Tag Archives: oakland

Oaklandish: Why I Love Oakland #4674

19 May

Cranes Reflection

Above: “Cranes Reflection” tee by local artist Ivan Lima (click image to view on Oaklandish website)

Speaking of Oakland love, you can’t really get much better than local company and winner of nineteen “Best of the East Bay” Awards,  Oaklandish.  Originating from a street-art campaign (you know how I love those!), the Oakland “roots” logo to which it gave birth has not only become synonymous with the city itself, it has quickly evolved into a popular apparel brand worn by every age, race, and demographic in the East Bay.  But wait!  The love grows: Oaklandish not only works with local artists who design the coolest and most unique neighborhood-centric tees, hoodies and children’s clothing, they also turn around and give 10% of every purchase right back to the community that makes them.  They’ve also created the Oakland Innovators Award, a fund that offers annual grants to those organizations and individuals who are doing pioneering work in the community.  How’s that for remembering where you come from? 🙂


Dimanche: Who are you?

9 May

I spotted some adorable stickers plastered around Lakeshore Drive in Oakland a few weeks back and fell in love- however, when I went to get a snapshot last week, it turned out that they had been torn down!  Fortunately, I discovered that they were apparently just part of a series by the artist (who remains unknown), and today I found these little cuties while walking around Lake Merritt.

There seems to be an ongoing theme of dancing skeletons, reminiscent of one of my favorite games from childhood, "Operation" (Wasn't your favorite body part the funny bone?)

The character has a little thinking cloud above its head, with the word “Dimanche” inside.  Meaning “Sunday” in French, I am assuming that this could be the artist’s alias.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the 1960 publication Dimanche – Le Journal d’un Seul Jour (Sunday – The Newspaper for Only One Day) by French artist Yves Klein?  Or perhaps it’s just a profession of love, for the laziest day of the week?

image courtesy of Wikipedia

Why Oakland is Becoming Pretty Much My Favorite

2 May

One of my favorite street-art installations in Oakland. Cute!

I moved to San Francisco from the East Coast back in 1999.  In over a decade, I barely made my way across the bridge to Oakland–  probably fewer times than I could count on one hand.  It seemed like an entire world away (particularly without a car), and why would I ever leave SF when I had everything I needed right outside my door?

I was a bit apprehensive about moving to Oakland this past December, but I was ready for a change, having resided in almost every single district in San Francisco since having moved there.  Not to mention the fact that cheaper rent sounded pretty damn good, given the recent slash to my income.  So, here I am.

I have to say, Oakland almost immediately put a spell on me.  Yes, it’s true, there are some bad neighborhoods, and I am definitely a lot more wary about going out after dark by myself in certain parts of town, but I think it’s really unfortunate what an incredibly bad rap this place has received!  Aside from all of the negative stuff the media constantly focuses on, there are so many beautiful areas, a rich cultural history, a great sense of community, a happening arts scene, and let’s not forget that it is now an up-and-coming culinary hotspot.

I want to make sure that no San Franciscans do what I did and waste ten years thinking Oakland isn’t worth the trip.  So, I am starting a series of posts with brief snippets and shots from around my new home… things that make me smile on an almost daily basis.  In sharing this with y’all, I hope that you enjoy, discover, get off your a**es, and come give us a visit us sometime! 🙂

Make Way for Kwik Way!

19 Apr

Several years ago, a beloved staple of Oakland’s Lake Merrit neighborhood, the Kwik Way Drive-In, shut its doors.  The retro-style burger joint had been a local favorite, satisfying the needs of customers with late-night cravings for crispy fries and a shake, and easing Sunday morning hangovers with its deliciously greasy cheeseburgers accompanied by a side of onion rings.  It was a sad day for all when they closed, and the establishment remained vacant ever since.   Windows boarded up (an excellent canvas for graffiti, I might add), there seemed to be no sign of life to speak of.  That is, until around September 2010, when construction workers suspiciously began coming in and out of the building, and rumors started flying about a grand reopening on the horizon.

Well kiddies, last week it finally happened, and I am very excited to say that I was there!  Kwik Way’s neon green sign lit up the night sky for the first time in years, and people came out from all over the ‘hood to try out the new and improved menu.

I was a little intimidated at first, as the menu consisted not only of the traditional burger and french-fry fare, but included surprising new additions such as fried chicken, warm bread pudding, and pizza.  I went with the fried chicken, which I had coincidentally been craving all week, and my boyfriend stuck with the basics – a cheddar cheese burger and a coke.

Our review?

HELL YEAH!  My fried chicken was super fresh, the meat was juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender.  The batter was light and crunchy, and it didn’t have that bowling-ball-in-the-stomach after effect that many fried chicken establishments tend to leave you with.  The only downfall of the experience was that my boyfriend kept repeating over and over, “This is the best f****in’ burger I have ever had.” or  “These guys are doing it right!  The flavor!” with almost every single bite he took (I mean, seriously?!).  Apparently, he’s a fan.  It was awesome news and everything, but I ended up having to punch him in the arm and tell him to “hush up”, so that I could bask in the glory of my own meal.

Needless to say, we will be back.  And next time, I am bringing earplugs. 🙂

Kwik Way Drive-In is located at 500 Lake Park Ave (between Rand Ave & Lakeshore Ave) in Oakland.