Laurel May relocated to Oakland from Scottsdale, Arizona in summer 2008 to launch the San Francisco edition of 944 magazine. This sassy chic editor shares what she enjoys about living in Oakland. (Photo by Loren Earle-Cruickshanks)
As a new Oakland resident, what's your take on Oakland's sense of style?
Oakland’s the ultimate melting pot. There’s so much variety here! Hippity-hoppers, hippies, hookers, hipsters . . . I feel there’s a real sense of freedom here, everyone is doing their own thing and there aren’t any Marina chicks standing around keeping score on what brand of sunglasses everyone’s wearing.
Visitors are coming to town - what's on your Oakland to-show list?
Well, if they were visiting from Scottsdale, I’d take them on a late night drive down International Ave and then out for a few hands of poker at the Oakes Card Room. If they were from anywhere else, we’d spend the day at the Rose Garden, have dinner at Flora and then go to Yoshi’s to check out a show.
Sunday afternoon and you're hangin' in Oakland - what are you doing?
For most of the day, I’m standing in line for brunch at Brown Sugar Kitchen. It’s worth it. After that, there has to be a long sunshiney walk down San Pablo Avenue with Manchester my bulldog, followed by a nap.
What's your favorite Oakland shopping spot and why?
College Avenue. For clothing there’s Iniam, it’s a nice, airy space and they carry great lines like Tory Burch, Ernest Sewn, Marc Jacobs and everything else a person would think they’d have to go to the City to find. I also like to pop into the Boss Robot Hobby Shop from time to time to pick up a blind-box Dunny for my collection or a balsa wood airplane to crash in an empty parking lot.
Oakland has some stylish neighborhoods what's your favorite?
I’m crazy about Uptown Oakland’s architecture – I Magnin, the Fox, the old Sears building. Coming from Scottsdale where historic buildings aren’t valued at all, I just love to see grand old structures and imagine what the city was like back in the day when the men wore hats and women wore gloves.
If you were to design a drink for Oakland what would be the key ingredient and what would you call it?
It would be a delicious seasonally-appropriate farmer’s market fruit punch served in a 40oz beer bottle wrapped in a paper bag. I would call it the “I Hella Love Oakland.”