On my way to work, I saw the newspaper headline asking which Bay Area metropolis is better. I don’t remember which periodical it was. I didn’t stop to read it. I only made a mental note to blog about it.
Unless you’ve lived in both cities for long stretches of time, I don’t think you can make a fair assessment. I was born in Oakland (which does not constitute living) and reside in San Francisco. So I’m going to have some biased opinions based on the wonderful life I live in the city. I can already hear the Oakland residents professing that Oakland is way better. Please feel free to comment.
Here are some arguments as to why Oakland beats SF. It’s cheaper. Isn’t that the only reason? Oh and parking is easier. But what really makes Oakland great? The sports teams are worse. The schools are just as bad. The streets are just as unsafe in certain areas. There’s a greater contingent of Occupy retards disrupting the flow of business. There’s more rioting. The restaurants, nightlife, museums will never stack up to what you’ll find in the city. Yes, there’s progress. Yeah, there’s a Michelin star. But even Berkeley’s gourmet ghetto can take down all of Oakland’s eateries. I will say that’s it’s likely a lot easier to start a business in Oakland than it is in San Francisco. Score 1 for Oakland.
Let me pose a question to you. If you had the opportunity to buy a home that looked the same, came with the same exact features, cost the same price, with the choice of the home being in either Oakland or SF, where would you take up residence? I’ve got to believe that the biggest draw for living in Oakland is the cheaper home prices and standard of living. I’m not dissing on Oakland. Love Oakland. But if your international best friend is paying a visit to the Bay Area for one week, would you tell that friend to get a hotel room in Jack London Square or Union Square?
Tourists are not visiting Oakland. People go to Oakland to visit family not to vacation. That’s another thing, what is unique to Oakland? The Tribune Tower? Hardly. Lake Merritt? Getting warmer. But what iconic landmarks define Oakland? Help me out, I can’t think of any. With Berkeley, there’s the Campanile, Telegraph, Memorial Stadium. With SF, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, the DeYoung, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf. I could go on and on. Not so with Oakland.
Employment is key. Where do people work? Unless you work for Clorox or Kaiser or real estate, there aren’t many employment opportunities in Oakland. Now how many of you work or have worked in SF. All of us!
I’m not an SF snob. I’ll happily leave SF to try a new restaurant, hang out with my parents, have drinks with my East Bay friends. And if I had to choose a place to live that was not SF, it would be Oakland. But I’ve been hearing a lot about how much everyone loves Oakland and it kinda has me scratching my head. What makes it that much better? Would love to hear.