Missing Oakland

10 Dec

So you might have noticed that I haven’t been writing nearly as much during the past two months as I usually do. That’s because I’ve been traveling a lot! I’m finally back in the East Bay for at least the next month, so hopefully I’ll have more time to dedicate to writing.

You probably know by now that I think a lot about Oakland while I’m gone, and I’ve even started a series comparing Oakland to other cities, but beyond all of this, traveling has made me realize how much I miss Oakland and why I love it so much. Depending on what city I’m in, I usually miss a different aspect of Oakland.

This past week, I was in New Orleans, and there was certainly a lot I didn’t miss, like the bars not closing at 2am and the streets being deserted at night. But I found myself almost desperately missing Oakland food. This probably sounds pretty strange, since New Orleans is famous for its food, but I’m a vegetarian so I didn’t get to enjoy any of the fresh seafood offerings.

And don’t get me wrong. Nearly every restaurant was very accommodating to my dietary needs (one chef even came to my table to discuss my tastes so he could determine what special dish to make for me), and the food tasted great. But I realized how spoiled I am with all the fresh, local, organic food I eat daily. My body’s just not used to eating food doused in butter (I think I ate more butter last week than I had eaten in the previous month or two),  and by the end of the week I was seriously craving some non-dairy protein.

As I ate my final biscuit and drank my last Bloody Mary yesterday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Temescal Farmer’s Market, sushi at Ichiro, and homemade salads and soups. Needless to say, I’m glad to be home, and am even happier that my girlfriend greeted me at the Oakland airport last night with sushi rolls – avocado and spinach/mushroom – and inari – yum!

I’m sure many of you will be traveling over the next few weeks, so what is it that you miss when you leave Oakland?

3 Responses to “Missing Oakland”

  1. Eric December 11, 2007 at 8:34 pm #

    Not exactly in Oakland, but have you tried the vegan Japanese place, Cha-Ya, on Shattuck and on Valencia? It’s definitely required eating for anyone you might know who is under the mistaken impression that you need meat and dairy for a delicious meal.

  2. Becks December 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    I love Cha-Ya and would go to the one in Berkeley more if it wasn’t so hard to get a seat… the good news is they do take out.

  3. Kitty December 12, 2007 at 10:19 am #

    I miss three things desperately whenever I travel outside of Oakland.

    First, the weather. I forget how lucky we are to live in a Mediterranean climate with sunny skies and not too much wind, temperate winters and balmy summers. It doesn’t get much better that Oakland weather.

    Second, the food. I completely understand what you mean — when I travel I feel like I’m always being fed fried, buttery food when I just want a fresh salad with local, organic ingredients.. Or at least some ripe avocado in the middle of an avo roll from my favorite sushi place, Man Puku in Berkeley on College.

    Third, my family. I miss my kitties, my girlfriend, my parents and the city area that I’ve come to call home. There is no comparison to cuddling up on the couch with my honey and kitties, listening to music or just enjoying each others’ company. That cannot be duplicated in any other place — even if I took them with me.

    Thanks for another great blog about Oakland!

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