Ali Golden’s Temescal Alley Tour

A half dozen stellar spots in Oakland’s most happening ‘hood.

Imagine going to work everyday next door to all your friends, who happen to be cool, creative types you can look (across the alley) to for inspiration. Yah, that’s Ali Golden’s life, as her little corner of Oakland, the offbeat Temescal, gains attention for everything from killer clothes and jewelry to good eats and hip hair. There’s so much amazingness close by that there’s rarely a reason to leave. “The shop owners in the alley have a whiskey cocktail named after us at Pizzaiolo since we frequent the place so often!” Ali humble-brags. Here, the places that Ali frequents and you should, too. —carly pifer

Score the rockin’ silk top Ali made from her sweet set-up now!

Temescal Alley Barbershop: “I originally found my studio and discovered Temescal Alley through Brad at the Temescal Alley Barbershop. Everything just came together when I met Brad and was introduced to this great community of people. I don’t get my haircut at the barbershop, but my boyfriend does—and he loves it. And it is just a super nice space to hang out.”

Esqueleto: “Another great friend, Lauren Wolf of Esqueleto [Ed: And her own jewelry line, featured on this site!] moved from New York recently and opened this seriously great shop. Everything about it is perfect. Lauren is extremely supportive and such a good role model for me as a business girl and just a human being in general. We’ve done a few little collaborations and are planning on collaborating on a lookbook soon!”

Marisa Haskell: “Marisa Haskell, a jewelry designer, is like a sister to me. Originally, I moved in next door to her then-studio, and a few days later we had Brad saw out a permanent doorway in the wood wall that connected our studios. So, for a year, we basically shared a studio, and it was so lovely. Sadly, last month she out-grew her space and moved eight feet, directly across the way. We’re looking into purchasing walkie talkies.” 

Minds Eye Vintage: “Sarah Rainey and Maya Messoriano, who own Minds Eye Vintage, are two great friends of mine. I keep saying that, but it’s true in every case! Their shop is a perfectly designed, perfectly curated manifestation of their own rad personal styles.”

Crimson Horticultural Rarities: “The owners of Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Leigh Okies and Allison Futeral, are more great friends, and theirs was one of the first shops in the alley. It has grown into something very special. Their shop is full of great little plants and objects.”

Pizzaiolo: “These are the boys from Pizzaiolo taking a break in front of the vintage store—the owner, Charlie Hallowell, is on the left. Pizzaiolo is a restaurant that focuses on local, seasonal food, and the alley where my studio and store is located dead-ends into their backyard/garden/chicken-coop.”

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Of a Kind

When Shara Lotfi, of the line that bears her last name, walked into an event we hosted last week at the amazing Esqueleto in Oakland wearing these here pants, we may have had a miniature meltdown. —erica

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Are You in SF? Oakland? Menlo Park? Palo Alto?

Well, all you Bay Area-ers, come out and see us tomorrow night and meet some way cool designers. We’re co-hosting a low-key little shindig at Lauren Wolf's aaaahh-mazing Oakland shop Esqueleto, and it’s a total come-one, come-all affair. So: COME. —erica

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Lauren Wolf’s Super-Talented Artist Friends

Beeswax-dipped drawings and bird-skull ceramics? Show us more.

The space!

Lauren Wolf’s Oakland boutique Esqueleto, which means skeleton in Spanish, sells jewelry—the work of a dozen designers, including herself, is up for grabs. But it also doubles as an art gallery. The ultra-rad shop, with its white walls, rams’ skulls, and Southwestern rugs, showcases a different on-the-verge artist every two months.  Here, Lauren shares some of Esqueleto’s illustrious alumni, including, adorably, her illustrator boyfriend. —raquel laneri

Speaking of rad, wait ‘til you see the sparkly earrings Lauren made for us. No need to wait, actually: Click here.

Afton Love
“Afton is a native Oakland person, and I met her through one of our jewelry clients. She’s just really starting on her career, and she’s excellent. She does drawings with graphite on tracing paper and then dips them in beeswax, so they have this really ethereal sort-of look, which is awesome. And she has these custom redwood frames build for her work. They’re really stunning pieces.”

Michele Quan
“Right now we have Michele Quan’s work up. She’s a Brooklyn-based ceramicist. One of my friends had told me about her, and then Michele and I both happened to be at the same trade show in New York. A lot of her ceramics are skulls—bird skulls and that type of thing—which fit with our shop name. So it really made sense. And it’s been really well-received so far.”

Patrick Dunaway
“The first person we featured was my boyfriend. The gallery idea was originally something that we had together. He does pen-and-ink drawings, all original. We have known each other since first grade—we did not date the whole time, though! We were always friends and in touch, but we didn’t really end up reconnecting until he moved to New York when I lived there. When that happened, we decided to give it a shot, and now we’re here in Oakland. So, we obviously featured him first. And he’s come and gone with some shows since then.”

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Lauren Wolf Takes Us On a Tour of Oakland’s Coolest Neighborhood

Get yourself to Temescal ASAP, everybody.

In 2010, Lauren Wolf and her boyfriend moved from New York City to Oakland, California. And though the designer behind the gritty-but-elegant jewelry line loved her old neighborhood in Brooklyn, she immediately fell for Temescal—so hard that she decided to open a shop, Esqueleto, there. “It’s sort of hidden,” she says, “but it’s a real community.” Here, six of her favorite local haunts. —raquel laneri

Crimson Horticulture Rarities
“Our store’s in a unique space: It’s an alley of old horse stables that have been converted into commercial retail spaces. This horticulture store is just a stone’s throw away from us, and they do a lot of our plants.” (

Ali Golden
“Ali Golden is an Oakland-based ready-to-wear designer, and she basically hand-makes all her clothing in her store here. She does really contemporary basics, and they’re awesome. She just started a handbag collection, so I bought a bag—black and white striped canvas with brown leather handles. She’s also making a black silk top for me now.” (

“Esqueleto’s alleyway connect back to this place called Pizzaiolo. It has been in the neighborhood for about eight years. It’s all local food. The chef who owns and runs the place used to work at Chez Panisse, so it’s really high-quality food and a really interesting menu. Get the pizza, obviously.” (

Mind’s Eye Vintage
“The owners are great girls. They stock the shop based on themes—last month was baseball, so they had a bunch of vintage Oakland A’s pieces. Now they have a ton of vintage bathing suits.“ (

Doña Thomas
“This is a sort of upscale Mexican restaurant, and the food is very traditional—I should know, I lived in Mexico! When you walk in you feel like you’re in old-world Mexico: high ceilings, bright colors, tables covered in that plastic floral print. We like to go there for margaritas.” (

Pacific Ring
“I love the boxing gym. They offer Muay Thai boxing, an all-over strength conditioning boxing, and it’s really intense. Pacific Rim has been around for a really long time. Before work, I either do boxing here, or I go for a hike in the Oakland Hills, which is just 10 minutes from our house.” (

Now’s your chance to score Lauren’s equally cool edition: These druzy earrings could hang in Oakland or *anywhere*.

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