discovering Oaklandia. and myself too.

After about 18 months of traveling and bunking with friends, I’m finally settled again! I’m coming up on my 2-month anniversary in my new neighborhood—Oakland’s Grand Lake area. So far so great. Living around the corner from ArizmendiCaña and many other delectable options is a real treat. Since I work from home most days, it’s a boon to have spots that help change up the scenery and take in some people-watching. But that’s not all. Brace yourself now, because this isn’t really going to make sense at first:

Oakland is the first place I saw cormorants. Cormorants! Most city girls grow up seeing ducks and geese, learning about hawks and eagles, and chasing away pigeons. But a cormorant, now that’s an odd bird. I’d never seen one before, or simply didn’t know it. Then one morning there they were. Just hanging out on the lake in a line, waiting for me to notice them. Once I saw them I realized just how ubiquitous they are. And this lovely vision brought a smile to my face.


This, I thought, is my new neighborhood! Where I get to run (or walk) around Lake Merritt in the morning, lunch on mac-n-cheese at the New Easy, and rock trivia night at Room 389. All within minutes of my home. Maybe it’s just because it’s new to me, but then, the why doesn’t really matter. I’m energized by what’s going on around here, and excited to make this neighborhood the base of my consulting practice and my design business. Lots of happenings for an urban planner and inspiration for a metalsmith. Fun times ahead!

Mostly I’m looking forward to learning more about the ‘hood and blogging about my new experiences. I’ll even posts pics in a dedicated album on my Google+ page.

So. Tell me. What are your favorite haunts in the Grand Lake area?


  1. I love the cormorants in the fog shot, Zabe! Glad that was your first sighting. Stunning.

    1. Thanks, Rosie! I think it was kismet.

  2. I absolutely love the Bay Area. I was there for a short visit in December of last year. I love the vibe of the city and all the interesting startups that sprout out there (I’m a self proclaimed techie). I haven’t ventured into the Oakland area but it looks like there are some hidden gems there.

    1. Yup, I feel pretty lucky living here. SF is great, too, but I think people (including me!) are realizing that Oakland has been overlooked. There are definitely lots of hidden gems here and a lot of new activity on the art, food, and cultural scene. You should check it out next time you’re in the Bay!

  3. […] Sunning themselves as they do, much like my first viewing. […]

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