The Albany Bulb was born as a dump. For over twenty years, people threw appliances, construction waste, telephone poles, and yard-scraps into the bay. But then, something unexpected happened — nature transformed the debris into a strange and wild landscape. Artists, dog walkers, and a homeless community made it their own. Until the city wanted it back and it became one of the most fought-over properties in the East Bay.

Albany Bulb

On this Detour, or location-based story, we’ll see the markings of the battle’s winners — city signs, maintained pathways and trash cans that have turned the Bulb into a park. But we’ll also step through the weeds to the former homes of self-proclaimed “landfillians” – the community of people who once lived there. Two landfillians will tell us about the fight to protect those homes.

We’ll enter a secret labyrinth, listen to acoustic shadows, and hear a murder mystery whose prime suspect was an alleged “devilish cult”. We’ll see-saw on old telephone poles and visit the former open-studios of the artists who created ten-foot sculptures out of driftwood. Wear your sturdy sneakers. On this Detour, we’ll climb painted concrete slabs, hunt for the sweetest fennel, look out at “million dollar views”, and ponder what “invasive” really means.

Note: This audio documentary is made for a specific location. You listen to the audio from the Detour phone app, which plays content based on where you walk.


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