A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting our Notes To Oakland project with Natalie Nadimi of Oaklandish on a live radio show called Hear Here on San Francisco public radio station KALW. For those of you unaware of Notes To Oakland, it was a project launched last year by 38th Notes, in conjunction with Oaklandish, to see what people had to say to the city they called home. All we asked is that people write whatever words they wanted to share with Oakland. The results were all over the place, but all awesome in their own right.
So much of what we here at 38th Notes, and the good folks at Oaklandish, strive to do is present a side of Oakland that is recognizable to those who have long called this city home and know it beyond and beneath the stereotypes and oversimplifications that enshroud it. Our main strategy in this mission is curating local music and Oakladish’s is producing Oakland-centric apparel and giving grants to local organizations and projects. Both our strategies are effective, but there is perhaps no better way of tapping into the entirety of Oakland’s identity, than asking the people what they have to say. And whereas online comment sections often spiral into anonymous bluster and bullying, there is something really refreshing about writing down your thoughts in a book. The words you shared were amazing and offered us tremendous insight into what makes Oakland so dynamic.
It was our pleasure to share your stories with a live audience (in San Francisco no less), to help paint a picture of Oakland that is way more genuine and personal than many know it. Thank you for your participation! The infamous leather bound gold-leafed book is no longer in Oaklandish, but will next be out at the IAMSU! concert we’re co-presenting at the New Parish on July 6th. You can also email a note to Oakland to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back soon for more notes and listen to the audio of our radio presentation below. Me thinks you’ll crack a smile or two!