. These cars were very clean, and were very well taken care of. Out of maybe ten cars, only one might have been crashed, scratched, or had the bumper coming off.

The overall appearance of Walnut Creek is that it is a very expensive and clean place. They have a lot of plazas and restaurants. If you do want to shop out there you should bring a good amount of money, maybe more than $100.

Walnut Creek: Health and Accessibility

By: Henry, Juven, Cinthia and Jasmin

Health stores: In Walnut Creek, there are lots of stores for keeping healthy. For example: sports stores, bicycle shops and vitamin shops. This shows that people in Walnut Creek work out and do outdoor activities.

Fast Food and Farmers' Markets: In Walnut Creek, the people have a lot of options for good food and vitamins, such as healthstores and farmers markets. Here in East Oakland, we rarely have farmers markets or health stores. The people in Walnut Creek don't seem to like to eat fast food because they know its not good for you.

Obesity and Physical Health: In comparison to Oakland, we didn't see much obesity in Walnut Creek. However, in Oakland there is. People that we interviewed don't really eat fast food and the people don't have a problem with obesity there. However, we didn't see any hospitals, but we did see an ambulance.

Accessibility: During our visit to Walnut Creek, we could see that there is lots of accessibility for people. For example, there were wheelchair ramps in every sidewalk we walked on and there was free bus transportation for people to go around between the BART (local train) and the downtown area.

Walnut Creek: Safety

Video of Walnut Creek interviews on Safety

By: Alejandro, Jessica, Maria, and Lesley

While walking on the streets of Walnut Creek, a lot of police cars could be seen driving around patrolling the city. We saw a lot more police cars and motorcycle cops than we usually would see here in Oakland. They were doing what they’re supposed to do: keeping the city safe. We tried to find a security guard in a bank that we could interview but it was hard. Every bank we went to there were none. We think they don’t even need a security guard because nothing ever happens. In Oakland, we have a security guard for our banks and even regular stores.

In Walnut Creek, we only saw one homeless man. That is a huge difference from Oakland. They are all over the city and they don’t do nothing to help them out with it. In Walnut Creek, we saw no prostitution, and people we interviewed said that they didn't have prostitution. But in Oakland, there are girls selling their bodies at twelve years old.

There seems to be almost no crime in Walnut Creek. We think some people are afraid of young people like us. In our group, Alejandro had an experierience where, when he went up to an old lady and he asked her if he could interview her, she was scared and grabbed her bag. She didn't want to talk to us.

We think people should feel safe out there in Walnut Creek, because walking in Walnut Creek felt different. One member of our group was walking around with their iPod, and we were not afraid of anybody trying to steal it. When walking in the streets of Oakland we have anything in our hands, like an iPod, because we are afraid someone might try to steal it.

Walnut Creek: Economics

By Valeria, Ernesto, and Jackie B.

On our trip to Walnut Creek we saw the kinds of cars people drive. We saw one lady who was driving a Bentley. She got out of her car and got into another Bentley. They were both hers! Then, she went to a Mercedes Benz. She had three cars. We filmed both of the cars she was driving. Two of our interviewees told us what kind of cars they drive. One had a Porsche, while the other had a hybrid. We also got footage of a Maserati. The people at Walnut Creek were all dressed really nice. They had ties and were dressed really professional. They seemed like they were business people who made a lot of money.

When you compare the sidewalks in Oakland to the sidewalks in Walnut Creek, there's a huge difference. In Walnut Creek, you won’t find any random cracks or potholes. The sidewalks are a lot more taken care of. You can see trees and even water fountains and benches. The sidewalks are also a lot wider than the ones in Oakland. Their sidewalks even have room to have little tables for the restaurants. This goes to show how much time and money is put into the care of the city.

In Walnut Creek, there are a lot of stores that are expensive. When we got there, the first thing we noticed were the fancy restaurants. Since they look really fancy they must be
expensive. There was a store where they sell baseball stuff autographed by the players. Also, when one of our classmates went to buy lunch, she told us that there was this one store where they wanted to sell her a slice of pizza for ten dollars. In McDonalds, the prices were the same as they are here in Oakland. Walnut Creek also had an Apple store, a Tiffany's, and a Coach store.

Walnut Creek: Food

By: Amairani, Vanessa B., Claudia and Miguel

The varieties of food at Walnut Creek are Mexican, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, McDonalds, Burger King, Mediterranean, Greek, Thai, and Chinese food. They even had the "Walnut Creek Yacht Club" seafood restaurant. In restaurants we visted, some prices were affordable and some were not. At the crepe restaurant, it was not expensive. You could get something starting at $2-$6 dollars. In the Korean restaurant, the prices were starting at $4.95-$10 dollars and the catering company is starting at $9-$65 dollars. It depends on the type of food you order. The customers in the restaurants were mostly white and asian. Some looked like business people. Most of the employees in the restaurants were Latinos, and almost all of the owners of the restaurants we visted were also working there. Some also owned other restaurants around the area.

In Walnut Creek, there is a place called Crepes-to-go. In that restaurant, they sell French food. Our teachers, Mr. Lee and Mrs. Fitzgerald, encouraged us to try new food. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were looking at the menu and thought it was weird food. Finally, we decided to try crepes. We ordered "smoked turkey with cheese" and for desert we got "fresh strawberries with chocolate". We thought that we wouldn’t like it, but it was really good. Later, we went to a wine shop in Walnut Creek and we arrived just in time to see how they do the wine tasting. We saw the owner, Jeff, trying the wine and then spit it out into a bucket. We were surprised that Jeff spit it out, and we thought that he didn’t like the wine. After we talked to him, we realized that he spitting out the wine because he didn't want to get drunk.

Walnut Creek


On Tuesday, May 20, our class went to Walnut Creek. It's only 19.3 miles away from our school, but we noticed a lot of differences between our neighborhood and Walnut Creek.

Our class broke up into six groups and looked at Walnut Creek under six different perspectives: food, diversity, economics, health and accessibilty, safety, and aesthetics.