Friday, July 12, 2013

35 Reasons You Need to Move to Oakland by Randy Nelson (Movoto)

1. Rent is Cheaper Here (and You Can Actually Find a Place)

Source: Flickr user CharlestonTheDigital

Renting anywhere in the Bay Area is still an expensive proposition compared to other parts of the country, but at least rent prices in Oakland won’t have you considering selling your organs on the black market (or moving in with six other people).

2. Warm, Predictable Weather

Source: Flickr user Jesse Richmond

While our neighbors across the bay have to carry hoodies and coats just in case the weather takes a sudden turn for the frigid, Oaklanders can plan outings and events with confidence, knowing that a sudden fog bank isn’t going to appear and drop the temperature by 10 or more degrees. Plus, it’s already a few degrees warmer on this side of the bay to begin with.

3. (Relatively) Stress-Free Driving

Driving in any city comes with its share of challenges, mostly in the form of crazy drivers, but in Oakland we at least don’t have to deal with the sort of rush hour traffic jams and bottlenecks that our counterparts in other big burgs do. In fact, driving through downtown is downright peaceful no matter the day or time.

4. You Can Find a Parking Space

Speaking of driving, you actually have a chance of there being parking once you reach your destination. What’s more, the meters are free on Sundays.

5. That Beautiful New Bay Bridge Span

Source: Flickr user Steve Jurvetson

We can technically lay claim to the fantastic new span of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge, expected to open later in 2013, as it lays on our side of the bay from Treasure Island. That’s right, SF, it’s ours!

6. Lake Merritt

Technically a lagoon, this 155 acre body of water is one of the crown jewels of Oakland, providing not just recreation options but a beautiful slice of nature in the middle of an urban landscape. Lake Merritt‘s shoreline recently underwent an extensive revitalization, so it’s an absolutely breathtaking spot for going for a walk, sitting outside with friends, dining, or renting a watercraft.

7. The Oak Ness Monster

How many cities can claim they have an actual lake monster for a resident? Yes, there are those that believe Lake Merritt is home to a sort of sea monster, affectionately referred to as Oakie, the Oak Ness Monster, and Merrittzilla. Sightings of the beast are rare, but it’s yet another reason to come down to the shoreline, which can’t be a bad thing.

8. Children’s Fairyland

Source: Flickr user Connie Ma

Just a quick skip from Lake Merritt is the delightful family attraction Children’s Fairyland. This charming little theme park is designed specifically for kids, so all adults have to be accompanied by one (although special grown-up nights are a thing). Fairyland has played a part in the childhood of many East Bay youth, and it’s just as magical for a new generation.

9. Fentons Creamery

Source: Flickr user Show and Tell

If you’ve seen the Pixar movie “Up”, you’ve seen Fentons. It’s the place at the end where Carl and Russell get ice cream together. Yep, it’s a real place, and it’s just as special as you’d expect from a restaurant Pixar’s wizards chose to include in one of their movies. While its building has been revamped, this icon of Oakland really reflects the city’s rich history, having been around more than 100 years.

10. The Enthusiasm of Our Pro Sports Fans

Even if you don’t like sports, you have to hand it to Oakland’s sports fans. Whether they’re rooting on the A’s, Raiders, or Warriors, these enthusiastic souls bring the Oakland sense of community to every home event—and beyond. Oh yeah, we have three pro sports teams, which is pretty darn impressive in and of itself.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 on Monday!

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