Is Oakland Cooler Than San Francisco? Yes, yes it is.

Oakland is well known as an awful city. The Detroit of the West Coast, if you will. A place where not only will you get mugged, you will see a shooting in the process. No, but really, you’ll at least get mugged. My friend’s friend’s friend once got mugged near Lake Merritt. It happens to everybody. Oakland is scary!

Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Oakland is an urban place, but it’s not unduly dangerous, despite what people from North San Francisco have to say. But if it’s not scary, then what is Oakland?

Well, it’s pretty cool, really. Oakland is blossoming into an artsy, foody haven for young folk. Now, many people would prefer to live in Oakland over SF. That’s right. Oakland, and not Oakland, Michigan, is becoming cooler than San Francisco. Little brother is dunking on bigger brother, here. Jack London just fist pumped in his grave.

Here are the ways that Oakland is becoming cooler than the city that gets all the screen shots, San Francisco:

Weirdos – Both SF and Oakland specialize in the strange, but walk around Oakland, and you’ll see more strange per capita, if you will. People dress the way they want to dress, look the way they want to look, and are who they want to be. Weird is the norm in Oakland.

Sunshine – Oakland is way sunnier in the summertime than San Francisco. Heinold’s First and Last Chance in Jack London Square provides a great place to watch the cold fog rush over SF while wearing sandals and a tee-shirt.

Non-existent sports scene – You hear a lot about the A’s and the Raiders, and certainly there are some fanatical spots in the city, but most of Oakland can apparently care less about sports. I remember watching the A’s-Tiger’s game 5 at Make Westing, one of downtown’s most well-attended bars, and five people aside, nobody seemed to care.

SF is closer than for people who live in SF – Fact: it takes 12 minutes to get from 12th St. BART to Montgomery in SF. An Oaklander can get to Dolores Park with a bottle of Lagunitas within 45 minutes, door to grass. Those who pay more to live in the Richmond and Sunset and the likes can’t say that, unless they drive, and who wants to drive?

Race is dead – Oakland is an all races sort of place, from its housing to its bar scene. There is no better example than downtown on a weekend night, and no better example in downtown than the Layover.

The hills have views – Yeah, yeah, yeah, Golden Gate Bridge, the parks, the calico rows of petite homes… SF is beautiful. However, the Oakland Hills have more vegetation than I’ve ever scene, and their views of the entire bay are astonishing.

A’s games cost $10 – I’m writing this article while trying to buy tix to the Giants-Jays game in SF. Standing room is $30. Standing room, on a Tuesday, while playing one of the worst teams in the league. Actual seats at an A’s game are $15, tops. I’ve gotten them for $7 before. Then I sit where I want. I mention this because it represents the dichotomy between the two cities quite well. Oakland, though not cheap, is cheaper than SF in many respects, which makes life a lot easier for people who don’t have great jobs, or who have bad debt, or who don’t have Mom and Dad to fall back on. And, no doubt, those people tend to have some character that SF is losing due to its exorbitant rents.

About Devie Lin

Read blogs written by Devie Lin and find information related to moving & relocation on the Moving Blog by Moving Guru.
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