I spent a few years after college living in Northern California. I worked at a law firm in San Francisco and lived in the yippy Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland.
Michael Chabon’s latest book, TELEGRAPH AVENUE, is based in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland that I used to call home.
Such a great read and it made me hella nostalgic for the Bay Area. Here are some places that I miss (aside from friends and family, who I miss most):
Naan n Curry. (The one pictured here is the one in San Francisco, but I always went to the one on College Avenue that was renamed something else but I’ll always just call it Naan n Curry.)
Bakesale Betty has the best fried chicken sandwich, ever.
Russell and I were super bummed to find Betty’s closed for the holidays the last time we were in town, but we did happily discover that the surrounding Temescal area is really developing into a hip and interesting place. We wandered into Temescal Alley and I bought some jewelry from Marisa Haskell’s beautiful shop. It’s nice to know there are still new things to discover about our old stomping grounds.
Since Betty’s was closed, we walked down Telegraph Ave. to one of my favorite Korean restaurants, PyeongChang Tofu House.
This Cool Hunting documentary captures some more Oakland at its best.
Seriously, Oakland, you’re pretty cool. But back to the book. Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue is a trip of a read and oh so good. I wasn’t convinced when I first started reading, but by the time I got to the one long run-on sentence chapter about the parrot flying over the lives of all the characters, I was sold. Chabon’s use of the English language is bow-down impressive with ridiculous sentence composition that can be geeked over for hours. And lastly, I love how the book’s a tribute to the hopeful nature of small businesses, close-knit communities, complicated relationships, and places like Oakland.
Be sure to keep an eye out for it at the closest bookstore or cool store near you. Would love to hear your thoughts on it!