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Oakland - Rise and Shine: Five emerging destinations are grabbing their share of the spotlight
August 2012 Meetings Focus
When it comes to being overshadowed, Oakland takes the cake, with spectacular San Francisco stealing much of the Bay Area’s meeting spotlight.
But planners taking the time to explore will discover an ever-burgeoning bounty of dining choices, culture and revamped venues.
Oakland has continued to grow as an emerging travel destination over the past few years,” she adds. “The city is experiencing a resurgence of bars, restaurants, shops, cultural events and more, and meeting planners are taking notice; as is The New York Times, which listed Oakland as one of the Top Places to Visit in the world.”
....The city’s relative affordability has been a boost to its emergence, as has its accessibility—and proximity to much to see and do.
There are many attractions and events year-round throughout the city that are a huge draw for groups, as well as free activities such as walking tours, farmers markets, and even a free shuttle along Broadway to the Waterfront.
Oakland is feeling its oats. Steel-cut oats, that is. Sprinkled atop a puree of onion soup ladled over smoked dates at the Michelin-starred Commis, this coarse grain is being transformed into something wonderful and different, much like the rough-hewn city itself.
Best known for its rowdy Raiders and crime-heavy headlines, Oakland has changed for the better in recent years. There are trendy shops and nightclubs, modern condos cheek-to-cheek with restored Art Deco gems and an influx of top chefs, lured by cheaper rents from San Francisco and Berkeley's gourmet ghettos.
Despite its large size (56 square miles, from the waterfront to the hills), Oakland and its neighborhoods are easily accessible, and some are just a mile or two apart. A car is best, but BART trains and city buses are convenient.
A culture boom
Uptown has great bones, with blocks of historic buildings (in varying states of repair) and striking architecture. There's been a mini-population boom as well, sparked by former Mayor Jerry Brown's efforts to boost housing. Though the boom was stalled by the recession, hundreds of residents have moved into new condos and apartments...New eateries followed.
In Temescal, you come for the food and stay for the … food. This diverse neighborhood, filled with small homes, started to gentrify a decade ago with the opening of Doña Tomás, an upscale Mexican restaurant. Today, there are many excellent eateries packed into a few short blocks.
For serious shoppers
Rockridge, an affluent community of charming houses on leafy streets, is a wonderful place to shop...College Avenue is filled with unique stores
The 'working' street
Piedmont Avenue runs about 18 blocks before you exhaust its many pleasures — or before it exhausts you...The area has a brace of top-notch restaurants...
At Oakland's heart
Lakeshore and Grand avenues, each filled with shops and restaurants, feed into each other as well as Lake Merritt, a striking oasis in the heart of the city...The best bet at the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, it opened in 2009 in the renovated municipal boathouse — is to have a sunset cocktail outside on the dock overlooking Lake Merritt. The lake attracts joggers and picnickers to its park-lined perimeter; you need a child to get into Children's Fairyland, a storybook playground, and adults can indulge their own fantasies with a gondola ride on the lake.
Steeped in maritime lore, Jack London Square is one of Oakland’s most identifiable landmarks and a symbol of the city’s history as a seaport. Fronting a natural estuary leading to San Francisco Bay, the site was the heart of Oakland’s port operations, linking the industries of shipping and agriculture. It remains a vibrant working waterfront.
Experience the natural beauty of Oakland’s waterfront jewel, Jack London Square. Discover innovative dining opportunities or return to well-loved favorites. Enjoy expansive lawns, picturesque piers and sun-drenched walking paths. Shop in some of Oakland’s unique local boutiques. Steps from downtown, but a world away.
In Oakland, Calif., the Uptown Neighborhood Blooms
November23, 2011 New York Times
ON a recent warm afternoon in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland the streets were alive with activity. Crowds participating in Art Murmur, a monthly art walk, spilled out of galleries like Johansson Projects and Hatch Gallery. It’s hard to imagine that this area, just north of downtown Oakland, was abandoned and plagued with crime just a few years ago. Now it bustles with hip bars, places to hear music and interesting restaurants that have even lured San Franciscans across the bay.
- Bar Dogwood >which opened in March, was casual and friendly as the after-work crowd sipped signature cocktails and sampled locally sourced meats from its charcuterie. Vintage Edison phonographs made into speakers hang from the ceiling, and photographs show Oakland in its heyday in the 1930s and ’40s.
- Cafe Van Kleef >One of the newest kids on the block is Make Westing where happy hour was in full swing that fall afternoon. The bar’s modern, industrial interior is striking, but most noticeable that day was the cast of characters — an interesting mix of ages, ethnicities and styles — lining the bar and playing at the indoor boccie court.
- Fox Theater >one of Oakland’s architectural gems, there was a line around the building waiting to see the Smashing Pumpkins perform
- Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe> a hot spot for post-show comfort food. With Mike Dirnt of Green Day an owner, Rudy’s puts a punk spin on the classic American diner, complete with kitschy music-themed décor, a tattooed servers and booze-filled milkshakes.
We looked at where and how often people exercise (Experian Marketing Services); the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week and buy more than 11 video games a year (Mediamark Research); and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting (CDC). And since some people define "exercise" loosely, we gave credit for any physical activity in the past month (CDC).
Most Active Cities
5 Salt Lake City, UT A-
4 Washington, DC A 3 Oakland, CA A
2 San Francisco, CA A+
1 Seattle, WA A+
Oakland - Where to Live Now: The 20 Best Towns in America
August 1, 2008 Outside Magazine
Oakland, California (POP. 397,000)
Want to curb urban sprawl, boost the economy, and reduce inner-city crime? Get people to move downtown. It worked for Jerry Brown. In 1999, Oakland's then-major decided to direct more of the city's focus on downtown Oakland through his 10k Housing Initiative, a plan to attract 10,000 new residents to the city center by streamlining the permit process and creating economic incentives for developers. The result? More than 10,000 housing units are in various stages of planning or completion-far surpassing the original goal-and the area is home to some 40 new restaurants, 15 new galleries, 18 new nightclubs... All this in a town, according to Rand McNally, has the best weather in the country.
Whether you're considering launching a tech startup of your own and you need to know where the venture capital is flowing or you just want to work in one, these cities may soon be the place you call home. CIO.com spoke with, Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA for insight into some of the factors driving the trends inside these growing startup communities.
The NVCA list measures overall venture capital investment in each respective market to compile its data.
11. Oakland, Calif.
The NVCA attributes growth in this market to spillover from the San Jose and San Francisco areas. "The cost of living and creating a business is lower in Oakland than in San Jose and San Francisco. Things are just cheaper in the East Bay than opposed to the city or San Jose or Silicon Valley areas," says Heesen.
No. of Deals: 50
No. of Startups: 40
Sum of Equity Invested (USD millions): 398.68
Time to Update that mental image of Oakland - it's way more hip now
September 9, 2012 The Sacramento Bee
Art, music, fine dining and trendy shopping have sprouted like so many roses...
In the past decade, people with money and a creative bent have migrated out of high-rent San Francisco and brought their upscale aesthetic and discriminating palates to once-working-class Oakland sectors like Temescal and Grand Lake. Even blighted downtown areas like the Uptown neighborhood now teem with hip bars, trendy art galleries, food-truck culture and top entertainment at the gussied-up Paramount and Fox theaters.
But this city, for all its challenges, is not one to be avoided. A day trip to dine and shop, or an evening's entertainment, can be as enriching as any to be had at that glittering jewel on the other side of the Bay Bridge. The New York Times' travel section even went so far as to put Oakland as No. 5 on its "45 Places to Go in 2012," wedged between London and the Chilean Patagonia region...
Last edited by Stephen1110; 02-16-2013 at 03:43 PM..
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