I'm not just saying it's wonderful because the proprietors happen to be friends of mine. That fact only coincides nicely with the simple truth: Issues is rivaled only by DeLauer's on Broadway (which is in fact also super, but which actually doesn't carry a bunch of the magazines that I actually like to read), for the title of "Best East Bay Newsstand Evar". As far as I can tell, they carry every magazine known to humankind including Male Nurse, XLR8R, and the usual Family Circle etc. They have newspapers in many languages, 80s buttons, 70s t-shirts, and did I mention the charming staff (owners Joe and Noella)?
I like Issues so much that I brought my kids there the other day, and let them photograph it for you. So ya, Issues isn't actually dimly lit, out-of-focus, or (generally) full of preschool kids. Enjoy!
This appears to be some sort of hip music magazine. I wouldn't know, I only bought copies of Vegetarian Times and Sheep! The voice of the independent flock master.
Bitch or Bust or whatever, I suggest you bring your reading material over to the last normal restaurant on Piedmont Avenue – J's. Only two doors away from the recently arrived Cesar (tapas and fancy drinks for a lot of dough), J's is an old-fashioned burger joint. Since I'm a vegetarian (well, except for that whole 'fish aren't a vegetable' thing) I suggest going for breakfast. Mexican breakfast will run you about 8 bucks. American the same or cheaper depending on what you get. The portions are big and the coffee refills are free.
J's used to be a station house for the streetcars that stopped right outside, in what is now a large parking lot. There is still a semi-train-related theme, with clocks representing various time zones and photos of old Key line trains and stations on the walls. Wood paneling lines the walls, and about half-the seating is on rotating bar stools. The stained glass lamp covers add to the warm and low-key feeling.
Once you're full up, head out back to look at Rocky Baird's mural of the Key trains through Oakland's history. I love this mural; it's a much better historical marker than the old-school metal plaque that explains when the last train stopped there (1958).
If you want to see more of Baird's work, head down to Gaylord's and get a view of his moving interpretation of the loss of Ohlone culture and land here in Oakland: The Capture of the Solid. The Escape of the Soul.
Then take yourself home to read your magazines. And take care.