Support & Kickstart: This is Oakland


Anyone who features and photographs my beloved SF Bay Area has my heart. And I can’t think of anyone who’s done it more lovelier than Melissa Davis and Kristen Loken. This is Oakland is their soon-to-debut travel book and local guide featuring a collection of short stories and gorgeous photography of the unique faces and places that make up the vibrant neighborhoods of Oakland. Not only is their work stunning, but I share much love for many of the folks, shops, and restaurants they feature—many of which I’ve covered on my own site as well. But they’re featuring well over 80 of them specifically in Oakland, so I’m definitely turning to this book for some inspiration. And last year the New York Times ranked Oakland as #5 in their list of “45 Places to Visit”—beating even NYC, LA and SF…imagine that!

This is Oakland will be self-published which will require more money upfront, so a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to help raise funds. The campaign will close on Dec 27th—and as with all Kickstarter campaigns, it’s all or nothing. And this is where you, my friends, come in. If you love San Francisco, the Bay Area, and especially Oakland as much as I do, please support in any way you can by pledging, or by sharing the love and spreading the word on this campaign. There are so many amazing rewards to choose from, even with a pledge as small as $20. Many items have been offered up by the people and places featured in the book. I myself am looking forward to receiving my copy + a six month subscription to Donut Savant’s Donut Society! And there’s still plenty more that would make perfect gifts for the holidays or any upcoming occasion.

See below for sample spreads and photos of some of the faces and places that will be featured in the book. And for more info and continuous updates on This is Oakland, visit here.

* All images in this post and This is Oakland by Kristen Loken.


Lauren Wolf, jewelry designer and curator of Esqueleto, a desert-like shop in Temescal Alley featuring the works of other artists and jewelry designers.


Kerri Lee Johnson, artist, art consultant and curator of all the lovely items at Marion and Rose’s Workshop in Old Oakland.


Chef Sarah Kirnon and her Caribbean-California cuisine (and famous fried chicken!) at Miss Ollie’s in Old Oakland.


Jewelry designer, Kate Ellen and the new location of her gorgeous shop and art gallery, Crown Nine in Old Oakland.


The authentic and regional flavors of Mexico at Doña Tomás in Temescal.


The lovely home items, gifts and clothing at Atomic Garden in North Oakland, curated by shop owners, Adrienne Armstrong and Jamie Kidson.


The unique selection of accessories and jewelry selected by Dana Olson at Goodstock in North Oakland.


High-quality Japanese barware, glassware, and kitchen accessories at Umami Mart in Old Oakland.


Traditional Mexican dishes served as small plates and shared amongst friends at Old Oakland’s, Tamarindo.


Marisa Haskell and her gorgeous leather and metal work at her studio and shop in Temescal Alley.