Tag Archives: Shopping

West Oakland to Old Oakland

Trouble Coffee quietly opened a new location in West Oakland a few weeks ago. I have explored the many wonderful neighborhoods of Oakland but haven’t spent any time in West Oakland.  There have been a few stories about it being an area that’s on track for change. I do believe it’s headed in that direction, but I’m sure it will take some time.  There are streets with boarded-up houses and abandoned warehouses but there are also new developments popping up and signs of construction. This is a good thing and I hope the character, culture and diversity of Oakland that many of us love is kept, despite the slow gentrification of even this neighborhood.

Trouble Coffee is in a residential area,  located on a corner across from an old brick building.  Irongate bars surround the outside of the cafe, but as soon as you walk inside, you’re transported to a minimalist and zen dream.  All of the walls are white with natural light beaming in from the large windows surrounding all sides of the storefront.  In the corner, is a large white table with bench seating surrounding two sides of the table and additional stools at the bar. I ordered a latte to enjoy in one of their handmade white ceramic cups with a slice of their famous toast. As one of the baristas was preparing our coffee, another cut a thick slice of bread, toasted it and topped it with cinnamon and sugar.  There is no menu so you have to know what you want or ask what they’d recommend.

From West Oakland, we headed over to Old Oakland, the historic district of downtown Oakland. It is Oakland’s hidden gem. The beautiful architecture has been preserved and new boutique shops have continued to pop up, adding to the vibrant neighborhood.  Swan’s Market is a must-visit and one of my favorite places.  It’s a very small version of a food hall.  The large open room filled with beautiful wooden tables that feature a mix of seating for two, four or larger communal tables. It’s hard to have a favorite in terms of the food because each spot is unique – B-Dama, Cosecha, The Cook and Her Farmer, Miss Ollie’s, and other vendors that make this a foodie hotspot.

I love our new home in Berkeley and being that much closer to Oakland.




Looking inside Trouble Coffee in West Oakland.


The free outdoor library on Willow Street across from Trouble Coffee.



The brick lined streets of Old Oakland. 





The vintage-style bistro in Old Oakland serving seasonal Italian food.


Inside Ratto’s International Market & Deli. Amazing sandwiches!!!



The bar at The Cook and Her Farmer inside Swan’s Market.


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Filed under Food, Gallery

Flannel in Fall!

It’s official – we have our very first Target here in San Francisco and what a better name for it than CityTarget! It’s located in an already buzzing place in the city – at the corner of 4th Street and Mission just feet from Westfield Mall and located in the Metreon SF, which has gone through a complete transformation.  Now not only featuring CityTarget, but Chronicle Books, La Boulange, Super Duper Burger and other cute spots! We rode up the escalators in the CityTarget – open now exactly a week – and were amongst hundreds of other people – a few that looked like locals – the rest wandering tourists and out-of-towners that I guess were also interested in seeing what the “City” Target was all about. It’s no different from any other target and I expect they will be extremely busy over the next few months especially (holidays!)

We had one thing in mind for purchase – the game Sequence. I played it growing up as a child all the time – for hours on end.  It had been a very long time since I had last played and was reintroduced to it by Nigel’s aunt in Lake Tahoe last weekend. It’s such a great game and that was one of our CityTarget purchases.  Scanning the aisles, a brightly colored flannel shirt also caught my eye.  Great shirt for fall to throw on with a pair of jeans!

And when we got home, our patio was filled with leaves! I had a fun mini photoshoot amongst the Fall leaves with my husband aka my photographer.


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Filed under Fashion Week/end


One of my favorite spots in San Francisco is Maiden Lane.  Not only is it very European (which after living in Italy for five months, I just can’t get enough of!) but it is one of the fashion alley’s of SF – cobblestone streets lead the way down 3 blocks of outdoor cafe’s, a live opera singer, sometimes live jazz as you pass Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Theory, Tory Burch, Escada, Gumps and last but not least even one of frank lloyd wright’s famous buildings – the Xanadu Gallery.

And now amongst the European, fashion alley of SF, a newly discovered boutique that I had to share with you all – Fashionphile.

I love the concept – they sell vintage, rare, limited-edition and discounted luxury bags (think Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Gucci and more!)  SF ladies – be sure to stop by their third floor shop during the week or also online and also on Facebook and their blog. AND not only can you shop for these a-mazing bags, but Fashionphile will also buy or sell your authentic luxury bag.

“Used is the New New” 


Photos: Fashionphile

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Filed under Fashion Trends