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I just got approved for an apartment that sits at the corner of E18th and 4th avenue' just off Lakeshore in Oakland. About 4 blocks from the lake itself.....its also about 4 of 5 blocks from International
Just wondering if this is a safe area. I work in San Francisco, and will be parking my car in the complex, so I have to walk and take the BART daily, and sometimes work late (around 8pm)
I'd hate to get locked into a lease just to find out that the area is horribly unsafe people get robbed at gunpoint right outside... If you live in the area, please let me know.
I was talking to somebody else about this very area on another site. Here's what he asked me:
Guess who's moving to Oakland? me.
It may not end up being permanent (first choice would be SF but I am moving in with my friend and he lives in Oakland), but I imagine I'll be spending at least a few months there.
I'll be living off 5th Ave near the east bank of Lake Merritt - what's your opinion on this area?
Here's how I replied:
By 5th Ave, its preferable to be above E 18th St (in the Ivy Hill neighborhood). Below E. 18th St is the Merritt neighborhood, which is a very transitional area. Ivy Hill is more solid... its visually less run-down and its pretty quiet. Your shopping area would be the Park Blvd & E 18th intersection, which has a Lucky's and a Walgreen's along with other stores. The more upscale shopping in your area is on Lakeshore Ave and Grand Lake, which would be about a 10-15 minute walk from Park Blvd & E 18th. There's also the Glenview shopping district on Park Blvd on the other side of 580, but unless you feel like hiking up a hill you'd need to take the bus for that.
In terms of places to avoid and places to go in your immediate vicinity, I would not go east of 14th Avenue below 580 on foot since you'd be unfamiliar with the area but all of the area between the lake, E. 18th St, 14th Ave and 580 is fine on-foot to wander around in. The area houses some of Oakland's more interesting architecture, and there's a wide variety of styles. International Blvd and E 12th St between 1st Ave and 14th Ave have a ton of asian restaurants that you could be interested in trying (although they're of varying quality) but I would only be in that area during daylight. At night, you should avoid International like the plague.
The only real drag about your area is that the closest BART station is on the other side of the lake but otherwise its a nice area... Lake Merritt is great for walks and the areas North and West of it are chalk-full of restaurants, clubs, events, etc. There's more to Oakland than the Lake Merritt area though... most of Oakland's most happening neighborhoods - Rockridge, Temescal, Piedmont Ave - would require a bus ride, and other interesting neighborhoods such as Montclair in the Oakland Hills and Dimond District in East Oakland are also a ways away, although in your case the bus up to Montclair runs directly through your neighborhood. If you have any more specific questions to ask, pm me. I'd be happy to answer them.
What he asked me next:
Avoid all of International Blvd, even the area nearest to Laney College and Lake Merritt itself?
I'll be living at 17th and 5th, so inside of Merritt.
How I replied:
Avoid International Blvd at night. In the daytime, the 1st-14th Ave and the Fruitvale-38th Ave areas of International Blvd are decent. The rest, however, is not.
You're right by the 18th St corridor, so there'll probably be a little more foot and car traffic on your block than the average Merritt/Ivy Hill block. The shopping area is perfectly fine in the daytime but I wouldn't be making any midnight runs to Walgreens, or at least not on-foot. Your neighborhood itself however is fine, and you're conveniently right next to the 18 Montclair bus route which takes you directly into the heart of downtown and the Glenview district.
You're in a moderately urban/dense area... that part of Merritt is dominated by converted apartments, some single-family homes and a couple full-on apartment complexes. There's a wide variety of income and education attainment so you won't have to worry about blending in IF you're used to city living.
All of those restrictions on where to go and where to avoid and at what time should tell you that Oakland and safe do not go together. Go with your first choice of SF.
Thank you for that incredibly intelligent remark. That isn't one of the better areas of Oakland... just like in SF, there are parts of Oakland where you don't have to worry about safety at all and parts that you do. You obviously don't know San Francisco if you think safety and SF go together like butter on bread. The area the OP is considering is a lot safer than a lot of the popular "cheap" areas in SF such as the Mission... if the OP wants to be safe closer to 100% of the time though then I stand by what I said.
EDIT: And to the OP, I could help you out a little more if you gave what your budget is. There are better areas that are much closer to BART in Oakland but it depends on what your budget is. Adam's Point for example is very close to the 19th St BART and is a great and fairly affordable option for Downtown Oakland. If you have more reasons to stay in the Eastlake area though, I'd recommend looking above E 20th St deeper in the Ivy Hill area... there's tons of good deals and it's a beautiful area. You'd take the 18 bus line (on Park Blvd) to get to BART.
It might help you if I give a list of the safer and more affordable areas though... those would include:
Dimond District (10 minute bus ride to Fruitvale BART via 20/21/39)
Ivy Hill (10 minute bus ride to Lake Merritt station via 18)
Adam's Point (5-10 minute walk to 19th St. BART)
Temescal (5-10 minute walk to MacArthur BART)
Laurel District (10-15 minute bus ride to Fruitvale BART via 57/58L/NX-1 and transfer to 20/21/39)
There's plenty of other nice areas in Oakland but the above offer the most bang for the buck.
Last edited by Nineties Flava; 07-20-2011 at 07:29 PM..
I am very familiar with the area. A while back ago, at 5th ave and East 17th, I got robbed and they pulled out a gun. That is probably around a block and half where you might be staying at.
During the day, that area can be walkable but watch your back, because this is Oakland. During the night, I would not walk in that area.
^That's what I was saying... the closer you are to International, the more hit and miss it gets. E 18th is basically the divider between decent (above E 18th) and iffy (below E 18th) which is why I was recommending looking further up in Ivy Hill. Oakland is an odd city in that the neighborhoods are clearly delineated... living on E 17th in Merritt is a far cry from living on E 21st in Ivy Hill despite there only being a four block difference.
That far down East 18th (@ 5th) does seem a little out of the way. The side of the lake I live on (Alice, Jackson, Madison) is to me nicer, closer to everything, and I think safer. Adams Point is nice too, and reasonable. If you're worried, check the crime stats online -- Oakland Crimespotting -- There are parts of Oakland that are not as bad as advertised.
Last edited by gohlkus; 07-23-2011 at 09:23 AM..
Reason: URL showed up weird
It really gets dicey after 5th ave. I don't go further east then that at night. I don't bother going east of 35th during the day even
To be clear for the OP, the above comment applies to the International area... MacArthur is a different story. Between 35th Ave and High St. is a very vibrant area on that side of East Oakland and then there's Mills College and Maxwell Park/Frick in the 50's which is the more suburban side of East Oakland. MacArthur doesn't get truly bad until you pass 64th.
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