POPSUGAR Celebrity

Why This Surprisingly Chic City Deserves a Spot on Your Bucket List

Jul 9 2014 - 4:05am

Nicknamed Brooklyn by the Bay [1], Oakland, CA, is stealing some of San Francisco's tourism thunder — and for good reason. In 2012, The New York Times ranked Oakland No. 5 in its list of 45 Places to Go in 2012 [2], beating out San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. But where in Oakland does one visit? Luckily, there's a new book for that! This Is Oakland [3] is a gorgeous city guide that could easily masquerade as a coffee-table book — thanks to Kristen Loken's [4] mesmerizing photos. While it spotlights 90 of the most interesting places to visit in the city, we caught up with the stylish author Melissa Davis [5] (ahem: have you seen her office tour [6]?) to give us an abbreviated guide for design-lovers!


Location: 4200 Piedmont Ave.

Website: Neighbor [7]

"You feel a little cooler just by walking into this Piedmont Avenue shop," Melissa told us. The owners, Dana Olson and Karen Anderson, have created a space that "embraces the stripped-back walls and ceiling — and that rawness creates the perfect canvas for all of the lovely home and design finds that fill the shop." Added bonus? "Their warmth makes anyone feel at home."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [8]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [9]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [10]

The Telegraph Room at The Fox

Location: 1807 Telegraph Ave.

Website: The Fox [11]

While anyone can gain access to The Fox Theater's VIP lounge and bar by upgrading their ticket, Melissa believes it's worth the extra money. "This space truly makes you feel like a rock star. The sexy/cool midcentury lounge area feels very LA (in the best possible way), but it's the gem-shaped bar with its glittering tile work that steals the show."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [12]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [13]


Location: 482 A 49th St.

Website: Esqueleto [14]

"This jewelry/accessory boutique in Temescal Alley has incredible light, and everything in the shop has a beachy sort of sun-faded feel. Local jeweler Lauren Wolf sells her own line and fills out the store with other accessory lines, seashells, crystals, and other beautiful finds."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [15]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [16]


Location: 1900 Telegraph Ave.

Website: Flora [17]

Melissa credits part of Flora's success to the impeccable design details like the tufted black banquet, classic white tablecloths, and oversize vintage poster. "It transports you to another era — I love that it has classic appeal that’s still uberstylish."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [18]


Location: 5391 College Ave.

Website: Loot [19]

"Owner Ron Morgan's credo is 'more is more,' and I love it! He has created such a chic, cluttered (in a good way!) shop that is a great mix and inspires me each time I stop in. He's also a floral designer so you'll often find gorgeous floral arrangements throughout the space."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [20]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [21]


Location: 3917 Grand Ave.

Website: Camino [22]

While Melissa insists chef Russell Moore's menu is reason enough to dine here, she admits it's not the only reason. "I love the atmosphere equally as much as the food." Her favorite design details? Antique prayer chairs that line the communal tables and the iron chandeliers wrapped with bay leaves and paper lanterns. "They give off a romantic glow."

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [23]

Source: Kristen Loken Photography [24]

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