would it surprise you to hear that the word i think most describes oakland is charming? seriously, all the stereotypes i had of that city went straight out the window after spending some time there earlier this month. maybe it was the art deco buildings, the friendliness of the people or even something as seemingly insignificant as the scale of the streets. whatever you want to chalk it up to, i was majorly charmed by this up-and-coming city, whose food scene has made even bon appetit declare san francisco to be, "that other food city." oakland is moving on up, and fast.
from gorgeous public parks, running trails and a very walkable, bikable and bartable urban center to a fantastic food scene, oakland knocked my socks off in every way possible. to speak to the dining comment for a moment, i had one of the top 10, maybe top 5, meals of my life (and at under $40 for two it was a steal) at burma superstar. seriously transcendent. i'm ready to hop on a plane just to revisit that magical meal. in the meantime, i'll have to content myself with thinking of it about every half hour.
what i most liked about oakland though is the willingness to have a mixture--modern and traditional, young and old, established and up-and-coming, tourists and hipsters, industrial and artistic. to me it reads as a city that is willing to mix things up, experiment and not worry too much about the outcome. this also plays into the city's vibrant art scene, which was pretty unbelievable--it felt like the unfussy, slightly alt little sister of new york. while it's been said before, i also can't help but think of oakland as the next brooklyn, ready to take off at any moment. but in many ways it already is. and we're just unbelievably excited to be a part of the evolving urban ecosystem of the city and have already met some pretty cool people along the way. looking forward to seeing a bit more of you oakland!
and since none of my blog posts seem complete without it, here's a short list of my favorite things about oakland, all of which are worth clicking on:
- john brothers piano company. we saw these guys at the oakland art murmur. they were a-w-e-s-o-m-e.
- the kitchener and great dane's cookies. such a cool community kitchen/snack bar concept and you know i'm always down for baked goods.
- creative growth art center. beautiful, light-filled art studio dedicated to serving adult artists with physical, mental or developmental disabilities. they also have a pretty rad shop.
- rare bird--and pretty much any place on the lovely piedmont avenue. we found so many great things in this shop.
- BURMA SUPERSTAR. but you guys already know that.
p.s. if you live in or know oakland well, please hit us up with recommendations for where to go the next time we venture up the coast.