One really fun thing about living in California is getting to rediscover it every time someone comes to visit.
Harley’s family spent the week here (it was his dad’s first time!), so we got to play tour guide for a few days. We went to Alcatraz and Big Basin State Park — both firsts for us — in addition to showing off some local favorites.
There’s a lot to enjoy about Oakland, but it’s easy to become jaded in reference to San Francisco and the Bay Area as a whole. Expensive, gentrified, and over-crowded, there’s a lot to dislike about it when you start to look…but then you stand inside of a giant redwood or get a glimpse of the Golden Gate over the city and it really is hard to hate it. There are issues with infrastructure, housing, and racial tension that are far too serious to glaze over, but overall, Northern California is a cool place to be.
Here’s what I’m loving lately:
Reading :: I’m still working on This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and it’s so much more interesting than I had expected! I’m not typically invested in volumes of short stories, but this one is different. Most of the stories within the book were written as standalone essays for papers or publications, so they have an independent feel while still fitting into the book as a whole.
Listening :: We scored pre-sale tickets to Childish Gambino, and although the show isn’t until September I’ve been revisiting some of his older albums out of excitement. I also discovered Jack Johnson released a new album last year, and it is so good! I saw Jack Johnson at Bonnaroo ages ago and I’ve always had a soft spot for his songs.
Spare Time :: I might just have to change this section to movies since that’s about all we’ve done in our spare time! We’ve seen Black Panther and I, Tonya — both SO good. The director of Black Panther is from Oakland, and part of the film takes place here. The entire theater cheered when it came on screen, which was such a fun experience! I, Tonya was…unique…but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It felt raw and real, which you don’t get from a lot of movies, and the soundtrack was great!
Style :: I mentioned my quest for sustainable leggings and it has been a resounding success! I got these from Onzie and these from Prana (both on a very steep discount from Backcountry, of course), and I love them both! Onzie is an LA-based company that still does their dyeing, manufacturing, and sewing in Venice Beach, and Prana makes their sustainable clothing mission a part of everything they do. It feels great to make a difference, no matter how small — and I love these leggings!