Ask anyone who know me where HOME is for me, they will not hesitate for one nanosecond...Old Oakland. A few years ago when I went to get my passport at the Main Post Office in West Oakland the clerk had the most quizzical look on her face.
"You're from here?" she asked.
"You mean California?" I responded.
"No...here?" she asked again.
"You mean Oakland?" I asked with with a furrowed brow.
"NO...HERE" she drew a box in the air.
Then I had to laugh! See my birth certificate was from Providence Hospital (now Summit on Pill Hill a few miles away), the former location of La Borinquena was also where we lived when I was born less than a couple of miles from the post office and my present home is near the present location of La Borinquena (my work) a couple of blocks from our previous location. Basically, my universe (and all the addresses) of where I was born, live (then and now) and work is about four miles square.
"YES, I am from HERE!" while drawing a square in the air to the clerk with a smile.
I was then informed that I would get my passport in about two weeks since no research would have to be done for me since I was from HERE! SCORE! I really do love it here, the neighborhood where my Mami grew up, where she has been working at La Borinquena since she was twelve, where I both live and work. I've also become a bit of an Old Oakland SNOB. I don't really feel the need to leave very often. Our neighborhood is finally experiencing a tremendous amount of positive growth, the old guard merchants and residents along with the new kids on the block who just came to our area in the last five to ten years. There are now shops, restaurants, clubs, a pub, groceries, condos, houses and apartments all within a five block radius, very flat and walkable. Don't get me wrong, I love the East Bay, especially Oakland but my heart lies in Old Oakland. The ebb and flow of what goes on here keeps my pulse going and fills me with content. I just want to speed the process along, making my neighborhood better, improve the safety, the beautification and economic growth to benefit the businesses and folks who live here.
So kids, this is when I unveil what I have been up to for the last month. You are cordially invited to a fundraiser to benefit a grassroots community group that I'm deeply involved with oldoaklandneighbors.org. I'm not the only one who feels the way I do about this area, there is a community of us. Together we are showcasing what and who we are, we want to meet YOU and have you get to know US. The proceeds are going directly to our group to continue the work we are doing to strengthen and grow our community and this entire event is coming together with the hard work of volunteers and sponsors. Did I mention that it's also my 39th Birthday Party?!
Share your LOVE with us!
Check out the upcoming fundraiser event for Old Oakland Neighbors, Tina Tamale Loves Old Oakland, taking place on February 23 at Air Lounge in Old Oakland.
Food: tamales, ceviche, meatballs & more
Dessert: pastel de tres leches, chocolate fountain
Live Music: Iya Khan
Spoken Word: Paradise Freejalove
Music: DJ Franko
Drink Special: Hanger One Vodka
Raffle Drawing: Art from Rachel Palacios, Gift Certificates from Verse, Levende East, Mignonne & more
All of the above & more included in the reduced pre-sale ticket price of $20!
General information, our sponsor list and online ticket sales can be found at:
Tickets also available in person at La Borinquena (582 -7th Street)
Old Oakland Neighbors is a grassroots community group and proceeds from this event are going directly to the group to fund further activities to improve the safety, beautification and economic growth of our neighborhood!
Be there! Or be Square! (Which really isn't so bad but I would really like to see you! lol)