I STARTED PHOTOGRAPHING WEST OAKLAND on its outermost edges because I love exploring and Oakland is my hometown. The area that first interested me visually was an old black neighborhood at the southwest edge of the city known as the “Lower Bottoms." Here, in 2010, I found a bit of the Old South: grandparents playing dominoes and chess in the parks, families holding barbecues to raise money for schools and funerals, and old-timers greeting me with words, or a smile or at least a nod. Today that southern charm is going away because gentrification is happening at lightening speed. Thousands of condo developments are going up, and most of the old Victorian homes and brick warehouses are being renovated. Vacant lots are filling up with cafes and community gardens. The mostly young, mostly white and Asian BART commuters moving in say they love the diversity of the neighborhood and the urban artist vibe, but where are the grocery stores? And why is trash still being dumped everywhere? And what can a good Bay Area liberal do about all the homeless camps, the drugs on the street, and the crime?