used to insult
s, based on a misunderstanding
of the context
of its origin. People quote Gertrude Stein
and assume that the American expatriate
was comparing Oakland to Paris
and suggesting the town lacked sophistication
. Actually, she was comparing the experience
of visiting Oakland as an adult
to the memory
of living there as a child
Stein lived in Oakland, California from the age of five (1879) until her father died in 1891. When Stein returned to California on her lecture tour to the United States in the 1930s, she wanted to visit her childhood home in Oakland. She could not find the house, and wrote this:
What was the use of me having come from Oakland, it was not natural for me to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.
Source: Everybody's Biography, by Gertrude Stein.