I’ve been sticking closer to home lately, after deciding, on my 817th consecutive BART trip across the bay, that I was worn out and needing to spend a little more time adoring my adopted hometown.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a Chicagoan, to the core, and always will be. But I’m surprised at how much I’ve come to love Oakland. The two year mark is when I thought I’d be leaving the Bay area, and instead I am just getting my footing, so I am glad to be staying.
Reasons I love Oakland:
–People here are friendly and welcoming. I have all kinds of nice conversations on the bus, in lines, on bikes—people will just chat you up anywhere. Now that I take the bus every day, I know that drivers like to pull up alongside each other to shoot the shit along routes. People just love to talk here.
–It’s old fashioned. Old cars are everywhere. Barber shops and burger joints. Hardly a chain restaurant to be found.
–There are palm trees.
–It’s a tough place, but it has a big heart. Lots of crime, but people fight it. And say hi to each other on the street in the morning.
–The puny downtown. Aww! It’s so cute!
–People are chill. There’s a more relaxed feel than in San Francisco (or Chicago, for that matter). Sometimes after a long and active day in SF, I take the train back over, feel the warm sun and the breeze, and just feel pure relief.
–I love biking to the gym, or biking to my studio…
–Warm sunshine from the east in my apartment in the morning.
–Beautiful sunset from my kitchen table at night.