I’m just going to come right out and say it: I love Oakland. Whenever I visit SF’s unique (and somewhat cooler) older brother, it inspires me to use more color in my everyday life. To be more loud with what I’m passionate about. And, above all else, to make a statement where a statement is necessary (because around Oakland, it’s always necessary). Living in the suburbs, it can be really tough to give up the culture and vibrancy of the bigger city when you go back home—but there are still things you can do in your own place to make Lafayette feel a little less like a suburb.