2009 was an exciting year to live in Oakland. From political drama to
fried-chicken sandwiches, theater closings to theater openings, bridge
trouble to pot clubs, anything and everything seemed to be happening in
our city. It was also an exciting year for us at Oaklandish.
We expanded our Oakland warehouse enough to allow us to open our own
screen printing shop, Corsair
Press. Now we can experiment with advanced techniques, placements,
and inks and then channel everything we've learned into bringing you
new Oaklandish designs, plus help other groups with their shirts and
posters. (Email info [at] corsairpress.com if you need anything printed.)
Our grant program, the Oakland
Innovators Award, saw the most money distributed among recipients
in the program's history. For 2009, we were lucky enough to be able to
give away $30,000 in grants and thousands more in free design work,
screen printing, and Oaklandish auction donations. In the spring we
teamed up with the always-inspiring Oakland Museum to create an
installation at the Oakland Airport highlighting the Innovators Award
winners, including Town Park
at DeFremery Park and Original Scraper Bikes.
As the year rolled on into summer, people filled the streets, and the
sun beat down on Lake Merritt. Thus, the stage was set for the second
annual Salsa By The Lake. An event so successful we did it twice in one
summer. Hundreds from all over the Bay Area came to Splash Pad Park to
dance to live salsa bands Pasion Habanera and Rumbache. The Grand Lake
neighborhood came alive and enjoyed two days of music, dancing,
vibrancy, and culture.
Two Salsa By The Lake events, plus street festivals like Lakefest,
Laurel, and Uptown Unveiled, and then our biggest party of the year:
Oaklandish's Lake Merritt Radio Regatta. We saw over a thousand of you
take to the lake in nautical hats, play 4-square games lakeside, bid at
the Youth Spirit Artworks
silent auction, and dance it up at the boathouse with your favorite Linden Street brews.
The summer weather stuck around right up until winter declared itself.
The holidays were upon us, our busiest time of year. We shipped out a
record number of online orders,
set up booths at various Bay Area holiday fairs, and returned to our
well-known spot on the corner of Piedmont and Pleasant Valley.
Despite all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we somehow
found the time to participate in our first gallery show in years, our
installation at Swarm
Gallery (which runs until the 24th of this month). Made almost
entirely of cardboard, our little old-timey shop offers Oaklandish
classics for sale as well as limited-edition shirts designed by Terry Furry, Sarah
Smith, John Casey, and Jake Watling.
2009 was also a year of history repeating. For the 13th time you voted
of the East Bay" (best East Bay product and best place to buy a
t-shirt) for the Express' annual awards. As much as we love hearing
positive words from people out there, it's always nice to see it in
print. The Oakland Museum hosted an amazing party celebrating the
awards. We set up a booth and showcased our new screen print shop with
a live printing demonstration of our new Bay
Another constant for us are our year-round farmers' market weekends.
Saturdays we pull up our converted '66 Cortez campervan/mobile store
under the palms of the Grand
Lake farmers' market and Sundays we set up a simple booth under the
towering, creekside eucalyptus trees at Temescal.
Fresh local produce, live music, local artisans, and happy Oaklanders
are what make Oakland's various farmers' markets a staple of East Bay
All in all, it was a great year to live and work in Oakland,
California. Spending time with people in our daily lives, at festivals,
markets, and parties reminds us of how proud we are to call this city
home. A city as diverse as it is complicated, as troubled as it is
blessed. It's the opportunity to give back and really be a part of our
community that drives us into the New Year. A sincere and heartfelt
"thank you" from everyone here at Oaklandish for your continued support
as we enter our second decade.
Local Love & Original Oakland Charm,
The Oaklandish Crew