Thursday, November 21, 2013

This Is The REAL Oakland

Yesterday I came across a rather disturbing piece posted on KQED’s website whose author’s “opinion” about Oakland, disagreed with what real Oakland residents, “Oaklanders” if you will feel about Oakland.
You see, there are Oakland newly transplants, and there are those like myself, who are Oakland, whose families have been residents of this great city for many generations, or perhaps families of immigrants who call Oakland HOME.
We know the real Oakland, we breathe Oakland, and we have been part of the community since before Oakland became “hipster.” The author of the KQED piece clearly has never set foot outside of the Piedmont & Temescal area, and believe me when I tell you, that those areas, don’t even comprise a miniscule part of this gorgeous town.
I, like many of the real Oakland residents, know my way around it, know the real great spots whether it is to get food, a bar, where to shop. You see, we knew Oakland was “cool” before transplants and outsiders came on board. While I am all up for people coming into Oakland, and help our economy and the community; I don’t appreciate those like the author over at KQED to look down on other neighborhoods or areas around Oakland… just the other day, I was driving around downtown with a friend of mine, and we were reminiscing on how downtown Oakland was nothing like it is now… that friend and I grew up in East Oakland. He has lived in the “murder dubbz” pretty much his entire life. I have lived there too, Dimond district, Laurel, 79th & MacArthur, the Oakland Hills, you name it.
Let’s talk about places to eat… “Miss KQED Piedmont Temescal” named delis, and that is great, but HELLO! Her sheltered little soul has never heard of Mill’s Hoagie & Deli Shop over by Seminary & MacArthur (ohhh scary East Oakland), or Ike’s in Downtown. For Chinese food, did she ever consider heading over to Chinatown? I don’t know, seems to me like that would be a GREAT area to find Chinese food… may I suggest New Gold Medal, or Jade Palace over by the Dimond District, or perhaps Chopsticks on 39th & MacArthur Blvd. And now, moving on to the BEST taco trucks… that author mentioned “the truck by the lake by East 1st(?)” and she clearly doesn’t know any better. Personally I grew up on Tacos Sinaloa *eyyyy, let’s go get tacos by 22nd*… Sinaloa is beyond famous! You have not experienced tacos de asada or burritos heaven till you devour theirs… oh, and an extra red salsa… YUMM!!!!! Or, how about El Grullense by 28th and International, now, those are some bomb tacos!

When it comes to “sweets” and coffee shops, there is nothing more glorious than some pan dulce from Peña’s Bakery, or how about a cup of coffee from World Ground Café on MacArthur, and yes, both located in East Oakland. 
Best Bars… the list is never-ending! Lounge 3411 on MacArthur and 35th Avenue, The Rock Steady on San Pablo Avenue, Make Westing on Telegraph, as well as SoMar, Beer Revolution, etc, etc…
Where to buy “weird” stuff… I don’t know about you, but I used to go to “La Pulga” aka The Flea Market over by the coliseum, it was a family affair, and you can find all sorts of cool stuff for dirt cheap.
Where to buy groceries… according to Miss KQED Piedmont Temescal, she only shops at Piedmont Grocery… WOW! Well, I buy my groceries at several different stores, Mi Pueblo & Mi Tierra both on High Street, Mi Ranchito on Foothill & Fruitvale, the farmer’s market over by Laney College, Foodmaxx at Fruitvale Station, heck even Maxx Value, there is no shame in my game! A girl is on a budget sometimes.
Where to go…. That author mentions a cemetery, really a cemetery? I will hold back from commenting on such travesty, but I will say this…. The Oakland Hills have some of the best trails, and breathtaking views, and run around the lake is always refreshing…
This long blog post clearly does not list ALL of the superb places that Oakland has to offer, this list is pale in comparison to all of the places around town; really there is no way to fit them all in one post. My intention is rather simple, if new-comers don’t venture out to really get to know Oakland, and choose to stay closed-in their “hipster” bubble, they will never fully take in how beautiful & diverse Oakland really is. Why undermine the cultural aspect of the town? Look down on those who make Oakland such a diverse, rich and welcoming community? 

Oakland, The Real Oakland, East Oakland, Laurel District, Fruitvale, Dimond District
Pictures Posted On My Instagram & Facebook Page


  1. I've lived in East Oakland for 8 years and it really gets to me when people, who have never lived in Oakland, make negative comments about my city. Yes, I'm an immigrant, but I've made Oakland my home. My children were born in Oakland and we love Oakland for it's true diversity, not just ethnic, but also socioeconomic and in life styles. Thanks so much for your post.

  2. Glad you liked it! It gets to me too, every single time... this particular instance I had to write a response.


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