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Lake Merritt by chateaugrief Lake Merritt by chateaugrief

This is Oakland’s Lake Merritt.  It also happens to be Oakland’s old cesspool.  In the 1850’s there were even old brick chutes to send the fresh stuff down to the bottom.  The lake was so toxic that it was thought to decompose stuff super fast.  Like, I’m sure if you stuck your hand in it, boom!  So naturally since it stunk to high heaven, people who didn’t mind the smell moved in next to it.  That went exactly as predicted. Until Mayor Merritt.  In 1869 he personally funded a dam to turn the whole situation around and got the sewage dumped into the bay in another location.  (it’s gotta go somewhere and there’s millions of people living in a swamp - wonder what they do with it now?)  Merritt got the old sewage pond turned into a wildlife refuge the next year, 1870, first in the US, and a concept almost unheard of.  For comparison, grizzlies were running around California for another 50 years.  To cement the new paradigm, Merrit built a beautiful victorian house, the Camron-Stanford house  and convinced his pal 19-year-old Mrs. Alice Camron to buy it with her inheritance, which she promptly lost her shirt on.  Stinking is still a problem for lake Merritt, because all the storm drains in downtown Oakland go straight into it, and you can imagine how that turns out. Algae love it, of course, so you get algae blooms that absolutely stink.  Oakland city government isn’t exactly famous for being a well-run clocklike picture of efficiency and civic-minded brotherly love, so they don’t clean the lake.  Instead the lake is cleaned by hand by volunteers with pool nets.  But between the random oil spills, the 1000 pounds of trash removed per month, the biohazard, oh my the biohazard, these volunteers have a difficult job.  A toast to the many many people who volunteer like this across the Bay Area, and a lot of people do.  They take up a lot of slack.  I see volunteer groups all the time.  


To the right is the incredibly eerie Christ the Light Cathedral, where they apparently worship a towering effigy of Prime Minister Di of Eynhallow in a classic Baphomet pose.  

She’s not in the comic this week, but you know who is…

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:iconsereida-arts:
Sereida-Arts Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2018  Student General Artist
Gorgeous work!
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:iconturnpikepanda:
TurnpikePanda Featured By Owner May 29, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
You can't imagine how many afternoons I have spent at that lake. Sure it's pretty stinky, but I mainly stayed at the grassy areas where my friends and I climbed the trees. When I was in high school my friends and I would go there and sketch the lake and its surroundings. Thank you for this piece, truly a place where I have had many wonderful memories of family and friends.
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:iconivseese:
Ivseese Featured By Owner May 17, 2018
Wonderful!:)
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:iconknaber:
Knaber Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice!
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:iconsomniacscaper:
somniacscaper Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this.
Reply
:iconmr-grumpy1:
Mr-Grumpy1 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Fantastic work :D
Reply
:iconelizabeth--t:
Elizabeth--T Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Agh, that's so amazing looking! I don't think I can ever get over how amazing your art is! :happybounce: 
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:iconsamdebs:
samdebs Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2018
wow nice!
Reply
:iconstorm-bunny:
storm-bunny Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Really nice painting:D
Reply
:iconduschkraem:
duschkraem Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
I would love to have that as a print. Could you enable it? <3
Reply
:iconhighdesertpencil:
HighDesertPencil Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
If O'd only looked at you art and not read your information, I'd have thought it was a design concept for a futuristic, eco-friendly marina!  Looks so pristine and well-loved!  Again, you seem to draw the light, and the rest falls into place.
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:iconcarouselofdreams:
CarouselOfDreams Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's beautiful!
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:iconwavangel:
WavAngel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2018  Student General Artist
thank you for sharing the story of the lake as well!
Reply
:iconwavangel:
WavAngel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2018  Student General Artist
breathtaking
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:iconbcfoster20:
Bcfoster20 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2018  Student Photographer
Beautiful
Reply
:iconlorenzoturtle:
LorenzoTurtle Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2018
looks amazing
Reply
:iconrobert-kim-karen:
robert-kim-karen Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
That's quite a history there, thank you for sharing that. 
Reminds of a Simpson's thing youtu.be/VnRZIFNHUYg?t=23
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
haha!  love the pink caddy, nice touch!  hmm how to modernize? ... 90's teal toyota pickup with a maroon hood?  yes, yes that's it exactly. I think I saw that car chucking a sofa off a secluded cliff only yesterday. No dumping! evull...  
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:iconrobert-kim-karen:
robert-kim-karen Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
>90's teal toyota pickup with a maroon hood?

Don't forget the mullet.
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:iconbironicheroine:
bironicheroine Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Artist
Oakland is amazing and so is this! I wanna show it to Ryan Coogler.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconluciaauditore:
LuciaAuditore Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018
Beautiful drawing (and place) Happy Clap Cutie Emote +fav
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlightasticdaniel:
LightasticDaniel Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
beautiful 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlightasticdaniel:
LightasticDaniel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
anytime
Reply
:iconrossitorres:
RossiTorres Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018   Digital Artist

Wonderful, the water looks so real!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconardaceus:
Ardaceus Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I've been watching for about a year now, and all this amazing work is still jaw dropping for me!
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  Here's a toast to a year! Cutie Toast (Hearts) So glad you're enjoying the paintings!  
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:iconardaceus:
Ardaceus Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Toast Intensifies *Intensifies Toast
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:iconattilasebo:
attilasebo Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018
Great !
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmpz28:
mpz28 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018
very nice  Cool WinkClapping Hands  
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icondethaners:
Dethaners Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's so beautiful! ^w^
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:icondethaners:
Dethaners Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! ^w^
Reply
:icondrawingfreak50187:
drawingfreak50187 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Stunning!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icondragondoodle:
dragondoodle Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love this! My cousin was practicing crew in that lake and she fell in. Had to get her stomach pumped because of the nasty water ^^;
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
oh man! your poor cousin!  it's that awful?  that's terrible!  but when you think about what goes onto oakland streets and they just drain it all right into the lake...yeah.  don't go swimming there.  
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:icondragondoodle:
dragondoodle Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is that awful :bleh: It doesn't smell too bad, at least when my brother was living near it. I've actually paddle boated on it from Fairyland :nod: Wouldn't want to take a swim though. :XD:
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:iconhclausen:
hclausen Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
I liked the painting, but I loved your description.  Thanks for sharing.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  Glad you enjoyed it!
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:iconlunageek520:
lunageek520 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconlunageek520:
lunageek520 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome!
Reply
:iconcrzy12bear:
crzy12bear Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
wow! This looks awesome. I really like the reflections in the water.
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
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Submitted on
March 28, 2018
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