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Old 03-29-2012, 10:10 AM
 
33 posts, read 97,855 times
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Hi there,

Was just out in SF, East Bay for 2 weeks and will be returning in another week or so. Here are some of the neighborhoods we really liked in East Bay that fit our budget. Would really appreciate any opinions:

"Lower Rockridge" or Fairview Park in Oakland. Does anyone know about this area just East of Telegraph? Is it safe? How does it compare to, say, Rockridge proper or North Berkeley in terms of safety? Anyone live there or lived there in the past? Obviously incidents will occur, but I'm wondering if it's safe for me to walk/run alone during daylight hours there? Is being a few blocks from telegraph a bad idea? Can you walk to dinner in Rockridge and back safely here?

North Berkeley:
Anyone love it or hate it and care to elaborate? We liked the laid back vibe of the neighborhoods with pretty trees/gardens, while still being walkable to so much (same as rockridge area).

Alameda:
Seems the whole island is pretty safe but not quite as exciting (in terms of food/farm market options etc) as Oakland or Berkeley. Loved the older homes here though. What about the area right near Alameda/Jackson Park? Regent St and/or Park Ave? Is this considered a nice area for local Alamedans? Is it a huge pain to get to Oakland/Berkeley/SF for a night out since there is no BART?


Thanks very much in advance! This forum was actually hugely helpful for us to narrow down before visiting last week. Everything was as described on here- so thank you!
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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That is Rockridge, I don't think anyone calls it Fairview Park. Pretty much anything east of Telegraph, north of 51st and south of the Berkeley border (and I guess west of 13) is called Rockridge. That bit you're referring to is nice and a bit leafier than other parts of RR. And you're near a good strip of restaurants on College, and there's a Safeway and a great Trader Joe's there too. That said, like anywhere in Rockridge, you're pretty close to crappy areas on or west of Telegraph, so crime will always be a possibility (same with pretty much anywhere nice in Oakland or Berkeley). If you are renting or buying a house you'll want a good alarm to foil robbers. You should be ok for jogging during the day, lots of women do it in RR. The only incident I know of was near my old place by 51st Street, some girl was walking down the street in the middle of the day and some guy came up to her with a gun. She screamed and a bunch of neighbors came out their front doors and the guy ran away. Stuff like that is very rare but it does happen in Rockridge.

North Berkeley is ok but it is a lot more expensive than Rockridge while being very similar. I've ridden around it on my bike and it never seemed like there was a good strip of restaurants and shopping there compared with downtown Berkeley or Rockridge. I guess there's University but it's a little dingy, and San Pablo has some stuff but is a bit quiet. But you might like the quiet, and you're close enough to downtown Berkeley which has a ton of great stuff. Actually there's a short strip of Hopkins by California which has a few small local grocery stores you'd probably like, and Gioia's Pizza which is my favorite NYC-style slice in the Bay Area.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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Thank you mayor! That is super helpful about the areas/borders within Rockridge. We really liked all of the walkability of that area- Trader Joe's, the marketplace with the bakery/wine shop, restaurants, bart etc. Would love to find a nice rental or home there but are trying to keep a few other options open since availability seems to be low and prices high. Thanks again- this makes me feel much better about the area in question.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Generally speaking anything east of Telegraph in Berkeley or Oakland is good. (North of Macarthur).

North Berkeley is a big area. The areas on Shattuck north of Hearst or maybe Cedar are also considered North Berkeley, even though it is adjacent to downtown (and there isn't a break between downtown and north Berkeley). My favorite area in North Berkeley is the part around Solano Ave, and that runs into Albany. Lots of shops and restaurants (and a few bars too).

If I were living in Berkeley, I'd pick either Elmwood, Solano or North Berkeley east of Sacramento and North of Hearst.

As for "Fairview Park" it isn't necessarily called out as a separate area, but there are some blocks that are less nice, since the neighborhood was chopped up by the freeway and the BART tracks. It doess have a slightly different vibe as you head north to the Berkley border. All is fairly safe but some blocks have a weird vibe here and there. Nothing to worry about, but beware because some of those places have a ton of freeway noise and traffic, so it isn't that great.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Definitely see what the BART noise is like at any apartment in RR is like, if you're close it could be pretty noisy. Highway 24 is noisy too but unless you're blocked from its noise by a hill or tall buildings you'll hear it pretty much anywhere in RR.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:26 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 1,050,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
North Berkeley is ok but it is a lot more expensive than Rockridge while being very similar. I've ridden around it on my bike and it never seemed like there was a good strip of restaurants and shopping there compared with downtown Berkeley or Rockridge. I guess there's University but it's a little dingy, and San Pablo has some stuff but is a bit quiet. But you might like the quiet, and you're close enough to downtown Berkeley which has a ton of great stuff. Actually there's a short strip of Hopkins by California which has a few small local grocery stores you'd probably like, and Gioia's Pizza which is my favorite NYC-style slice in the Bay Area.
There is a small strip in North Berkeley: Hopkins St. I looked at a place over there and discovered it riding my bike from BART to where I was going. (Just looked it up and, yep, that's where Gioia's Pizza is.)

I think though if you're close to Albany, like the house I looked at was, you're okay with just heading over to that long strip of shops on Solano in Albany.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:56 AM
 
33 posts, read 97,855 times
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Thanks everyone- this is very helpful. Jade- thanks for the street suggestions too! We pretty much had decided that based on walking around, so good to hear the same thing here. Our favorite neighborhoods were north of Hopkins and East of Sacramento going toward Albany/Solano, but some of the houses there are crazy expensive. Would be ideal to be able to walk to Solano, Monterey Market area and Shattuck if we end up in Berkeley since things are more spread out there than in Rockridge.

Anyone have experience with Alameda and the area I mentioned there? It might be too sleepy for us, but we're considering it due to the proximity to Oakland, ferry to SF, cute walkable Park St and the slightly lower prices.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:19 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 24,950,422 times
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Are you looking at all those rentals on Regent Street lately? I was wondering about that -- seems like there's been a whole rash of rentals right in the same two-block area. We're looking at Alameda, too. So far we've been casting a VERY wide net, as we've been unable to snag an apartment yet. (sounds like you're looking in the exact same places)

If anyone has any tips for finding a place, I'd love to hear them. So far we're applying for places well within our income level and have started offering six months up front, but so far no bites. SOMEONE out there is managing to get an apartment these days, right?
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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When I lived in Alameda, I lived near the Ballena Marina. I don't really know the neighborhoods of Alameda, but at the time I didn't drive. Alameda is pretty small, about 3 miles across. So my take is, if you like the street you are on, and it is walkable/close enough to the stuff you want it is fine. I walked (later biked some too) to Marina Village, Park Street and South Shore and I lived pretty much 1 block from the Marina. That is one of the far edges of Alameda.
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