Sake Gumi
Oakland Living

July is here! My god, look at this ultra blue sky-- it's so goddamn bright here, I still can't deal with the California sun.

Quit complaining! It's gorgeous here!


It's a new month, and rent is due today. This is my first rent check I'll be writing since I moved out of Brooklyn! I'm weirdly excited about it. Ha. Ask me in another month if I still feel this way.

So, I moved to the Grand Lake Theater area of North Lake Merritt, Oakland. I love my neighborhood! It totally reminds me of the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, where Prospect Heights meets Park Slope.

Geographically, Brooklyn and Oakland are very similar-- the two cities are the (seemingly) grimier, more rebellious counterpart to their glamorous sister cities across the bridge. (Except the bridges in NYC are FREE!!!)

Brooklyn Map

Oakland Map

Grand Avenue, Oakland, itself reminds me of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, where I spent a lot of time. Lots of restaurants and bars, yoga studios, and random little furniture shops and funky clothing stores. DANGEROUS.

Let me take you around my new hood! It's super nice! (My idea of "nice" is a bit skewed, considering I lived in Crown Heights for almost three years.)

The Alley is a HUGE reason why I wanted to live in this neighborhood. The resident piano player, Rod Dibble, plays the keys while people sit around the piano and sing old show tunes into the mic. It's kinda my dream come true. One of these days, I hope to pretend like I'm Annie Hall and sing Seems Like Old Times.

Oakland Living

The newish pizza parlor, Boot & Shoe Service-- started by the popular Pizzaiolo folks over in the Temescal section of Oakland. @jkeithvanrappin and I ate here the other night. I had a sausage and rapini pizza with an egg on top. YES! Although I was a bit sour, which I wasn't so crazy about. Great bar though.

Oakland Living

My liquor store. Great for when I have late-night cravings for a smoke (GROSS!), or a six-pack of Coors Light.

Oakland Living

I watch the World Cup games at Smitty's. They've got two TVs, Miller High-Life, PBR, and you can smoke inside. Classy!

Oakland Living

Oakland's "oldest coffee house." Kinda neat.

Oakland Living

Must try this place, not only for the tongue-twisty name, but also cause it's pick-three-items style.

Oakland Living

My neighborhood bookstore!

Oakland Living

Around the corner is an Arizmendi, a coop pizza/bread/pastry shop.

Oakland Living

That's not all. There's an awesome farmers market on Saturdays across from the theater. My library is down the street, as is my gym, the park, and the lake. There's a Trader Joe's around the corner, a Lanesplitter pizza for when I just want a slice and someone to flirt with (the boys who make the pizzas are always cute), Camino down the street, and of course, the Colonial Donut shop.

Oh my, and can we talk about the theater (top photo)? It's GORGEOUS. Built in 1926, and they've still got their resident organist. \TOY STORY 3 + A Cold Beer = My Twisted Heaven.

The theme this month is HOT HOT HEAT. As you can see from these pics, the temperature is rising over here, and I hear NYC and London are scorching as well. So let's go out, show some cleavage, be drunk all day, and MAKE OUT. Gossip Girl Hamptons style.


Or, we could just stay in, behold air conditioning, and whip up some milkshakes.

This video is the silliest but it make me SO HOT! Brooklyn diner HOLLER!

Anyway, come visit me! I'm currently looking for REAL LIFE neighborhood friends, and just REAL LIFE friends in general. Let's hang out! I'm gonna take it easy for July and Umamiventure #27 will be at The Trappist in downtown Oakland, for their Taco Tuesdays. Maybe the second week of July? Stay tuned for details.

The boys are waiting.


Umamimart Founder/Editor/Resident Pervert


  • uh oh. Oakland mamas, lock up your boys.

    Looks like a sweet hood, K.

    rik on

  • Welcome to my daytime ‘hood! You’re in a great neighborhood. Let me know if you want to do lunch anytime!

    seri on

  • Looks like you’ve moved into a real nice neighbourhood there. And how amazing is that ultra blue sky?? Jealous! If I ever come and visit, I’ll be showing my cleavage off all the time.

    sakura on

  • Great post. I’ll come visit you next year with Yoko and we can check out those pizza guys together.

    Best wishes, the not-yet-real-life-friend Anders

    Anders on

  • I love this post! I just moved to the East Bay too (downtown Berkeley) and I’ve been looking for new places to check out.

    By the way, I think you’re pretty close to my favorite Korean restaurant, Jong Ga House (right by the lake).

    Mariam on

  • Rik- It really is a sweet hood. Love it here! It’s my little Brooklyn!

    Anders- We’ll def go to Lanesplitter. Just walked by, and there was a cute boy. YES! Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the cleavage.

    Sakura- COME VISIT ME! Bring your boobies.

    Seri- You wanna do Trappist next week?

    kayoko on

  • Mariam, thanks for the Jong Ga House tip! Let’s meet there sometime for some bibimbap!

    kayoko on

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