International Boulevard

Twitter user @photgroffee

The light is low and dark orange on Oakland’s International Blvd. Groups of people cluster around food stands or bus stops. Some are playing dice.

Tacos and Banh Mi: A match made in heaven

Mar 2, 2015
Olivia Cueva

On the corner of 14th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland, there's a strip mall with a mini-mart, a laundromat, and then there is Saigon Deli.   

"Welcome! Welcome home," co-owner Tony Torres calls out as people walk in the door. He greets all of his customers this way. 

Behind the counter, his partner, Dieu Ngo, takes orders. 

"Here we have the taco. And the sandwich. Vietnamese sandwich," she tells a first time customer. 

Growing up on International Boulevard

Jun 5, 2013

Chicken salad and tostadas are the first things you smell stepping into the Lopez family apartment. Several people are sitting around a coffee table sharing a meal. Each of the tiny studio apartments houses one family. With 24 families in the building, the space is at full capacity. In the Lopez apartment, food is in the kitchen, on a makeshift table on wheels.

The Lopez family has lived in this studio apartment for thirteen years. The family moved here from Mexico. Edgar Lopez and his two brothers grew up in this apartment. 

photo by Julie Caine

One way to get to know a new place is to ride public transportation – especially the bus. It’s like taking an unguided tour – a tour in which there’s often as much to see inside as there is out the windows.

The most popular buses in Oakland are the 1 and the 1R. The 1, which is the local route, makes 105 stops in three different East Bay cities. It’s a trip that takes four hours from start to finish.