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Old 06-27-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 13,084,183 times
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SF is too expensive for your budget (good luck finding a studio apt for $1500) and other than that, Oakland and Berkeley are pretty much the only two cities in the Bay Area where you can live 100% without a car. I don't know how much you want your life to revolve around a car but pretty much any other town is more suburban, often the point that you will need a car to do pretty much anything. You might be able to find some places near BART stations but that cuts out a lot, most people live a ways away and drive to BART and park at the stations and hop on the train.

Honestly if you want an affordable and fairly urban area where you can walk around the neighborhood to shops and farmers markets and restaurants and bookstores, I'd look at Oakland. $1500 is a little limiting but you should find some places that fit your bill in the Grand Lake area and maybe around the Temescal. You can find farmer's markets and bookstores pretty much anywhere in the Bay Area, but I figure you might prefer a more urban place like Oakland than the suburban sprawl you see in most of the Bay Area, like in Walnut Creek or Fremont. From Grand Lake you can do the Transbay Buses, and from the Temescal you can take BART at Macarthur. The Piedmont Ave area might have some stuff but whenever I've looked for apartments there there wasn't much available. Rockridge is very cool and sounds right up your alley but it can be expensive and has few apartments.

Berkeley is probably a bit too expensive for you. El Cerrito and the nice parts of Richmond might work but you'll need a car to get around. Alameda is pretty cool but a bit spread out, it's just about bikeable. Oakland and Berkeley are really great for biking too because they're very flat and pretty compact.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
14,689 posts, read 14,665,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssmaster View Post
the 19th street bart station is an option for parts of the lakeside apartment district.
You & jade are correct; I was mistaking the Lakeside district for that slice of Lakeshore between E.12th & E. 18th.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,226 posts, read 36,903,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
You & jade are correct; I was mistaking the Lakeside district for that slice of Lakeshore between E.12th & E. 18th.
That part is super far from BART. I don't think I would walk to BART from there, not enough foot traffic.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 5,139,905 times
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I like the Alameda option. The commute is easy by Transbay Bus or ferry and the town is walkable and pleasant (though a bit sleepy). You will need to learn the bus routes in order to get into Oakland for entertainment.

El Cerrito is another great option and seems to fit all your requirements. The BART ride will be about $4.15 each way, though. That's a drag. The pluses are that it is inexpensive to live and offers easy access to Albany and Berkeley for shopping, dining, etc. The nicest rentals are on the hill, but you would need a car up there for anything other than your daily commute. The bus is good for getting into The City, but not much else.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,226 posts, read 36,903,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalparadise View Post
I like the Alameda option. The commute is easy by Transbay Bus or ferry and the town is walkable and pleasant (though a bit sleepy). You will need to learn the bus routes in order to get into Oakland for entertainment.
Write off the ferry as a commute option. The ferry stop is in timbuktu Alameda with pretty much no bus service. There might be a bus now, but if there is it doesn't run frequently. The ferry is a good option if you want to drive and park there. But you'll pass at least a dozen transbay bust stops on your way to the ferry......
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