Difference between revisions of "Oakland"
Revision as of 08:23, 3 December 2018
Oakland stands out as an important industrial port city in California and as one of the most important centers of African-American culture. With its large downtown area and its industrial charme, Oakland reminds somewhat of older industrial cities in the east coast like Pittsburgh or Baltimore. However, Oakland's diversity––one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in America–– its strikingly creative, and multiracial culture, historically, often prescient, progressive politics, and its emerging status as one of America's leading culinary cities, all ensure its distinctness. Oakland, historically, has been occupied by African Americans and Latinx people and has seen several transformations from being the birthplace of the Black Panther movement in the 60s and 70s, to being devastated by the crack era and War on Drugs in the 80s and early 90s, to the current gentrification and displacement of long time residents. The current gentrification crisis has skyrocketed the homeless population, with there currently being over 6,200 people and children living on the streets. Tent cities have become more frequent, with large establishments now in the West Oakland, Lake Merrit, and Fruitvale neighborhoods. Be compassionate when passing by these areas and understand that many of these people did not plan for financial misfortune.
San Francisco International, +1 800 435 9736, (IATA: SFO) located about 10 mi (16km) south of the city is a major international airport, one of the largest in the world and has numerous passenger amenities including a wide range of food and drink establishments, shopping, baggage storage, public showers, a medical clinic, and assistance for lost or stranded travelers and military personnel. It is the major hub for Virgin America and United as well as a major international airport with direct flights to Asia, Latin America and Europe from airlines that include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Oakland International, +1 510 563-3300, (IATA: OAK) in the East Bay is the fourth busiest airport in California (following Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego). It provides flights and services to numerous destinations in the United States as well as Mexico,with a growing list of European destinations, including Scandinavia, Spain, Britain, and Italy. It is a major hub for Southwest airlines. Oakland Airport is easily accessible through public transit. The air train connects the local train BART to the airport.
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, +1 408 277-4759, (IATA: SJC) in Silicon Valley, about 1 hour south of San Francisco attracts Bay Area residents who find SFO to be inconveniently distant from their homes. Daily long haul destinations include Tokyo (ANA) and London (British Airways). Beijing (Hainan) and Shanghai (Air China) are served multiple times a week while Frankfurt (Lufthansa) is seasonal (summer). Oakland and San Jose tend to offer more discount airline flights, while San Francisco Airport attracts more international flights and can be more convenient for those staying in the city. Private pilots should consider Oakland (ICAO: KOAK) rather than SFO, as the separate general aviation field there is more accommodating to light aircraft.
BART - This is the local train that is used through the bay area, with at least 8 stops designated to the city of Oakland. For train schedule, ticket cost, see http://www.bart.gov/
AMTRAK - connects the city of Oakland to other cities across the US
Local bus system operated by AC Transit. Bus fares are $2.35 each way. There are value tickets (month pass) that can be purchased for $84.60 from most grocery retailers like Walgreen, Safeway, Lucky and Whole Foods. http://www.actransit.org/rider-info/fares-tickets-passes/
Another option of going to the San Francisco is through the ferry system. Oakland's port is located at Jack London. https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/route/sffb/oakland
Oakland is a friendly city that has multiple forms of transportations for all users - public transit, bikes (rentable for day or monthly use through Ford bikes(https://www.fordgobike.com/) and Lime bikes and scooters https://www.limebike.com/) and private automobiles
For public transit, it would be best to get a clipper card. This card allows you to reload, tap and go on busses, trains and ferries. There isn't any day, week or monthly pass available, but using your clipper card is best as it will save you a little bit of money opposed to using cash or credit to buy a ticket. Clipper cards can be bought at certain Walgreens and Bart stations (available at Lake Merritt, Embarcadero and Montgomery).
Uber, Lyft, and taxi services are an affordable and convenient option.
Downtown Oakland offers many interesting sights to visit. There are elegant high-rise buildings, but also beautiful traditional architecture in Old Oakland. There exists a fascinating old urban Chinatown in downtown Oakland.
A lively 100 year old neighborhood boardering the north of Lake Merritt that features the historic Grand Lake Theater and Morcom Rose Garden. Take a stroll down Lakeshore Avenue, with its charming string lights, coffee shops, restaurants, and thrift shops. Or walk down Grand Avenue and take a Bikram yoga class followed by a slice of pizza.
Friday Night at the Museum
Every Friday, the Oakland Museum hosts a get together featuring food trucks, musical talents and guest speakers.
Oakland is a multicultural city with a thriving food scene. Downtown Oakland, the Dimond District, Montclair, Rockridge, and Lakeshore are full of restaurants and cafes for every budget.
Oakland has health food stores in the Lakeshore and West Oakland neighborhood, and Dimond and Laurel district:
Taco trucks are located in almost every neighborhood and feature some of the best street food you can find in the East Bay. Some great trucks include:
• Chile Bravo in West Oakland.
• Taqueria El Cruzera frequently parks on Kevin Court on weekdays from 11:30-1:15pm
• Guadalajara in the Fruitvale neighborhood
• Taqueria Sinaloa on International Blvd
• Tacos Mi Ranchos stays open til 2AM on weekdays and 3AM on weeknights. Be prepared for potentially long lines.
Shangri-La Vegan has two locations, one in Emeryville and one in Temescal. They serve fixed menu with seasonal ingredients, with optional variations in size. Lunch will range $6-14, tea and soup included.
There isn't that many budget options in the Bay Area in general. It is best advised that if you are looking for a good deal, you can explore Airbnb. This is a rental platform that allows home owners to rent their furnished rooms out to guest for a day, week, or month. Be sure to look at the reviews prior to booking. Ranges can be from $50 or more.
If you're staying in your vehicle, the East Bay will in general be easier than San Francisco. There are very few official RV parks but much of the industrial landscape is inhabited by the RV housed or other residents. Don't expect a beautiful lake-front spot, but there are certainly areas where one can find a spot to not stick out.