“I think it’s a great symbol of Oakland,
our vitality, our creativity, our secret sauce” – Libby Schaaf on the Golden Mean Snail Art Car
Photo by D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group
It’s no surprise people are talking about Oakland’s new mayor, Libby Schaaf, but there’s one detail that seems to surprise everyone: her mayoral ride, the Golden Mean. Apparently most political figures don’t travel to their inauguration in a giant snail with flaming eye sockets.
Schaaf and I first connected during the 2013 Oakland mayoral race around West Oakland business. I agreed with Schaaf’s vision for an Oakland that supports artists, makers, and industrial businesses like mine. When she requested the Golden Mean make a campaign event appearance, I was happy to oblige.
When Schaaf won the election, we took a celebratory ride in the Golden Mean. But the greatest honor came with the last request: a ride for Schaaf and her family to her mayoral inauguration. The event was quintessential Oakland: held at the Paramount Theater, the mayor and her family arriving in the Golden Mean, Schaaf’s acceptance speech including “hella”, and protesters reminding everyone of issues to be addressed.
When we first built the Golden Mean in 2008, little did we know it would someday make Oakland history. Working on nights and weekends, the snail car my wife Kyrsten dreamed up was built by her, myself, and our Empire of Dirt crew of artist makers in my West Oakland Form & Reform shop. Since building Golden Mean we’ve made the Electrobite and Serpent Twins, but you’re less likely to see our mayor riding around in them, seeing as they’re not street legal.
Meet the Golden Mean Sunday, January 11, 2015
As part of Schaaf’s inaugural week, the Golden Mean Snail Art Car will soon make another appearance at the public event celebrating the great town of Oakland and it’s makers this Sunday, January 11. We hope you’ll join us for the “Made in Oakland” Inaugural Festivalat American Steel in West Oakland from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Railroad Revival Tour with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Mumford & Sons, and Old Crow Medicine Show, started its first journey last Thursday with a concert in our corner of West Oakland. The Golden Mean and the crew got a chance to perform and see the show and what a hoot it was!
Great to meet some of the band members and play with the kids. We all throughly enjoyed a relaxing show with a great promotion company, music crew and audience. Great day!
Wish we could have seen more of this band. Their music has been the sound track to the Snail car and the Front Porch for the last 2 years! Next time this tour happens they need to hook up a few flat beds to the train for us to take our toys on!
Happy Birthday Lydia! Wish I was still 22!
Zolie Kyrsten & I on the Golden Mean enjoying a beautiful sunset over San Francisco bay from the lower bottoms of West Oakland
Great to be back for our 3rd show with Insomniac! Lots of familiar faces and a warm welcome for the snail and crew! This year we brought our new remote fired flame ball and let the crowd light up the night sky to warm the rest of us. I always enjoy seeing people smile when they realize they just made that huge fireball. Meet up with some great DJ’s and even got to hang out with Paris Hilton!
John in his steampunk finest letting the girls shoot fire balls.
The Boiler Bar crew got a chance to show off our toys and bars at IDEO party this weekend. Great event and lots of great people. So fun to hang out with such creative people. Great costumes, and the sets they made for us were over the top! Events like these remind me why I moved to the bay area and stayed! Hope to do more with the people I met last night.
Last month, for some reason, Vito Fun decided to make a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to mingle with people who eschew contemporary hygiene practices, refer to smoking weed as “blazing,” and generally contribute very little to society at large. Somehow, Vito was able to get some nice photos out of the whole affair.