The moment I stepped into Loakal, near Jack London Square, I could tell this was going to be a Jesus, take the wheel moment. I was going to want to buy EVERY goddamn thing in that store, and if I did that, I wouldn’t have anything left in my bank account for all the Ethiopian hummus, vintage blouses, and bottles of Crane Lake that keep me alive. So I tried to satisfy myself by simply taking salivating photographs for my loyal readers. It’s kind of like looking at food porn instead of eating it, but these are the things you have to do to afford living in the Bay.
I’ve featured this designer before, and will continue featuring them as much as I WANT to, GOSH! (Do you guys ever find yourself making refs to Napoleon Dynamite in your first draft and then for some reason, leaving them in? I have no excuse nor explanation.) I adore this Oakland crane, from this local 3D printing company in glamorous necklace form. It’s a quiet way of wearing your love for your hood.
My magpie eyes next fell upon a shelf of tiny, beautiful Californias. Each one is a unique little snowflake, and the coolest part is they’re made from layers upon layers of graffiti paint, built up over decades and finally removed from the walls. Also, the instructions are very practical and wise; when I read “Keep out of kids’ mouths” I was happy to take their fucking word for it.
I don’t really wear belts, much less belt buckles (this is a belt buckle, right? My belt buckle ignorance is showing) but now I kind of wish I did: this piece is the coolest way I know to show people your area code pride. Plus: it’s made from broken car window glass. If that ain’t baller I don’t know what is. (Disclaimer: I may or may not actually know what constitutes “baller.”)
I also don’t really carry wallets, as my pants pockets are usually nonexistent or the size of a post-it (thanks a lot, skinny jeans) but if you do, I recommend one of these, from local designers Quiet Doing. Especially if you are a cool sk8r girl wearing roomy-pocketed Dickies (I secretly think sk8r girls are super cool and intimidating.) Add one of those jangly wallet chains and you are basically the lady/BFF of my dreams.
You might not know this about me, given the fact that I was once described as a mix of Daria and Bill Murray, but I fucking love flowers. So I obviously love these sweet earrings, by local designer Maureen Shields. They’ll give your outfit a darling 60s vibe: pair with colored stockings and a brightly mod shift dress for a wham-bam-adorable look.
Remember earlier when I said that crane necklace was a quiet way to declare your love for Oakland? Well, here’s the opposite, from (un)possible cuts.
Oh yeah: Loakal is a gallery, too! There is an entire warehouse in the back with open artists’ studios, couches, and general cool vibes. It’s totally free to check it all out, of course.
Now, for a few bonus items!
For all the furry-curious out there (not judging/mostly not judging) this is a safe space for you. These cute lil’ ears are great for a costume, OR for something a little more serious, like a questionable lifestyle choice. Seriously trying not to judge here. Mostly succeeding.
And guess what? Field Day is here! I get a little excited every time I see a Field Day dress somewhere new in Oakland.
So I managed to leave without buying a single item, and not for lack of desire! Thanks, Jesus; that was some fine steering. But all you reading this: please, feel free to go to Loakal and purchase to your heart’s content. I’ll live vicariously through you.