ONN – Oakland Sideshow On West Grand Avenue: City Should Make Them Legal Contests
Another Oakland YouTube gem: this video by the channel named Adecio Martins .
It features a spinning contest right in the middle of the intersection just before the on-ramp to the approach to the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. In fact, you can see the ramp in the background to the right in the video.
The video was uploaded just 17 hours ago.
Sideshows have become and increasing occurrence in Oakland, of late. Currently ruled illegal in Oakland, the City of Oakland should turn them into money-generating contests held in special areas, and with the earnings used to help renters-in-need stay in their apartments.
The reasons against having sideshows boil down to veiled racism. Take this entry on Facebook, and note the name-calling:
I used to attend the original sideshows at Eastmont and on Hegenberger. More recently I lived on 89th & Bancroft for 9 years and was subjected to the new style sideshows nearly every weekend.
Back in the day people used to gather to hang out and the cool dudes in the Cougs and Stangs would come thru and side on everybody – sit low & back in the seat so bystanders saw the side of their face. Sometimes the most skilled would do some donuts or other stunts to show off their cars and their bars (driving skills). Me & my homegirls went to hang out & flirt. It was in big parking lots away from most residences and sometimes there were fights and sometimes women were harassed.
In later years the sideshow turned meaner and moved to residential intersections. First time I saw a police hit with a 40 bottle was on 90 & MacArthur in 1994. By the time we were living on 89th 2006 – 2015, sideshows had become huge caravans of hundreds of vehicles, mostly from other cities, driving from residential intersections to other residential intersections throughout The Town all night long. They would block our streets, keep us up all night, shoot guns and generate clouds of toxins in neighborhoods where nearly all our kids already suffered from asthma due to environmental inequality. Me & neighbors had to clean up after them every time. Many neighbors had cars or fences crashed into and one house on 90th burned to the ground after two cars smobbing off from the sideshow crashed into the gas main.
Legalizing sideshows won’t help.
Who will insure and provide security for such a venue?
Sideshows are underground entertainment and not everyone who participates is licensed and insured. Are they going to stop once there’s a legal venue? How many will be willing to pay an entrance fee to watch or participate?
Traditionally, sideshows happen after bars close & concerts let out. What municipality anywhere will allow events beginning after midnight?
People from San Jose, Sacramento, Stockton, and any number of places in and around the Bay Area come to Oakland for sideshows. Are they going to still want to come to pay to participate and follow rules?
Why in the world would anyone believe that a legal sideshow would keep the same fools from hitting Oakland streets and acting a dummy in front of our homes? The whole attraction for most participants IS the illegality.
The point here is that sideshows also feature car stunts that provide entertainment and tests of the top-performing muscle cars available. Done right, the legal sideshow could become a kind of auto-show for the rest of us: a car test-bed of new projects before they’re sold. And, sideshows would create stars and a new sport.
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