The real Oakland is not what the media portrays. It is a beautiful city.
The topography is awesome. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the country...actually I believe it is second.
The crime factor is a reality. However the majority of it is in the flat lands; the neighborhoods of east and west Oakland.
The million dollar mansions in the Oakland hills are breath taking. Lake Merritt is a beautiful sanctuary to many rare birds and Jack London Square is a haven of culture, wonderful eateries and waterfront views.
This is a beautiful place.. but don't take my word for it - come visit!