OAKtown six weeks later…

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my REAR VIEW mirror…

It blows my mind out, as the Tornado no longer says, Ive been in OAKLAND for six weeks.

It feels as though it’s the perfect time to look backward (fleetingly! ephemerally!!) take stock and see how well I did (or didnt do) with those lies I told myself back in Austin.

I give you my OAKtown musings.  (Too long.  Too rambling.  You’ll have that.)

  • I freakin love the diversity.  VISUALLY.  Id grown so accustomed to how all the homes in my ATX ‘hood looked the same (limestone anyone?) I’d stopped noticing.   My new Oakland ‘hood is a FEAST for the eyes.
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  • I freakin love the PEOPLE diversity.  I’d thought Austin was diverse.  Everyone informed me Id adore the diversity in Oakland & I noticed it the moment we stepped off the plane.  Our Jew-By-Choice, tattooed/Born-A-Jew, & Jewtemalan trio is quite the boring family in our new town….and I love it!
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we are sooooo dull.


  • I love the people.  From the moment we deplaned & the child was presented with this to last week when we were both invited on a spontaneous play date— the people in Oakland are friendly and welcoming.


  • Oakland is me.  For myriad reasons.  All crystallized in the fact there’s very little emphasis on the trappings of the vessel.  No need to be fancy.  Fantastic if you choose to always look amazeatastic.  The vibe is completely (all together now) those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.
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Im myself…and thats ok!

  • Im finding my Cheers.  I joined a gym.  Less for the exercise experience (Im still PLAYout at home mcgee) and *all* for the stop working, get out of the house & see other people! factor.  The other morning (brace yourselves) a member remembered my name.  Small victories, People.  Small victories.
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  • We’ve found our tribe.  Oakland doesnt BAT the proverbial EYELASH at the fact we’re a motley crew of none-too-religious Jews.  We’re spiritual.  They’re accepting.  We’ve found our tribe.
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how misfits celebrate Sabbath


  • There are many members of my other tribe(s) here, too. (throws up  GLUTEN FREE gang-sign)  Ren Man was perplexed by my excitement at discovering the below in a movie theater concession stand (given the fact Im still not eating processed). For me it was yet another sign how inclusive my new home is.
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GF at a movie theater?!


  • Ive gots an office!  There is a Starbucks close by.  We all know Id not be one to write at a Starbucks.  Not my spirit.  Ive found my coffeeCHEERS and it has free wi-fi.


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misfit office. no.cal.branch


My yammerings of LOVE *aside*—-Ive been whining.



There are two things about my new town I cannot (yet) seem to let go:

the cold and the smoosh.

The former I *think* Ive gotten the hang of dressing properly for.

The latter Im confident I’ll grow accustomed to (Texas = spacious.  Who knew I adored it so?).

I shall learn to navigate the  smooshed-situation or trade in my vehicle for a….an…uh something which is coming soon and I cannot divulge yet. (<—-foreshadowing!!)


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Narrow streets. Big car.

The chill Ive embraced.

Ive learned the fact Ive surrendered flipflops & tank tops does not mean Im not myself.

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we’ve bundled


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Im still myself.


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Id forgotten how I LOVE TIGHTS!


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we create our *own* color


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now it’s NEVER too hot for this under clothes!


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I bring my own blue skies


Still, more days than not, youll find me wearing this under my layers.:

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But Im COMMITTED to my new hometown.

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my version of a commitment ring


Im here for the proverbial LONG HAUL as evidenced by the fact I have tattoo plans.


Next year. 

On my ONE-YEAR-OAKtown-resident-’iversary (just the oak tree):

photo39 OAKtown six weeks later...


  •  I can do this.
  • Ive got this.


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  1. says

    Reading this just made me so happy :) I’ve been stuck in a town I’m not in love with for years and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be really happy to live in a place! So glad you’ve found your tribe!

  2. says

    I’m so happy for you! Moving is such an exciting thing I always love hearing success stories about it being a good experience. And I love that you live in Cali, I BELONG there haha! Everything you’ve described, I love. Especially the diversity!

  3. Courtney D. says

    I’m so glad that you are transitioning well in Oakland. Such a great post! It’s a good reminder to take all of life’s changes in stride. Much love from (even colder) Pittsburgh! :)

  4. says

    Sometimes the leap is more painful than the landing.

    I kinda thought you’d find a soft spot to touch down. You always seemed very bay-area to me!

  5. says

    Love it! Love the diversity, love your new gym home, love that Starbucks is sooo close! Hate the weather. That’s why I won’t be moving to the bay area anytime soon. Visit, but not live. :)

  6. says

    I know what you are saying about the “smoosh”. After living away from Staten island for so many years, I got used to the spread out way of living that I was surrounded by. Coming back to SI after all those years was a HUGE adjustment for me. Homes on top of homes. But we found a small area on SI where homes are a bit further apart, yards are bigger…and we are on a dead end block – so it feels a bit better =)
    Congrats on making it six weeks – you seem to be happily settled in!! =)

  7. says

    I was just going to email you about how you are doing but this answers all my questions!~ :) I am glad you are getting accustomed to the differences & some that are so inviting! Even after all my years in CA, I still don’t like the crowdiness & too many cars & all that stuff… but I like other things like the weather – well when we are not having a cold wave for us CA folks! ;)

    Happy to hear things are better!

  8. says

    So happy that y’all are adjusting!! Oakland seems like a neat place (a little crowded, but still very cool!).
    Love your super fun tights so much!!!
    I also love that you still sport your Austin shirt!!! I haven’t lived in TX in almost 14 years now but I’m still a Texan all the way through!!!
    Have another great Oakland day!!!

  9. says

    There are several “diamonds” in this country! If we are lucky, we live in one of them, and get to visit many of the others!

  10. says

    I think it’s great you’ve found your corner there in Oakland. You have a great attitude about a move that I know couldn’t have been easy.

    I, too, would have a really tough time giving up warm, sunny weather!

  11. says

    Glad you are settling in! New places are always really exciting, even if you didn’t really want to go. Routines happen pretty quickly and then it feels like home.

  12. says

    You look so happy! Obviously, this is the perfect place for you to be! Isn’t it fun to explore a new city? Have fun!! Oh and I love your green coat! :)

  13. Jessica says

    I loved reading this! It’s kindof funny because I’m actually from the Bay Area but I’m currently in Austin for graduate school. Glad to hear you’re thriving in the Bay’s atmosphere! :)

  14. says

    You’re doing wonderfully!

    At 6 weeks in I was still complaining because I couldn’t find my favorite salad dressing or BBQ sauce. I was in tears often over the loneliness (a shy woman in the suburbs with no kids? She will shrivel up and die. It’s still a bit of a problem.)

    The narrow streets in the cities freak my out -especially with the hills!

    I bet you LOVE the summers!

  15. says

    I shall love to see your “100 days in Oaktown” post! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are here. And happy that you are happier. <3

  16. says

    I know what you mean about the “smoosh.”

    And I’m glad that you love the diversity and feel “normal” among the community. It’s wonderful.

    We need a coffee date!

  17. says

    Wow, maybe I should move there! :) I’m glad you’re so happy there! We’re actually thinking of leaving where we are to find a more welcoming place ourselves. The smoosh would be hard though!

  18. says

    Moving to a new place is can be so fun. My hubs and I moved to Arizona from New Hampshire when we were younger (now we are back in NH). And we loved so many of the difference, although we did miss a few things. So glad you’re embracing your new place! Have fun!

  19. says

    Six weeks already? Sheesh!

    Glad you’re settling in so nicely. You’re certainly in a great area for adventures, and I look forward to reading about them. And some day, if I’m lucky, making it back out to that coast to join you. :)

  20. says

    I am so happy you are all happy! I fell in love when I visited Susan a few years back. When I got home I begged my kids to please go there after they graduate to experience the diversity I just loved it! Something that Utah is not. I am going to visit Susan again next week and I cannot wait for so many reasons!

  21. says

    Sounds like Oakland is a great place for you.

    Laughed at the car thing. We live in the inner suburbs of DC, so I own a Civic for parking/driving in the city and a Pilot for when we actually need to travel someplace (or have extra kids with us LOL).

  22. says

    I love you. its true :P I’m so glad you’ve found your happy in your new home. It’s an adjustment, but once it starts to click, it just clicks.

  23. says

    LOVING your attitude and glad you’ve settled in so well. It frustrates me when people don’t try but you are certainly doing everything you can as a family to make it your home.


    PS. Love the GF option at the movies. Last time I went here there was NOTHING other than drinks I could have!


  24. says

    Such a great post…way to look at the positives, embrace the new area/life (I agree with them all about where you’re at!), already get a tattoo idea (I told you I want to change my tree tat into more of an oak tree-esque one, right?) and be honest about the things you miss…I really enjoyed this post. :)

  25. says

    I’m glad you’re settling into your new home. I have also recently moved to a new town, with very little prepared to receive me. I came to Boulder, CO last Wednesday with two months savings and a prayer. Your story is inspiring me to keep faith I’ll make it and not have to run home to my parents :)

  26. says

    My husband was in the Army for 26 years and we moved a lot. (My 17 year old had moved 11 times before she headed off to college.) Attitude is everything, and since yours is great Oakland will smile back at you! :) Happy for you that you’re settling in.

  27. says

    For six weeks, you’ve settled in so well! Connecting with a gym and spiritual community always help me feel more at home. The cold would definitely take some getting used to! I’m jealous of all the diversity. It was a shock moving to Houston, where the diversity largely lies in class (nannies and yard maintenance)… hoping to get back to a more equally diverse place soon, too!

  28. says

    I am a little late to the party with my comment but I still want to say that I am so happy you are adjusting and feeling welcomed. Of course you miss things about your past life and your old town. I knew you would fit in nicely in CA!

  29. says

    As a former Northern Californian, I can say I MISS the bay area. Los Angeles is a feast for the eyes and brain in so many ways, but nor cal just has those nice people always waiting and wanting to talk to you. Take your little girl to Escape from New York Pizza on Haight Street in SF, and hopefully that day they have the potato-pesto pie. It’s life-changing. So glad you’re lovin’ your new hometown :)

  30. says

    This makes my heart so happy that you have settled in SO WELL!! I didn’t have a doubt though. Once those moving jitters went away, I know you guys would be OK.

  31. Melinda says

    Welcome to Oakland. The Bay Area is fabulous and Oakland, (until your post), a secret, known more for crime then its proximity to some of the best food, entertainment and outdoor activities. You will have no problem finding health and fitness folks everywhere you look. Also plenty of triabl members who “practice” in offbeat ways you would never even have imagined.

  32. says

    My parents moved from Florida to Washington, DC (I’m in college, so I get dragged along by association on breaks) and the lack of space and the cold definitely takes adjusting but the change in culture from the South to the North is so worth it! Everything tends to be much more diverse and liberal in northern regions and I’m glad you’re enjoying it!