Meet me at the Oakland Heritage Alliance

Nov 7, 2012 / By Serena
Posted in Good Ideas / San Francisco Bay Area / Travel
Me and my research poodle at Lake Merritt

…And meet other Oakland authors!

Annalee Allen, who leads historic tours of downtown Oakland, will be there with her book, Dennis Evanofsky, who showed me around the backstories of the Dimond will be there with his, and I’m honored to say Ishmael Reed will also be attending. His book Blues City was very moving to me, like a friend when I was setting out to write my first guidebook about a city many people misunderstood.

Also coming with their Oakland books: Gillian Bagwell, Joanne Devereaux, Inge Horton, Amelia Marshall, Garrett Murphy, Rube Llama, Jeff Norman, Judish Offer, Therese Poletti, Tennessee Reed, Richard Schwartz, Laurence Shoup, and Matt Werner.

This is an incredible chance to meet these veritable experts on Oakland – people who love the city and have dedicated themselves to understanding its past, and present. We’ll all toast our favorite city!

Head to the Oakland Heritage Alliance at First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 111 Fairmount Avenue, parking off 29th Street. RSVP to and donate $10, if you can, at the event. No one turned away.

In the Black and Plaid Friday in Oakland

Nov 23, 2011 / By Serena
Posted in Good Ideas / San Francisco Bay Area / Videos and Podcasts
Cathedral Building

Oakland’s been in the news a lot lately, and not for the things I’ve been witnessing every day – local businesses serving local customers, community shin digs, delicious food, bustling creativity, and an all-around friendly vibe. There are many social changes to be made, but Oakland is much more than Occupy.

That is never more true than this Friday, traditionally Black Friday, known to me as a day to stay away from all malls for risk of being mobbed by sale-frenzied shoppers. Getting out to gift your friends and family for the holidays doesn’t have to be insanity – it can actually be transformative. Together with organizations like Oakland Grown, the Plaid Friday movement, and folks like Effie Tesfahun who wanted to make something positive happen and harness the energy of a prime shopping day, this Friday is going to be a blast in Oakland (not at all like the blast of rubber bullets).

The idea, aptly put by Oakland’s Plaid Friday creators Kerri Johnson and Lena Reynosos, is to celebrate the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. It’s the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday”, and is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays, bringing back the neighborly nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable leisurely activity.

Listen here to the podcast with In the Black event organizer Effie, together with Oakollectiv‘s Rachel Konte, and Runway Style Houses‘ Alanna Rayford for the full scoop. There’s more details below.

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