We Are Oaklandish: Krystal Allen
What is your relationship with Oakland?
K: I am originally from San Jose, but we would go to A's games a lot when I was younger. We would even have field trips for school to go to the Coliseum. Also, I went to one Warriors game but never made it to a Raiders game.
T: So sports introduced you to Oakland? Which team did you enjoy watching more, Warriors or Oakland A's?
K: The Warriors were really fun to watch. Jason Richardson was dunking, and I remember that being really dope! A's games are always cool, too - it's always hella chill to watch baseball. I grew up watching a lot of baseball because my dad was a baseball coach, which rubbed off on me.
What makes Oakland unique from any other place in the world?
K: It does seem a lot more relaxed and accepting of different walks of life. I think people can relax here more freely. It is also very diverse.
How were you introduced to Oaklandish?
K: Through you (Theresa) and Zoe! I had walked by it many times because I had worked and lived in downtown Oakland for a couple of years. Zoe would always talk about it, and you had started working there in 2016.
What is your favorite Oaklandish design?
K: I love the Crystal tee! I love Hiero merch. I've gone to every Hieroday.
Oakland is known for its food scene, where is your favorite place to eat in the town?
K: I used to always go to Aburuya! I also went to Ichiro's a lot, but they've closed. There's a little bit of everything for everyone, meaning many options exist.
T: What's your favorite thing to order?
K: The orange aioli 4-piece with rice, salad, and that miso ranch with the cabbage!
How has Oakland shaped your idea of community?
K: It's just hella diverse and accepting, as long as you are open-minded and accepting of others. There is such a strong sense of community. When people care, they really care. I've always felt extremely accepted here. People always think I am from here!
T: You seem like you are!
K: That's what it means to feel accepted here.
Have you ever met any Oakland legends?
K: I went to get tea at Starbucks when I worked at BOSK and ran into Marshawn Lynch. I was just waiting in line, and he asked if the tattoo on the back of my neck was a picture or weed. LOL! It was not - it was a picture of a leaf crown, but he was just curious, and that was our very brief interaction.
What would it be if you could give the City of Oakland one thing?
K: I would want the city to give people who are unhoused permission to occupy the many empty buildings here and more affordable housing. Oh - and durable plastic windows for cars. Bip patrol!
A song that makes you think of Oakland, no matter where you are in the world.
K: Can I say two songs? "I Got Five On It," it's always gonna be Luniz and that song first. Second song, "Life is Too $hort" by Too $hort, a fellow Taurus. Also, Hieroday is everyday!
Oakland is diverse and Oakland is proud. 'We Are Oaklandish' is a storytelling project created to highlight just that.
These are stories that shed light on the different experiences, memories, and opinions of the people in the city we all love. They are people who give our city its oddball spirit, its passion for justice, and its creative vigor. They lift us up with laughter, peace, nourishment, and authentic hard work.
They make us proud to call this town our home. They are Oaklandish.
Read more: We Are Oaklandish