The Albany Bulb, a former landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts into the San Francisco Bay, is a lot of things to a lot of people.
Mark Andrew Boyer, a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, went to the Bulb looking for a story this fall. When he met Bob Anderson, he knew he’d found one. Even on a peninsula populated by handmade, ramshackle structures, Anderson’s place, half home and half art piece, stood out.
Anderson told Boyer he had been living with his mother in Berkley, Calif., until 2011. When she died, he became homeless. Before that, he said, he had been a professional boxer living and fighting in Las Vegas.
Last year, the Albany City Council voted to remove the encampments on the Bulb in order to incorporate the area into the Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. With help from the city, some residents have found homes outside of the Bulb. Others, including Anderson, sued to block the eviction.
Last month, a city inspector found Anderson’s mansion to be unsafe, and it was demolished on March 19.
Anderson is now living with his girlfriend in a tent near where his house once stood. Though his fate is uncertain, Boyer said Anderson has no plans to leave the Bulb.