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Old 02-16-2012, 06:43 PM
 
137 posts, read 343,330 times
Reputation: 54
Smile Cheapest safe city with good public transportation to SF?

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I've been back here. A lot has changed since my last post on this forum.

I've started my own freelance business and can live anywhere now, which is awesome!

However, the vibrancy of SF still calls to me, and I'd like to move to a city nearby that is near either BART/ferry/public transportation to the city.

I work from home so work commutes aren't a problem for me.

I would just like a nearby place to the city so I can go to mixers and events there more conveniently.



A bit about me:

1. Single woman in late 20s

2. Want to rent my own studio or one bedroom apt so I don't have to deal with roommates disturbing my work environment (which is now at home)

3. Want to live in a safe place (since I'll be living by myself for the first time in my life).

4. It does not have to be trendy

5. It should have Asian grocery stores and restaurants

6. It should offer an easy commute to the city via public transit (I hate driving to SF)

7. My normal work hours are 9-5, and I'd like to be able to commute to the city for fun 2-4 times a week at night.


If you guys have some good recommendations for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Ohio; originally Oakland, CA
5,843 posts, read 3,365,090 times
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El Cerrito is safe, especially around the EC BART station (the Del Norte area slightly more sketchy due to nearby Richmond) and the Pacific East Mall is just down the road, off Central Avenue:
Mall Geared To Asian Americans / Old-world items in modern Richmond (their main site is down)
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:17 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
507 posts, read 533,137 times
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Yep. I'd suggest El Cerrito as well. I don't know about the number of apartments, though. It all looks like single family houses to me.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,094 posts, read 11,284,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isebiel View Post
Yep. I'd suggest El Cerrito as well. I don't know about the number of apartments, though. It all looks like single family houses to me.
There are apartments. Quite a few older Cal students live there. There are some near Del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza BART. I forgot the streets, but I have been to at least a dozen of them over the years.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
507 posts, read 533,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
There are apartments. Quite a few older Cal students live there. There are some near Del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza BART. I forgot the streets, but I have been to at least a dozen of them over the years.
Cool, good to know!

Have to keep something in mind for when my one-bedroom apartment's rent gets over $5k/month.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:10 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Really depends on your budget. Oakland is pretty cheap for apartments. Keep in mind BART stops running around midnight.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:36 AM
 
137 posts, read 343,330 times
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So the consensus so far seems to be El Cerrito and Oakland.

Natural510, when you mentioned EC bart station, you meant El Cerrito Plaza right? I have been to the Del Norte one, and it seemed a bit sketchy.

I will check out El Cerrito more, so thanks for the recs guys :-)

As for my budget, I'm looking for something less than $1,600.

I could potentially pay a bit more for an apartment in the Inner Richmond in SF if I give up my car.

If I give up my car and rely on public transit, would I be able to afford the city? I don't need to commute to work, I just need transportation to do errands and go out for fun.


As for Oakland...

Which parts of Oakland is safe for a petite Asian woman living by herself?

I used to work in Oakland, and I've been around the Rockridge area, which is really nice...but as a woman living by myself, I'm still iffy about Oakland.

Am I just stereotyping, or is the proximity to gang activity in Oakland really a problem?



Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys! Keep 'em coming if you can :-)

Last edited by moxiezbug; 02-20-2012 at 01:51 AM..
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:08 AM
 
51 posts, read 104,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxiezbug View Post
So the consensus so far seems to be El Cerrito and Oakland.

As for my budget, I'm looking for something less than $1,600.

I could potentially pay a bit more for an apartment in the Inner Richmond in SF if I give up my car.

If I give up my car and rely on public transit, would I be able to afford the city? I don't need to commute to work, I just need transportation to do errands and go out for fun.

I used to work in Oakland, and I've been around the Rockridge area, which is really nice...but as a woman living by myself, I'm still iffy about Oakland.

Am I just stereotyping, or is the proximity to gang activity in Oakland really a problem?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys! Keep 'em coming if you can :-)
El Cerrito is great, not sure about Oakland. I'd consider looking in San Francisco itself. There is crime in Oakland, constant shootings and now with the Occupy protests going on, they are really tearing up the city. Lots of clashes with police and protesters so you don't want to get caught up in that. You won't get that type of violent protesting in San Francisco.

If you live in the city, its possible to get around without a car. Many do. Gas is going up, parking and insurance is expensive. Public transit is good so errands would depend if the things you need are close by.

Inner Richmond is a great place, and right there off Clement is all the Chinese stores and restaurants. Safeyway is also there on the other side on 6th. This would be perfect alternative to living in Chinatown and staying in the city in a safe area. San Bruno is not the safest place for anyone. Since your on your own, I think you can find something for less then 1600, maybe more like 1000-1200, if your looking for a single bedroom or a studio.

Another place too look into for young people that I noticed, is actually the new Mission Bay area by the ball park on 3rd and King. These are all new apartments and there is a Safeway right across the street. When I was there, it was all young people in their 20s shopping so I assume they all live in the apartments there. This is generally a safe area. Its close enough to downtown if you ever need to go there, and the commute by bus is only like 5 minutes. You can also continue on the bus to Chinatown if you need Asian restaurants or shops. It will cost a bit more, but its worth it.

Basically, if I was in your shoes, I would give up the car (this will save money unless you have a really big need for one), and move to Mission Bay. The apartments are new, close to downtown and shopping, YMCA and other fitness places are close by if not in the partment itself, close to nightlife and entertainment, and you right near any public transit if you have to travel. The east bay is okay, but I think its a hassle to have to take the commute to San Francisco by BART or Ferry since the round trip ticket is like 8 dollars.

Last edited by Southwest15; 02-20-2012 at 04:23 AM..
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,094 posts, read 11,284,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxiezbug View Post
So the consensus so far seems to be El Cerrito and Oakland.


As for Oakland...

Which parts of Oakland is safe for a petite Asian woman living by herself?

I used to work in Oakland, and I've been around the Rockridge area, which is really nice...but as a woman living by myself, I'm still iffy about Oakland.

Am I just stereotyping, or is the proximity to gang activity in Oakland really a problem?



Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys! Keep 'em coming if you can :-)
You are stereotyping. The average person in Oakland does not need to wory about gang violence.

I'll start with the list of convinient walkable areas that are on all of the short lists with a good number of young people and easy access to SF:
  • Rockridge (more families)
  • Piedmont Ave (mixed in Age, demographics)
  • Grand Lake/Adams Point (diverse, younger 20s-30s)
  • Lakeshore/Cleveland Heights (diverse, mixed in age)
  • Temescal (east of Telegraph, there are some places labelled Temescal that are a little more "up and coming" and should be skipped for now)

These areas all have busy commercial areas in walking distance, good proximity to 7 day a week amenities and are not too far from BART -- but not all places are equally close to BART.

Issues are minimal in the areas above, you just need to use basic common sense and street smarts. (I.E. if you park your car on the street don't leave your iPad out. Obviously this is true in any city, but just a little reminder)

You'd be able to find a rental in your budget, and find that these areas are full of single women walking around without issue. I personally live in the Piedmont Ave area. Rents are pretty bargain, it is a safe area and people are generally walking around all times of day -- so I feel fine coming home late. I have also walk to and from BART after midnight (for me it is around 1.25 miles). I have other friends who live on the other side of the neighborhood who are car free and get on just fine. Many of the people in my building are car free as well.

If you want something edgier, try Downtown Oakland. There are some blocks that are hit or miss, but not much serious crime happens there. Parking overnight on the street isn't recommended though. I know plenty of single women who live there.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
507 posts, read 533,137 times
Reputation: 303
I go through Del Norte late on weekends pretty often and it never seemed dangerous. I do think El Cerrito Plaza would be nicer, though, as there's more shopping near (and apparently apartments )

HOWEVER! If you can get rid of your car and live in Inner Richmond (and don't mind a bit more fog...), I would totally suggest that! Way more fun. I love living in the city and not having a car, and that's one of my favorite neighborhoods.
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