I used to feel an intense fear of missing out, known as an actual well-documented phenomenon called FOMO – the bane, in part, of adolescence, and in part of living in an intensely socially connected world. On any given night, I remember experiencing a clawing anxiety about the stuff I was potentially missing out on – the good parties or the chance encounters that my peers were sharing, without me, in my imagination. It was both incredibly inane and incredibly stressful.

These days, I’m pretty happy with any chance I get to have a quiet evening at home – and any remaining trace of FOMO has shifted on to bigger and better worries, like whether I’m doing enough of what I love, or whether I can still make a living doing those things.

I tell you all this because it provides context to this column, where I’ll be writing regularly about the art of going out, rather than the fear of missing out. Happily, I rarely feel compelled to pursue nightlife anymore out of anxiety or fear. Instead, given the sheer breadth and depth of culture happening in Oakland every day, my intention is to allow myself to be driven by curiosity and a sense of doing what I love – meeting new people, doing new things, and immersing myself in the city I live in – and to share it.

Oakland’s cultural world is a brilliant, weird, gritty, sparkly kingdom to dive into. From classical ballet to underground bike jousting, from an emerging world-class restaurant scene to a well-established musical and political scene, this is a city that embraces culture in layers, nuances, and extremes.

My goal with this weekly column is straightforward: to document going out in Oakland.

Each week, I’ll talk to the people behind an ongoing local event you might already know and love, or try to keep my ears to the ground for new and emerging stuff to check out. I’ll go out on the town, and probably blunder around a little and make some wrong turns here and there. I’ll tell a personal narrative about the event or cultural gem I went to see. I’ll try to stay on a shoestring budget as much as possible. And on the other nights of the week, I’ll try to get a quiet evening at home.

I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.