Small-town feel in the middle of the Bay Area - 8/7/2008
Alameda, CA is a unique town here in the Bay Area. Perhaps because it is an island, or perhaps because for many decades it was a U.S. Army base, the city has never attracted a community of young hipsters and hence lacks the dynamism of San Francisco, Oakland, or even Berkeley. But (for me, at least) that's a good thing. The city is a very family-friendly place in all of the good ways. Excellent parks, schools that range from good to excellent, and a tremendous feeling of community. In the East end where we live, you can't walk down the street without seeing people you know, which is pretty remarkable in a community of 70,000. At school drop-off in the morning, the playground is thronged with parents. The houses are lovely and many are quite old, public transportation is accessible and travel to SF and Oakland is easy. The one group for whom Alameda is probably not a great place to live are young, single people, as there are simply fewer people to meet, but if you're already hooked up, and especially if you have kids, Alameda is one of the best places to live in the East Bay.[read more...]
Best city in East Bay - 8/23/2005
Alameda combines all the best of the Bay Area with little of the worst. When it is cold and foggy in San Francisco and Oakland, it is sunny and warm in Alameda. Fire or mudslides in the Oakland hills but no problems in Alameda. Alameda has the Victorian charm of San Francisco with the backyard sizes of the East Bay.
It used to be very blue collar, but is gently gentrifying, so we have some good shops on, a Trader Joe's, an organic market, etc., but no upscale attitude.
Downside - getting off the island can be a hassle on heavy traffic days. And the main streets are still a little ragged around the edges.[read more...]