For months now, we and the excellent folks at 38th Notes have been collecting letters to the Town. This little leather-bound book has been quietly resting at Oaklandish Headquarters, inviting Oakland’s citizens to spill their hearts on its pages. And now it’s full of notes: messages of love, longing, celebration and regret.
Here are some of our favorite excerpts. We could say more, but the citizens of Oakland are best at speaking for themselves.
I represent you with pride everywhere I go. Please don’t let my Oakland A’s leave the Town. That would be tragic.
You’re my home. The place I return to after every struggle, achievment, heartbreak, memory. You are my foundation. Hip Hop culture has helped me keep going. From the ghetto to the hills, I wouldn’t rather live anywhere on this earth. Oakland is the center of the Bay Area. The root, the heart, the soul. The amount of things Oakland has done for me is rediculous. Raised me, taught me how to protect myself, exposed me to things I wouldn’t otherwise see, and has made me who I am today. The hills, the ghetto and everything in between holds so much beauty. Thank you.
I call, I text, I write and nothing. Won’t you at least buy me dinner?
My Dearest Oakland,
I love you because you have the most beautiful men! I can fall in love in every traffic light!
Dear Biggity Biggity O,
My love knows no end. Up to down, East to West, which is the best, baby. Better than all the rest. We don’t need no West Bay. East Bay all the way. Lets stop killing each other tho, okay?
You have been elevating, insperating, and recreating, at times meditating. Oakland your roots dig deep into my soul, and for this I love you.
I love you. You are so understated and awesome. You have so much delicious food, many swanky bars, and lots of diversity. You have heart and soul, and care about issues that matter to me. You’ve been a great home for the last 11 years. I’ll never forget you. Thanks for providing me with such a good life.
I fell in love with you in 1997. I didn’t even realize I was looking for love. At first I thought you were too dangerous for me. Then, I thought you didn’t love me back. I started to learn your language. You’re mysterious. Like all loves you transformed me. Like a true love, you accepted me for who I am. I love you.