When you hear Oakland (CA), the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t the word inspiring. But I’ve lived in the East Bay for a few years now, and after finding myself spending an ever-increasing amount of time in this city, am here to announce: the character of this place –flawed, exuberant, steeped with architectural and social history– makes something impossibly intriguing and provocative.
There are countless inspiring places in Oakland. Some of my favorite neighborhoods are: Temescal, Grand Lake/Lake Merritt, and Rockridge. That last one is right on the border of Berkeley & Oakland, and I want to grow old there. Anyhow, since I could (clearly) go on for hours about how much of a hidden treasure the East Bay is, I figured I may as well start up a series about aesthetically inspiring spots I’ve stumbled upon in Oakland.
First up: Oaktown Spice Shop.
This spot is something else. Every time I walk into this local business, I fall in love with the colors, smells, and space all over again. Plus, there’s the added bonus of usually popping in to buy a gift for someone else.
How beautiful are those maps?! Oh, and a gift tip: those boxes you see are full of different, curated spices all wrapped and ready to go. I gave my uncle the BBQ Master’s set last year, and he loved it.
This place, the people who work in it, and those who come through to support a local business like this one are all things I find inspiring. If you want get your hands on some spices, check out their great online shop here. In the meantime, I’d love to know: what kinds of inspiring places are tucked away in your neighborhood?