When I first moved to Oakland, I wasn't convinced. I had heard that there were a lot of vibrant neighborhoods, but my reason for living there was purely strategic: it's right next to Berkeley, and a lot cheaper.
But over the past two years, I have come to really love this city. It is in the heart of the Bay Area, yet it feels so undiscovered. It's crazy to me that Lake Merritt can exist in the middle of downtown, and I love how bike-friendly it is. There is something so genuinely eclectic about Oakland. I'm really going to miss this place.
This is my friend Naomi, cooking at her place in the Temescal. She has lived in that neighborhood for nearly all of her life, and lives in a funky house with an amazing backyard garden. Very cool, and very Oakland.
A view of the Grand Lake Theater, from under one of the many freeways that divide the city.
Lake Merritt, on a surprisingly warm winter day.