Happy Birthday Najee & an Oakland Social Gazette

Najee is amazing. I met him back in 2007 when we both worked at that Buffalo Exchange at the end of Telegraph in Berkeley. I was there for a brief 3 months, and he was there being his usual chipper self while I sulked around in the back. In the years since then,  Najee has done a lot, but one of my favorite things that he’s done since his return from Germany a few months ago is qualify as one of the best dressed girls in Oakland, and by which I mean have you seen Najee lately? He looks amazing in mini dresses and high heels, and I must admit that I’m getting a bit jealous.

Going to the Piedmont cemetery is just one of those things that you do if you’re young and in Oakland, and it seemed like Najee’s birthday was the first perfect day for cemetery lurking, beer drinking and hours of GPOY-ing. Stephanie Sarley and Heather Holton showed up, too, so it was kinda like a best dressed of Oakland convention, and in the cemetery no less. Um, also, they are three very creative individuals, and funny, too, so they’re definitely some amazing people to hang out with in Oakland.

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I ran into Pauline on the bus on my way to work last night, and it turns out that she was going to some party in East Oakland. As usual, she looked super cute and was telling me about all the UK grime and Shlomo-esque music that she planned to play at her party. Last night seemed like a pretty chill night to be having a party, but unfortunately it ended before 2am (um, how is that possible? It’s Oakland.) so it wasn’t worth an after work field trip to the other side of town to see what kind of debauchery happened over there. Updates, anyone?

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Now that the weather is nice again, Miguel and I leave the house to go get food at around 1pm, which mostly involves us biking from here to there, meandering and bored, looking for people to kick it with and other misdemeanor-level crimes that can distract us from the fact that work is going to start in about 5 hours. At which point I wonder, where is everybody? Are we all collectively butterflying out from our winter cocoons? I feel like there’s no definitive kick it spot as of yet, and while two separate people told us that our outfits were very excellent (they were, I can’t even be humble about it), it’s important that we be seen by the optimal amount of people, and also it’s partially about turf marking. So, there’s that.

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As some of you may know already, I work at the Night Light and I fucking love it there. Have you come to kick it with me yet? I’m there pretty much all the god damn time now, which is chill, so come say hi. A few things about the Night Light: we are looking for a new bar tender! Yes! You know what that means – if you get hired you get to be a part of the social elite that is bar tenders in Oakland! (It’s not that elite, or even that cliquish, but it does have its perks, although the downside can mean sacrificing your weekends.) Also, we’re always down to book shows, so if you have any questions email me or the Night Light at douglaskinsey@gmail.com and be sure to cc me if it’s a resume or something.  

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Speaking of bars, here’s a list of my favorite bars in Oakland that aren’t the Night Light or Ruby Room or Radio:

          Kona Club – because it’s a tiki bar, and it’s far away from other bars, so it’s the kind of bar you just hang out at for hours, and the décor is nice, it’s well lit, it’s clean, the décor is kitschy yet in a tasteful way, and you can order pina coladas and then make jokes about penis coladas.

          Plum Bar – because despite the fact that it’s basically just a San Francisco bar in the middle of Oakland, the drinks are amazing (mixology is not a sin!), the décor is super swank, but they also play contemporary hip hop, so it keeps an Oakland vibe running. Plus, hey, you’re in Oakland, and you deserve to feel fancy every once in a while.

          Era Bar – because the art inside is *actually* good, the décor is balls to the wall hands down tasteful and gorgeous, Sundays is Mexican night, and it’s an Oakland staple.