Coffee Chat with V-Neesa of Simply Chic

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V-Neesa is the fashionista behind long time blog, Simply Chic. Living in Oakland we decided to catch up with her and find out what is so great about this city. She says Oakland gets a bad rap for no reason and that it was named number 5 on the New York Times best places to visit in 2012, “so don’t be fooled by what you heard. It’s a great city.” 


Tell us a little bit about your blog.

 I have a personal style blog www.iamsimplychic.com, where I document what I wear. I also love to travel, and go to at least one place new a year so I document my travels and incorporate some travel tips among the fashion!

How would you describe Oakland?

Oakland is eclectic. Extremely culturally diverse and absolutely beautiful. I have seen some of the most gorgeous sunsets while driving home.

Where are you from originally (or what other cities have you lived in)?

I’m originally from Oakland, but I actually live in a little itty bitty city called Emeryville in between Oakland and San Francisco right now. I’ve also lived in Atlanta for many, many years, and have spent a significant amount of time in NYC and Louisiana.

What made you decide to settle in Oakland?

I wouldn’t say that I am settled yet, but I am here for now originally because of grad school. I had always thought I would leave after school, but I was recruited by the company that I work for now so I stayed and I’m happy I did. I like being close to family and I love being in California.

Do you love being in California because of the weather, when is the best time to visit?

Bay Area weather is tricky and unpredictable. Don’t come here in the summer expecting it to be hot! Our warmest months tend to be in the fall and normally the spring-May can be a bit chilly.

Okay, we have to ask, what is your favorite local restaurant?

Gosh I love to eat. Do I have to pick just one? I would go with Mua because it’s eclectic and embodies the essence of Oakland. It has a converted warehouse, lofty feel. There’s all this mismatched décor that somehow works together and makes the space really special. And the food…it’s priced well and also eclectic. You can get anything from fried chicken to bone marrow. Honorable mention goes to Barney’s…best burgers and curly fries in the Bay Area.

Bone marrow!? That's very interesting. On another note, where can we find the best cocktails?

I love the vibe in District, the bartenders at Somar. and happy hour at Ozumo.

Are there any attractions we should visit?

Have a picnic or take a walk at Lake Merritt. On Friday nights go to the Oakland Museum and enjoy live music, dancing, and lots of food trucks. Go to Jack London Square for dining on the water. Bike across the Bay Bridge. Take a tour of Cathedral of Christ the Light. I could go on and on!

The Bay Area is HUGE, so plan to spend a significant amount of time when you come and don’t focus all of your attention on San Francisco. Spend a day or 2 in Oakland. Take 2 days to explore Napa and Sonoma. Head to Marin County and have brunch in Sausalito and take a hike through the Marin Headlands for gorgeous views and photo ops of the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a lot to do here!