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Old 07-24-2011, 09:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,259 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all-

As of now I am currently living in Madison, WI, which many have called the "Berkeley of the Midwest". Very liberal and accepting, diverse and colorful. Being from a smaller midwestern area, I'd love a little insight into the neighborhoods. I have a 3 year old son, who loves his friends and being social. We hope to continue our lifestyle in the San Fran area. My partner is a private wellness chef and I am a natural birth advocate/worker.

This last week I visited Berkeley for the day. We walked around Shattuck Ave and drove around in the neighborhood at the top of Shattuck. It seems really very lovely, but perhaps pretty $$$? Also maybe a bit pretentious. I don't want to be surrounded by people that are living green because then have so much money they don't know what to do with it... I have also heard that there are some great areas in North Oakland.

Here is what I am looking for:
I have built a lovely community here. Full of alternative parenting and lifestyles. These are my people and I am sure I will find the same in another area. Being close to natural markets, preferably a co-op is very important. Holistic health stores and healing care providers. Most of the people I know are homebirthers, I would love to settle into the same like-minded community. I am also a doula and student midwife, so I am always looking for ways to expand that part of my life. Making mama friends whom I can trust and swap child-care with is vital as I won't have family at all in the area. Either a place for a garden or a community garden plot would be incredible too. I love being able to walk a few blocks to local, organic centered cafes and community driven businesses. Anyway...I hope you get the picture...as I am putting this out there hoping to create it as my reality some time in the near future.

Too much to ask? LOL
Thanks for your time. I am also open to any other areas that may fit the bill!
Thanks!!

Last edited by Jessica Turner; 07-24-2011 at 10:14 PM..
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:04 PM
 
Location: California
34,133 posts, read 37,665,370 times
Reputation: 30791
You lost me at non-vaxing. Sorry. Sounds like you are in the perfect spot already.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,259 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
You lost me at non-vaxing. Sorry. Sounds like you are in the perfect spot already.
I took that part out Ceece! lol
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:17 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,279,150 times
Reputation: 2953
Frankly I think at some point in the last 20 years the Bay Area became too expensive for people to have a "hippie" lifestyle--you kind of need a high-paying job to get by here, especially if you want to raise kids or buy a house. Most people here are pretty corporate to a degree. Berkeley seems to me to have people in their 50's or older who are still kind of hippie-ish but are also often pretty wealthy, and people younger than that aren't really hippie-ish.

In any case despite all this I think you will find that a lot of "alternative" cultural stuff is pretty widespread here and accepted. Lots of people do yoga and various forms of mediation and there are tons of farmer's markets everywhere, and there's a lot of grocery stores where it's easy to get local and organic food.

You've already been here so you've kind of seen what it's like. I think if you go to somewhere further out from SF or Silicon Valley you'll get maybe more what you're looking for, Santa Cruz has a lot of hippies types, or maybe somewhere like Bolinas would work. You will find hippie types all over the Bay Area but it might be harder to find them among all the tech workers and lawyers--but those tech workers and lawyers often want to hire doulas or organic chefs.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Police State
1,472 posts, read 2,180,748 times
Reputation: 1232
Uh, pretty much anywhere.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,978 posts, read 8,379,313 times
Reputation: 4663
Like Mayorhaggar mentioned, the Bay Area is very expensive and all of those really desirable qualities in a community that you want have made it cost prohibitive for most people. It seems that anywhere with good schools, walkable, independent boutiques, organic shops, great down to earth community, liberal leaning all tend to be outrageously expensive.

You didn't say why you want to move here, but if possible, you might consider some towns farther up north, like Grass Valley, Chico, Placerville, Humboldt,Mendocino etc. You'd be able to settle in w/o being super wealthy. Santa Cruz, Aptos, Half Moon Bay etc. would also be good alternatives in the Bay Area, but still quite pricy.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,235 posts, read 33,520,420 times
Reputation: 28400
The area of Berkeley you visited is "North Berkeley" and that is the home of the gourmet ghetto. Generally there are lots of areas in the Bay that value those things. If you want a more "Authentic" neighborhood you could try areas in south or west Berkeley, Temescal, or maybe parts of Fruitvale, the Laurel or the Dimond in Oakland. But I am in agreement with the other posters, the Bay Area is very expensive so you may find the "alternative lifestyle" people are also quite yuppie.

Oddly enough, I just came back from a trip to Madison. It is much much cleaner than Berkeley, but I did see lots of Berkeley types downtown.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 15,387,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Oddly enough, I just came back from a trip to Madison. It is much much cleaner than Berkeley, but I did see lots of Berkeley types downtown.
A wee bit colder in the winter. Might be one reason OP wants to move?
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