Although Keith Brower Brown, the front man for Oakland band Trails and Ways, is right at home on the stage of a rock 'n' roll club, his favorite spot in Oakland is a much more subdued one. After moving into his current home in North Oakland more than two years ago, Brower Brown discovered secluded Colby Park, just half a block from his front door.
Soon he was headed to the park twice a week to practice music on his acoustic guitar, in the shadows of grand old trees.
"I grew up in a big apartment building in downtown Portland, Oregon," Brower Brown explains. "Nobody under the age of 25 was around. It feels really special to get to come to a park that is the ultimate picturesque fantasy of what an American neighborhood park would look like."
At Colby Park, kids roam free, parents gather and chat. It's a place where people nap in the shade; where people feel safe.