The original post, A San Franciscan’s Guide to Living in Oakland, has been removed. We apologize for publishing the post, which does not reflect the values or mission of KQED. We are grateful for all the comments from our community, which we are preserving here at the URL of the original post. If you wish to view the original post, it has been archived here, and an earlier apology by the Pop editors has been archived here.

A San Franciscan’s Guide to Living in Oakland 21 November,2013KQED Pop

  • Lauren LoPrete

    From the sounds of it, we live 2 blocks away from each other. Want to be friends?

  • The best taco trucks are in Fruitvale and in taco trucks on International. “So stay out of East Oakland and West Oakland.” I understand the sentiment, but there are, you know, thousands of people who live in these neighborhoods. Should they stay out of those neighborhoods? Does no one in those neighborhoods listen to public radio?

    • Also, tell Carlos I say what’s up. Yahaira’s for life.

  • thorn

    i’ll agree with the tens and take it a step further–of all the san franciscans moving to oakland articles this might be the worse… “stay away from west and east oakland” how about you move back to whatever midwestern town you came from? this article is gross… also on what planet is little shin shin the best chinese or golden lotus even good?

    • thisnametaken

      For some reason I thought golden lotus was good like in 2004. Was I wrong?

      • thorn

        it was better then, i’ll admit… but at this point….

    • Gil Batzri

      The whole thing was shoddy and lazy, and mediocre. Hopefully the SF Emigres will all read it, check these places out, and move to Walnut Creek.

      • ron b

        That’s exactly what will happen. Oakland is not for San Franciscans. They will be unhappy.

    • Cee Nelly

      Planet Totally Tard.

    • katrinatheterrible

      I dunno man. Little Shin Shin is pretty delicous. And those lunch specials?!?! OMG!

    • Gerald J. Slaughter

      True that>

      Little Shin Shin is on Piedmont Ave. “Gotta keep it safe -right?” Forget Down-town Oakland/China town -where restaurants offer cuisine from diverse regions in China and Taiwan. It’s Shin Shin, Fenton’s ice cream shop and then quickly back onto 580 to SF. RUN PEOPLE.

    • Eclectic Infidel

      I thought of that too…Little Shin Shin, heh. But you know, that’s ok. It’ll keep all the lookie loos away from the quality Chinese food houses, ones I won’t bother mentioning here.

  • thisnametaken

    @brizz9:disqus the best taco truck on international in Sinaloa and they just put one in near the taco truck this article mentions on like international and 2nd. It seriously tops the taco truck at international, which I’m convinced is popular because of the “stay outta east oakland” sentiment. During the day Fruitvale rules.

    • Yeah, I just changed it to what I meant, tacos in Fruitvale, not taco trucks. Taqueria 16 de Septiembre is amazing.

    • Gil Batzri

      I like how he couldn’t be bothered to get the name of the truck he thinks is the best for a story he is writing up about stuff he likes.

  • P Feezee

    Holly’s Mandarin is FAR superior to Little Shin Shin and only a block away. Holly used to be Shin Shin’s cook, but started who own place and its AMAZING. $6 lunch special with an entry, chow mein or rice, veggies and soup!

    • Gil Batzri

      I can think of five places in Oakland that are better then Shin Shin.

  • Anthony Bryan Riva

    Honestly, telling people to stay out West and East Oakland because you know of someone who was violently mugged or of a house that was broken into on multiple occasions is like telling people in San Francisco to stay out of the Mission District for the same reasons.

    “No, really, I’ve had friends who were violently mugged in the Mission and I know a house that was broken into three times! Three times! OHMYGHERD, yall, stay out of the Mission!”

    The Land of the Oak is awesome and I may end up moving there soon enough if housing rates continue to climb obscenely in San Francisco, but that tiny bit ruined this article for me. I enjoyed everything else, even the side note about leaving out some best-of places and not caring if people were outraged by that. But what about people being outraged at a person singling out a community while trying to raise public awareness of the potential trendiness and up-and-comings of how “hip” Oak-town really is.

    “Hey, everybody! Oakland is cool! Bring your new tech money over here, y’all, but don’t look over there on the East and West sides or terrrrrible things will happen to you!”

    • NunyaGDbidness

      I’d actually encourage more SF heads to stay the hell outta East & West Oakland (which includes downtown really) so we can keep the douchebaggery to a minimum. By all means SF peeps….STAY THERE.

      • Aimee R. Van Selow

        Yeah..stay out, SF heads.

  • sf_oak_ny

    Ahem. Yes, please stay away from West Oakland. I have a house here, and love it, my neighbors are awesome, and don’t want any of you lame ass people who would listen to this lame ass author moving into our neighborhood.

    • gardenofeatin .

      Crime is pretty well spread across Oakland, Uptown, North, East or West, or even San Francisco for that
      matter. Sure it can end up being heavier or seem worse in certain areas,
      but one can get shot just about anywhere these days. There have been 3
      shootings at the foot of Piedmont Avenue (Ms. Cole’s aforementioned
      Happy Place) in the week or two following Halloween. I find it interesting that in light of the backlash, KQED is now self censoring the “offensive” post…as if having an opinion itself is offensive. What is offensive to me is that people are actually so offended by Ms. Cole’s take on Oakland, as if they don’t realize that many many people possibly feel the same way as the author… While her choices are largely pedestrian, or trite… what would you actually expect from the KQED blog? Just go create your own media people and quit being bland and righteously entitled & emboldened to whine consumers. That is a real problem I see online these days, where everyone thinks their opinion is some kind of wonderful, and the the fact they love or hate a bar, restaurant or some place they spend money gives them some sort of cachet. Keep Yelping yourselves to death … but just make sure you keep consuming…

      • earinsound


    • Guest

      You are not selling out man! Keeping it real up in the field!

    • Michael Riley

      No way are you selling out to lameness, sf_oak_ny! Keep it real and keep those poseurs out of your cool ‘hood!

  • sf_oak_ny

    Oh and if I may add. Nothing against the Trappist, but my favorite neighborhood bar/ cafe is Commonwealth on 29th and Telegraph. Great vibe. Great food. Decent beers selection. No hard liquor though. And it’s family owned.

    • usapatri0t

      and plenty of football to boot!

      • pottymouth_princess

        Don’t upset her. She doesn’t “do” sports.

  • usapatri0t

    this is the whitest white person write up of oakland ever. “stay out of west and east oakland”? disgusting. stay in SF

  • Gil Batzri

    Wow, you really don’t get out much. You do Oakland a disservice. Your restaurants are mostly average, and it looks like you haven’t gotten off Piedmont avenue in like 3 years. Hopefully all you SF people will stick with all the choices listed above, so we can keep the good stuff for ourselves.

  • Dabney Ross Jones

    I HATE HATE the title of this article. It’s like it’s actually not as bad as we thought , what with the “element” and all. C’mon! So Oakland will be gentrified and the cost of living will raise and then you will be movin’ somewhere else because it’s too expensive!! Just like with Downtown L.A.! No one can afford to live there because of gentrification!

    • Aimee R. Van Selow


  • Gil Batzri

    As a member of KQED, this story is disgraceful, and frankly embarrassing, I thought better of you guys.

  • Mercedes Gibson

    Usually I am not too harsh on authors because their seemingly witty character saves them in my eyes. Maybe you’re an a$$hole, but you are funny. stuff like that. But this pretentious, uninformed, piece is awful. I’m an Oakland native, and if you feel like Serena please consider ALL of Oakland East and West, and simple stay away.

  • Kevin

    “Oakland is fine.”
    If that’s the best you can see about this amazing city, get the F*** out.

    • Blank

      Yea get the F___K! Out

  • JeanShirk

    Oh, can we please stop with this “Oakland is OK” apology to San Franciscans – please??

    • Aimee R. Van Selow

      Oakland IS ok. SF can stay across the Bay, thank you.

      • MrOakland

        Aimee, you seem like you’re dead inside, or on some level you recognize that you live in a toilet. You should just stop talking for a while.

  • Marissa

    As a native San Franciscan, who has lived in Oakland for the last 15 years, this article is kind of embarrassing and um, kind of offensive. Stay out of East and West Oakland? You know, the most richly cultural parts of Oakland (shhh… where the ethnic people live) and just stick to the gentrified neighborhoods, mind you, where people STILL get mugged and houses still get broken into. I won’t go into all the other irritating and simultaneously useless “helpful hints” because let’s face it–I love Oakland and take the bad with the GREAT parts about it– but it’s not for everyone. Anyway, it’s clear by the author’s top restaurant/store/bar/park choices that in avoiding neighborhoods she finds scary or undesirable (for some super misguided reasons), she’s overlooking some pretty amazing places. I mean COME ON, Golden Lotus for Vietnamese, and Little Shin Shin for Chinese??? The large and very vibrant Vietnamese community in East Oakland (that bad part of town you’ve been avoiding) would laugh hysterically upon reading this…

    • Marissa

      Also, why is this posted on my beloved KQED’s website? It’s anathema to the very mission of KQED.

      • YehudaCohen

        Surprisingly, the culture inside KQED is rather bougie and not especially mission-driven. I mostly listen to KALW these days.

  • melinda

    offensive, ill-researched, and ill-written. most of the places the author writes about does not make her appear “bougie,” as she writes, but negligent about oakland. in these guides to oakland, sf folks try to look for places in oakland that mirror sf. oakland is not sf. oakland is its own entity, with its own characteristics, it’s own amazing charm, and yes, its own issues. issues that a lot of the community has been working on and continues to work on now. issues that aren’t alleviated by articles like this. how about spending some time writing about ways that people wanting to move/live in oakland can become better neighbors and community members? there are enough “san franciscans’ guide to visiting/living in oakland.” let’s be more thoughtful and more original.

    • usapatri0t

      echoing Melinda, SF throws money at their problems, Oakland looks for holistic solutions to complex social issues. that is the difference between the two

      • theintern3t

        interestingly the difference between the two is also that one city has a ridiculously higher crime rate, lower police numbers, and worse off schools. looks like money’s not a bad solution sometimes.

      • TiggerFishsticks

        “Oakland looks for holistic solutions to complex social issues”–therein lies the number one problem with this city. Rather than confront the growing crime problem, Oaklanders waste their time arguing semantics and the power of historical demographics while never actually addressing realistic ways of dealing with violent crime here. Guess what? San Francisco may have violent crime, but at least the Police actually show up when you call them. Sometimes, crimes are even solved. I like this city, but after two years, I can’t deal with it anymore. I’d rather not get robbed while going for my morning jog, nor do I want to end up on the wrong side of an impromptu gun battle during broad daylight. As much as I loathe all of the nouveau riche bullshit flowing into SF, I’d rather deal with that than an accidental gunshot wound. I am DONE with Oakland.

        • Aimee R. Van Selow

          Then leave. We don’t need your kind here.

          • Eclectic Infidel

            The kind that wants to stay alive?

        • Gerald J. Slaughter

          San Francisco has for years had a low rate of convictions for serious crimes and the city’s crime lab technicians have been known to botch evidence. And the former D.A. Terrance Halliinan -remember him? Perpetually the wagon.

          Regarding Oakland’s crime is an issue. However I do remember a time in the early 90’s where Oaklanders would pray to have the murder rate that exists today. I seldom hear of random shootings and do not fear stay bullets (and no I am not numb or accustomed to urban warfare).

          I tell you what though, as a black male I feel very uneasy dealing with San Francisco Police. They have one of the highest rates of “justifiable homicide’ rates among large cities west of the Mississippi. Its police force is old school -similar to Boston, Philadelphia, etc. where men (many who identify as ethnic white and 2nd/3rd generation cops) assault it’s black and brown citizens. Oakland had its rogue cop controversy -when is SF going to be exposed so that State and Federal guidelines can be implemented. Never mind thugs, protect me from the protectors. Problem is they see themselves as protecting some San Franciscans from other, marginalised residents who more closely resemble me. Not my cup of tea.

          The economic in Oakland is looking up and the city seems to be able to do it without relegating all its brown and black minorities to one corner or two neighborhoods in the city.

          When you make lazy statements like “accidental gunshot wounds” -not a problem of epidemic proportions- it appears discredits the valid points you’ve made.



          • ohmytyisis

            Thank you, Gerald for all that pertinent commentary and experience. Much appreciate your giving specifics and not resorting to hyperbole. Glad to share this town with neighbors like you!

        • Carlita Carla

          > Oaklanders waste their time arguing semantics and the
          > power of historical demographics while never actually
          > addressing realistic ways of dealing with violent
          > crime here.


          But don’t except anyone to agree with you. They’d rather FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES than solve the problem.

          • ohmytyisis

            Where do you live, Carlita?

  • Stella

    Wow. Just, wow. Stay out of East and West Oakland? You are aware that a great number of people live, work and play in e/w Oakland? Why don’t you just come out and say, “stay where it’s whiter, you’ll be safer.” Ignore this article.

  • Poopootaopoo

    oh shut up lady.

  • Nicole Thomas

    This is the worst piece of garbage that I’ve read about Oakland in ages. Please stay AWAY from our dear city ALL OF IT! If there was a way to take back years of contributions to KQED, I would. Just stop, now. Thank you.

  • lizzyacker

    Hey guys! Thanks for all the comments! We are doing a counterpoint post and we want to get all of your input on what is awesome about West and East Oakland. Let us know what you think we need to include and we might feature you in our next post.

    • adamspacemann

      Besides being offensive about East and West Oakland by immediately writing them off, the author also missed the most amazing and beautiful Lake Merritt, jewel of Oakland, where you can go sailing right next to downtown.

      • cupcake6

        right and she said “a thriving alternative to a park since we don’t really have one” about the cemetery – there are many parks in Oakland especially Lake Merritt and she seems gung-ho on Piedmont ave but missed Mosswood park. which why anyone would shop for Groceries there is beyond me when we have a few Trader Joe’s, a giant Whole Foods and Groc-Out.

    • Pendarvis H.

      Can I have input on that?

    • Sara Murphy

      Maybe instead the counterpoint could be about what’s wrong with statements like “Though
      I’ve lived here for a decade, I’ve only done so out of poverty and a
      lack of direction” or the embarrassingly blatant racism/classism in this post (WHO exactly should stay away from East/West Oakland Serena? WHO is the intended audience for this post? I currently live in SF, grew up in Oakland and Alameda and am mixed race — is the author including me in her warning or is it ok for me to visit my FAMILY who live in the LARGE parts of Oakland she dismissively writes off? I’m not saying crime isn’t an issue facing the community but GTFOH with that). I’m more shocked KQED would have a “writer” who would say something as ignorant as, “Someone else’s list would almost surely include…Oakland’s other rich histories. Sorry, all I can tell you is
      what I like, and it’s all near where I live. If you want to get mad at
      me for not including lots of specific things, go ahead. I don’t care.” Lady, if I wanted this I would check out your bullshit Yelp list.

      Thankfully other blogs have published more thoughtful posts than this about the complexities of people being priced out of SF and the effect that has on those who live in/love Oakland, as well as the MANY WONDERFUL things about Oakland, a city I am proud to have called home for so many years.

      • Sara Murphy

        Also, Serena Cole — please read a book, any book, about Oakland. If you’ve lived here for 10 years maybe it’s time to get less clueless about Oakland’s incredible history. You could start with “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland.”

        • MrOakland

          Did you know Oakland was a place before WWII? Crazy, I know! And waves of immigrants have passed through, and cities change continuously?! Good lord, everything isn’t about you. Grow up.

    • Sonya R

      Glad you’re responding! I think a real counter point post would deal with the racial and class under (or over) tones in this piece, perhaps an actual dialogue with the author. What i’m hearing from the comments is that people don’t wan t this same treatment given to East and West Oakland.

      • Sara Murphy


    • Leigh Costain

      Here are a couple of east and west oakland posts from someone who has a bit more experience with Oakland:

    • Christina

      I would worry first about issuing an apology for featuring an article that is clearly racist and classist. Then you can focus on doing a feature for west and east oakland.

    • Some fuckin dude.

      People aren’t mad that she didn’t point out the good parts of East & West, people are mad that she might as well have titled this article “STAY AWAY FROM WHERE BLACK PEOPLE LIVE!”

      I certainly don’t want the types of folks who would legitimately read this as a “guide” to Oakland to show up at my favorite spots. No thank you.

    • Marissa

      The counterpoint really needs to be a confrontation of the ignorant and thinly veiled racist and classist undertones of this article because it alienates many of KQED’s enlightened pledgers. Most of us Oaklanders know why West and East Oakland are awesome and aren’t trying to “sell” anyone on what we’ve always known to be a truly unique and vibrant city, in all its parts.

    • Charlene Evans

      at this point, I don’t want to share what’s good about it – I want to keep it to ourselves. you don’t deserve it.

    • Erika

      I agree with the others. I am personally offended, by the article, pretty much because the “writer” doesn’t really know the real Oakland. It is fine to have your favorite neighborhoods, but the best Chinese restaurant is on Piedmont Ave…..we have a Chinatown, Hello? East Oakland alone is huge, it is not just East Oakland, there are a lot neighborhoods, great food, music, shops, groceries. etc. The best groceries are at Piedmont Market, yes it is good, but not even mentioning Farmer Joes, really? And there are plenty more.The fact that Oakland is so diverse, makes it special. African Americans, white, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Cambodians, Laotians, Thailanders, Chinese, Mexicans. Guatemalans, Peruvians, Argentinians, Mongolians, Armenians, Slovenians, Slovakians, Jamaicans….I could go on, but I hope I made my point.

  • Bob Sommer

    wow….this guy is a total freaking idiot. Please leave Oakland and move to Concord or something.

    • Robert Eliason

      Please — I live in Concord and I work in Oakland — East Oakland, on Adeline near East Bay MUD. Slagging off Concord like that shows just as much ignorance. Considering diversity that comes with the large Latino, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, Russian, and Indian populations (among others) not to mention the families of the first and second generation immigrants who came to this area 60 years ago to work in the mills in Pittsburg, I’d be willing to bet that Concord has more of a mix of people than your neighborhood does.

      • elindi

        Uhm – when did Adeline shift to East Oakland? Do you get lost going to work often?

        • Robert Eliason

          Brain blip — West….

          • Aimee R. Van Selow

            Go home to the DV, Robert. You don’t belong here.

          • Robert Eliason

            Really? And your credentials are what, exactly?

      • Lizzzz

        How much do you want to bet? Oakland is the 4th most culturally diverse city in America. Concord and San Francisco didn’t even make this list.

        • Robert Eliason

          Isn’t it vaguely ironic that what is bugging you is my criticism of ignorant assumptions about a city — in a thread that is criticizing ignorant assumptions about a city?

          • Lizzzz

            You made and ignorant assumption about concord having “more of a mixed people” so I thought I would share some facts to help you I’m the future.

  • Brandon Eisenberg

    Lots of angry Oaklanders commenting here. Honestly, who cares. This article is just this lady’s opinion and she states it as such. “Oh no, she said stay out of East and West Oakland, what a travesty… oh no, she didn’t mention my favorite Chinese restaurant.” Get over yourselves.

    • Irene McCalphin

      Your lens is colored by the way you walk through this world. If you think the complaints are merely over a difference of opinion then you are missing all the points being made.

    • Chrisitne

      The problem isn’t the chinese restaurants, the problem is the glaring racist undertones.

    • Leigh Costain

      The problem is that the post is boring, inaccurate, entitled, and unfunny. Basically, it sucks on the merits,

    • Marissa

      Oh the perils of blogging. Write racist, classist drivel, and rest assured, you will be held accountable for it… there is no arrogance here, as implied by your whiny “get over yourselves” comment. She is entitled to her opinion, and by that logic, guess what… so is everyone else! (nobody gives a shit about her preference for Chinese restaurants, I think that’s pretty clear)

    • San Fran

      how is this even racist though? telling readers to avoid dangerous areas is not racist. it’s called protecting yourself. getting robbed and mugged sucks, and people have every right to avoid crime ridden areas if they want to.
      and anyway, she is a representative of her culture/mindset, and doesn’t have to represent everyone else’s.
      sure you have the right to respond/share your opinions too, but its a waste of time because this is a free world and you aren’t going to change this one…
      ease on up people.

  • Shero

    those who take this article to heart: please leave oakland and move to the peninsula, its the most conservative county in the bay and y’all would feel more comfortable there anyway.

  • Irene McCalphin

    Darling your privileged is poking out through your dismissive microaggressions… you might want to tuck that back in. To come to a place and completely disregard it’s culture and history makes you sound like the people you are encouraging others to escape from.
    ~~~West Oakland Proud and home in one peice

    • Aimee R. Van Selow

      East. Also in one piece. 😉

  • disqus_DdaJdmzCJf

    KQED… I’m disappointed that you would allow such a racist and classist piece about Oakland appear on your site.

  • cupcake6

    I like Golden Lotus. I think you got it wrong on Art Murmur it’s not just food trucks but a whole scene. A microcosm of Oakland diversity celebrated with street art, music, dancing, food and much more. It spans the entire Uptown and Downtown. It’s a great vibe and awesome people watching and participation.

  • eljobsodiablo

    Wow. This guy is, quite literally, a pants-peeing, afraid of black people moron.

    So much for my pledge dollars. I lived in West Oakland, and so do most of my friends. None of them rob houses, and all have the presence of mind and intelligence not to become victims of crime. They work hard to keep their neighborhood clean and try to build alliances between neighbors to keep it that way. Jerks like the author are divisive and unfunny.

    • MrOakland

      Omg – I live in west Oakland! You must be talking about Oakland, MI, because this place is a filthy mess! Or you just aren’t doing a very good job.

  • rebren

    You’re an idiot. You obviously know nothing about Oakland except for some elitist white field-tripper BS.

  • Yolanda

    Ms Cole: Troll much?

  • Johanna Workman

    So, these are the kinds of messages that are constantly thrown at us in our society which makes people of certain racial and ethic groups (i.e., low-income Black people) feel “less than.” Yes East Oakland is dangerous, however a lot of people live here, including myself. The article conveys that we don’t count; the only people who are important, the only people who need to be protected, are “her” people. We are Other. These are the kinds of things that contribute to unconscious bias.

    • missjilie

      A lot of neighborhoods are dangerous. Rockridge for example, those people are thinking about hiring their own security company because of the crime over there.

      • “well, yeah that’s bad, but what about me” syndrome. shut up.

        • missjilie

          Ok. but only because you said so.

      • Carlita Carla

        True, but who’s committing those crimes in Rockridge? Not the locals.

        It’s those “less thans.” Poor dolls.

    • Gerald J. Slaughter

      So true. Thank you Johanna. -Gerald

    • Carlita Carla

      I think the shooting yesterday that wounded seven people at 6pm contributes to the very conscious bias.

  • riseup

    please tell me this person didn’t get paid to write racist, classist b.s. and on top of it, encourage people to gentrify oakland. it’s bad enough on it’s own, but PLEASE tell me this isn’t her job.

  • ContessaBooty

    Holy CRAP, KQED? And I mean that literally. Why do I give you money, if this kind of crap/drivel ends up on your blog? This woman cannot write for shit on top of admitting how much she DOESN’T KNOW about Oakland; what is the point of publishing this? Serena Cole sounds *exactly* like who she is complaining about in her closing statement. And cakeage? Yes, it’s a thing. If you had any class you’d know that. So glad you’re in love with mediocrity so I will never run into your pathetic ass at MY spots. Also, Oakland’s crime is VERY VERY real. In ALL of Oakland, even the hills. Anyone who bothered to educate themselves on crime here would know that–and would know it’s so serious that Rockridge casual carpool was held up at gunpoint. I am a proud resident of Oakland because I despise what has become of my formerly beloved San Francisco, and because I have some amazing neighbors. And that’s NORTH Oakland, by the way, where the same houses get repeatedly robbed too. Serena Cole: 1. You have a chance at avoiding “poverty” and a lack of direction if you abandon writing as a career, because you’re terrible at it. 2. You are an insult to the rich and largely black history of Oakland. 3. You are an insult to hippies, and you should avoid insulting entire groups of people you cannot even SPELL. 4. You managed to insult Berkeley and Cal, as well as most residents of Oakland in this post. KQED: I can hardly believe you published this piece of crap; I am rethinking my support of your institution.

    • Aimee R. Van Selow

      BAM. And thank you.

  • YehudaCohen

    Has Ms. Cole EVER been east of Lake Merritt? This piece is just bad.

  • ____

    wow this is gross

  • nemimi

    I agree. People from SF and people living in Oakland who only leave Piedmont to go to Rockridge (or Temescal if they feel like slummin’ it) should stay out of East and West Oakland. As much as I love the idea of my property value shooting up when all the rich kids (who like to think of themselves as poor because they’re only making around 80k a year) move in, I’d prefer my East Oakland hood remained free of that sort of douchebaggery.
    So yeah. Stay out of East Oakland. It’s dangerous & it’s hard to find a boutique coffee house & a Buffalo Exchange within a fixie-riding distance from anywhere you’d be brave enough to live.

    • nemimi

      Also, Missouri Lounge is in Berkeley.
      Research. It’s a thing people do.

      • Toni Gomez


        • melleski

          …as is Tilden Park and the Claremont Hotel (both in Berkeley). Fact-checking is a thing KQED should do!

          Serena take your scenic drive to Joaquin Miller or Redwoods Park and finish at Chabot Space and Science Center, (all in your safe zones!). Such poor knowledge of your new city, shame on you, such a grave disservice you’ve done to yourself, this city and it’s residents!

          • LaLeidi

            The Claremont Hotel is in Oakland, despite the fact that they put “Berkeley” on their mailing address.

    • Aimee R. Van Selow

      Come hang in East Oaktown. I dare you.

      • Aimee R. Van Selow

        (the author, not you, nemimi)

    • LaLeidi

      Piedmont Avenue is not in Piedmont!

      • nemimi

        Not sure where I said Piedmont Ave was in Piedmont, but thanks for the clarification.

  • Nguyen Thi Minh Khai

    You’re a retard to believe that living in Oakland means you’re poor. And of course, you’re a racist.

  • Josh

    “Stay out of East and West Oakland.” Fine with us, really. I hope KQED did not actually pay the author for this lazy, unfunny attempt.

  • librarification

    You are really sound like an ignorant douche bag, Serena. What did you do, read a guidebook and stay locked in your house int he hills? And shame on KQED for calling this journalism!

  • As a native of the East Bay, and a long-time (very happy) resident of Oakland, this is a really disgraceful article. Sounds like you would be much happier somewhere else, and we would all really love it if you didn’t give such bad press to such an amazing city. It’s fine if you want to live in fear and limit your own life, but encouraging others to move here and block off more than half of the city is just shameful.

    As your bio confirms, you are not a writer. Please stop writing.

  • juanjolmes

    This is the worst review of Oakland I’ve ever read. It’s so obvious it was written by a white, middle-aged, boring woman who belongs in the suburbs that it makes me wanna move back to San Francisco to avoid running into her.

  • Christina

    This article is horribly offensive and pretty disgusting. Maybe you and your other friends who are only living in Oakland because of your severe poverty (uh-huh, because Piedmont is where you live when you are at or below the poverty line?!), should pool your funds and get a cool studio apartment in the Mission. You know, where I’m SURE you won’t get violently mugged or robbed. It’s SUPER safe there.

  • Sara Duchovnay

    I live in East Oakland and love it! My neighborhood is a beautiful, vibrant, fantastic community and I love being a part of it. This article upset me on many levels, but now that I’ve calmed down a bit, I just feel bad for the people who have been living in Oakland (for a decade?! What?!), and have not experiencing it to it’s fullest potential! Obviously there is a lot more to it than food, but if you let your stomach be your guide, you can discover all the delicious corners of this awesome city! If you want Chinese food, venture off of Piedmont Ave and go to Oakland China Town! East Lake has amazing Vietnamese Restaurants, there are so many delicious Ethiopian restaurants all over the city (with many centered around Telegraph), and please skip the lines of hipsters in the Mission, and head over to International bvd. for amazing Mexican Food. Soul food, Korean food, Laotian, Cambodian…whatever your stomach desires! Oakland is not a place that’s “fine” if you can’t afford SF. Oakland is it’s own wonderful city! It’s the only place in the Bay Area that I would want to call my home.

  • Jeremy Owens

    If a writer is doing a piece on Oakland, you dam well better have an editor read it who knows Oakland. Missouri Lounge is in Berkeley. Anyone who thinks Little Shin Shin is the best Chinese in Oakland should be forcibly moved to El Cerrito. A “Best of Oakland” article that includes that abomination that used to be the historic King’s X is useless. etc., etc. Two saving graces: All the Oaklanders eviscerating this idiotic drivel in the comments and the hope that it keeps San Franciscans from moving to the best city in the Bay Area.

    • MrOakland

      I hope your rent triples. If you own your place, than LOL.

  • CMJ

    Aside from everything else that’s wrong with this post (as mentioned by 99.5% of the commenters here), you mostly go to Peet’s? ha.

  • Emmanuel Hapsis

    Thanks for joining in this important discussion! Just make sure to stay respectful. You can brush up on our community guidelines here:

    • Moggy

      I’d say the editors should also brush up on your own “community guidelines” … do you think this badly written crap about Oakland was “respectful”?

      • Layla

        TRUTH! I think KQED owes an apology to its readers and supporters.

  • zoe kay

    Thanks God for Piedmont Grocery, elsewise I would have had to set foot in an ethnic grocer for my weird stuff.

  • Raiders baby!

    Shouldn’t this be titled…”ignorant transplant who considers themselves a San Franciscan guide to not knowing jack shit about oakland who has bladder control issues”?

    This article reeks of piss….so it’s no surprise you wrote this

  • EAS

    A vapid list — I wouldn’t expect anything less from a vacuous San Francisco resident who is probably still living with mom and dad. FYI: there is no such thing as a dive bar in Rockridge, just as there’s no such thing as a poor person in SF’s Marina District. The worst thing that happened to Oakland was San Francisco’s mass exodus. How embarrassing for your publication.

    • MrOakland

      I know! Have you seen the price of crack lately? Bastards.

  • Raiders baby!

    Brandon Eisenberg go fuck yourself


    Oh, the author’s bio explains it all:

    “Serena Cole

    I’m an artist, not a writer.
    Also, sometimes I pee my pants a little.”

  • Nope

    This entire article is a piece of classist tripe.

    Note to author: tripe is cow stomach, an edible offal commonly commonly prepared and eaten by those of a lower-economic class, and a notable item in Latin American cuisine. Not something you find at Piedmont Grocery though it might end up as the center piece of a $25 plate dish at Homestead, so keep an eye out!

  • gunner conway

    I love Oakland because there aren’t hipster douche bags from San Francisco living here.

  • Katherine Falk

    Um. How do you dismiss East Oakland without mentioning World Ground Cafe, Farmer Joe’s grocery store (both of them), and the many amazing Mexican restaurants and food trucks there? And how can you not mention Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland?

    Have you never been to the New Parkway Theater in downtown Oakland?

    If you think the Art Murmur is a waste of time, you’ve gotten there too late in the evening when it’s crowded. I’ve seen some great art there (and food trucks never hurt anything)

    I like Shin Shin but there are many other Chinese restaurants in Oakland. Maybe you should get out of your neighborhood, as awesome as it is, a little, and explore – I don’t know – Chinatown? And how about other cuisines like Ethiopian, Vietnamese, etc etc etc…

    • MrOakland

      Brown Sugar is mediocre, and way out of the way for most people.

  • Layla

    I sincerely would like to know how the editors of KQED Pop decided to publish this article as it originally appeared. KQED relies on public support dollars and it certainly doesn’t seem like a smart move to release an article with so many insensitive comments likely to offend members of their constituent communities.

  • Some fuckin dude.

    She advises people to drive into Tilden to “lounge by the lake.”

    This says it all.

  • afdnyc

    Best Chinese: Yu Ying Garden. Best Tacos: Tacos Jerezanos truck on 40th Street across from Best Buy (Technically Emeryville). That is all.

  • Bridgette Rodriguez Velasquez

    San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart, however, after reading this, I am ashamed to be a San Francisco native. After several years of living in the Tri-Valley area, my husband and I are looking forward to moving to Oaktown. Not all San Franciscans share the opinions of this ignorant author.

    • Erika

      We will welcome you to our great city.

    • MrOakland

      Yes, move to Oakland. I’m guessing you’re planning moving to a hilly part, aren’t you? Hope you got the scratch for that, anyway.

  • Joe

    This should be called “A Boring and Very White San Franciscan’s Guide to Living in Oakland for Boring and Very White People”. I find this article offensive and disrespectful. For your sake and ours, I hope you broaden your perspective at least a little. Live a little bit.

    • MrOakland

      Yeah, white people are boring, haha! Cultural appropriation is so much cooler!!

  • jj

    I get that the author is a little juvenile in her take, but whether you all want to admit it or not, your chances of facing violence increase appreciably in either of those two neighborhoods. I’ve spent a fair amount of time all over different Oakland hoods. The only times I’ve ever feared for my safety have been in those places. Twice each in East Oakland and West Oakland. And for valid reasons.. things like being called faggot and having bottles thrown at me or my friends. One time in West Oakland my friend and I had to run to his house to evade a group of three drunk dudes that started shouting stuff and walking toward us, unprovoked. So yeah, broad brushes do kind of suck, but those places have earned their rough reputation whether you want to concede it or not. Facts don’t lie. “Stay out” might be a bit extreme, and bad stuff can happen anywhere, but I sure as hell watch my back when I’m walking around either of those two neighborhoods.

    • I tell everyone to stay off of 6th street (SF)… I once had a crazy, homeless woman pinch my nipples as I was walking home.

    • Dan Silvert

      It’s not the allusion(s) to deep east/west as crime-ridden (which is a rep somewhat based in reality), it’s just that the glossing over the areas is as callous as the rest of the blog post.

      • MrOakland

        You don’t have to go into an in depth cultural history in a fluff piece in order to tell people that if they don’t know the neighborhood, they probably shouldn’t go there.

    • AnOski

      Facts!? Statistics!?! How dare you propagate the notion that a visitors might have a higher risk of bodily harm in a predominantly minority-occupied area. Never mind the fact that you don’t attribute it to race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

      Sorry, we’re too progressive to accept this kind of talk. All areas and people are equal and facts have no place here. No upvotes for you.

  • defhigh

    Brilliant! and all the whiny crying from effete liberal snobs in the comments.. oh my GOD even funnier! keep it up people.

    • Cee Nelly

      The word “effete” is pretty snobby dude.

      • defhigh

        shoe fits

  • Cee Nelly

    Um, you are such a lame ass I don’t even know what to say. Let me tell you something transplant, While you think Oakland is “fine,” I can assure you, as a lifelong resident for many decades, that Oakland does not find you “fine.” We find you, pretentious, annoying, daft, dull, totally unoriginal (Love your black rim glasses, bike, tight jeans, and vintage tee), and you don’t know how to drive for shit. More over, your “best of” Oakland list is plain sad. The good news, you obviously don’t know what the fuck you are talking about-you have seriously picked the lamest of the lame in Oakland-this means that you and I will never be hanging out together. Phew. Really, you don’t even belong in San Francisco. Take your ass back to wherever you came from. We won’t miss you. I promise.

  • Charlene Evans

    I echo the sentiment that YOU (the author) should stay out of East & West Oakland – we don’t need you here crapping all over communities we love.

  • brookish

    Posting a counterpoint doesn’t cut it. Posting a racist, classist and badly-drawn stereotype isn’t excused by posting differing opinions (i.e. the truth). You pull it, you apologize for your mistake.

  • stefanie kalem

    That’s funny: I’ve lived in Oakland for more than 12 years, not out of poverty and a lack of direction, but rather out of a love for the city: its diversity, its heart, its culture, its beauty, its uniqueness, and its history. Basically, its inability to be easily categorized. That’s why lists like this–so fashionable in these days of Wall Street Journal and NY Times attention–will always make Oaklanders angry, because you can’t break the city down into easily digestible parts. Oakland isn’t just about its restaurants* and its dive bars**, it’s about its problems and its differences and its centuries of freakin’ WEIRDOS. So if you don’t like the weird, the unsafe (to your preconceptions), the uncategorizeable, then please stay away. You won’t like it here.***

    * GOLDEN LOTUS IS THE BEST VIETNAMESE? I’m sorry, why? Because if your table service doesn’t fall somewhere on the spectrum between completely apathetic and out-and-out hostile it’s not authentic? Or because the fact that it’s vegan makes it “quirky”? AAAAAHHHHHHHGGGHHHGARGLLLE WHY DID I READ THIIIIIISSSSS??!

    ** The Hut is a dive bar? Why do care about going to a “dive bar,” anyway?

    *** I live in West Oakland. Feel free to stay out.

    • MrOakland

      You may not know this, but it can be difficult for vegans to dine out. It’s not quirky, it makes it easier for them to actually get a main dish, instead of questionable bread and maybe a salad with no dressing. But you’re probably a fat, meat eating pig, so that wouldn’t occur to you.

  • talz_28

    wow, first diss Berkeley and then talk about how much you love Zachary’s and Tilden which are both IN BERKELEY. seriously dude do you even live in the bay?

    • MrOakland

      Zachary’s is in Oakland, as are parts of Tilden.

    • Eclectic Infidel

      @talz_28 – Um, there is a Zachary’s on College Ave in Oakland’s Rockridge district, and another on Solano Ave in Berkeley. Are YOU sure that you live in the Bay Area?!?

  • Nguyen Thi Minh Khai

    I’m still disappointed in KQED for posting the original blog from this white bitch supremacist. Why the fuck did you live in Oakland if you think you’re all that fucking bitch?

  • Renoir

    did you replace the offensive quote with: “If you want to get mad at me for not including lots of specific things, go ahead. I don’t care.” WOW!!! #AUDACITY

  • David Waggoner

    Publishing a “counterpoint” on your website simply legitimizes Ms. Cole’s racism and is unacceptable to your members and the community. Retract and repudiate this nonsense or lose major credibility. It’s that simple.

  • Nguyen Thi Minh Khai

    I will no longer support KQED for posting such blog from this white supremacist bitch! Get the fuck out of Oakland bitch.

  • Patrick M Mitchell

    Is this supposed to be funny? It isn’t. Condescending and high school-ish, yes, but funny no.

  • Suzanne Vyborney

    Serena Cole, you owe the city of Oakland and its residents an apology.

  • John

    I don’t alway go to Oakland, but when I do I bring my .45

  • mrp

    “So stay out of East Oakland and West Oakland. That doesn’t sound like it leaves much, but it does. Trust me, my friends have been violently mugged in East Oakland and had the same house robbed three times in West Oakland. But be my guest if you want to go to either for ‘cool points'”

    Leave up the comment. If its your opinion, let others cast their counter-opinions.

  • Lynn Rogers

    Serena Cole: you are stunningly ignorant. I have to say it. I am an arts professional, a very well-paid arts professional and I live in Oakland by choice and commute round trip about 90 miles a day because Oakland is so cool, dynamic, creative and edgy. Oh, did I mention that I have lived here for about 33 years save the 4 years I moved to Silicon Valley and suffered along with other expats until I could return to living in Oakland. Oh, and I don’t live in a nice ‘safe’ tidy neighborhood – I live in a nice wildly multicultural edgy neighborhood and it is fantastic, Do you even realize how many of the really great, dynamic creative artists in the Bay Area live in Oakland? I do because years ago I had an NEA grant to do a census of artists in the EBay and we are next to NYC. Your tour of Oakland was patronizing and stupid. Oh, hey, KQED, I am also a paying member and am disgusted that you cannot do better than this….really???

    • MrOakland

      You were dumb enough to move to Silicon Valley, and think that you’re in a position to attack this person? Funny that you got a grant for a census, but not for your art, and if that was supposed to be a conceptual piece, than you’re actually a hack. Using the word ‘edgy’ confirms that. Shameful.

  • earinsound

    if you;re a San Franciscan then you don’t live in Oakland, peabody

  • Lakiesha Thomas

    Two words. Yuppie Racism!

  • Erika

    WOW, that was really disappointing to read. I am a real Oaklander, and love this city. I am sorry, that you only live here because you can afford it, there are other cities that you could live in. Other people have said some of the details, that I am not going to repeat, but I hope you understand our disappointment. I could not see the part that said to stay out of West and East Oakland, there are neighborhoods, that are not great, but avoiding all of East and West Oakland, is just a ridiculous statement. I could go on, but will stop.

  • bigred

    Four parks within walking distance of your precious neighborhood.
    Morcom Amphitheater of Roses
    Dracena Quarry Park
    Oak Glenn Park
    Mosswood Park
    You may want to steer clear of Mosswood though you may have to interact with a person of color there.
    Hey KQED! you should apologize for the entire article.

  • bigred

    Apparently Oakland needs more reasons to hate white people.

  • San Fran

    i didn’t read what was originally said, but the advice of staying away from east and west oakland is not bad advice if you are thinking of safety. Sure there are some cool places to hang, explore, and live in those neighborhoods, but not for everybody. It is no different than warning people against the tenderloin in sf, or in the old days, parts of the mission. sure, some people might be ok in the tenderloin. others aren’t. crackheads don’t scare me, but many people are scared.
    no one should be shocked by what she said. it was not very politically correct, and of course, people are sensitive to that. a better way to say it would have been, “parts of oakland have higher rates of crime, such as…bla bla bla”
    surprised that it is on kqed, sure. wrong in principle, no.
    new comer hipsters can defend all they want, and of course to locals it’s home. but fact is fact. crime is more visible in oakland, and it continues to be one of the most dangerous cities in the us.

    -oakland native, sf resident

  • Blank

    IDIOT, the author is just a plain ignorant, idiot.

  • jtmoore25

    damn, if she thought she was unsafe in oakland BEFORE she wrote this…

  • Kevin Maples

    Have you actually been to Oakland? Any chance you could go back to SF?

  • Jean Quan

    Hello, as the first Asian-American female mayor, I’d like to respond to the author of this misguided post:
    1. Oakland has the highest number of tolerant individuals unless you show them some facts about crime and who commit those crimes, because that would be racist.
    2. Oakland enjoys the highest ratio of hipsters getting robbed and not reporting to the police, because our police is thankfully crippled, and its usually the hipster’s fault for flashing expensive devices in front of disadvantage youth. Owning an iPhone, legally or not, is a civil right in Oakland.
    3. If it perfectly safe to live in Oakland if you are one of my voters and on a welfare program.
    4. The number one responsibility of a hipster San Franciscan moving to Oakland is to slowly and painfully transfer all their wealth to the Democratic party’s most committed voter block. This is what compassion is all about.
    5. If you did move to Oakland and wondered to West or East Oakland, and you are met by disadvantage youth who take your possession or hit you a little, please call OPD and leave a detailed message. They may get back to you within 5 business days.
    I hope this clarifies everything this ill-advised reporter has said. Move to Oakland, we can always use more tax dollars.

    • Renoir

      Wait, is Serena Cole impersonating the mayor?

    • pottymouth_princess

      Your parody sucks ass.

  • Indigo Nai


    Really, that’s the underlying question this article is here to address? How about:

    “How to blend into a neighborhood without being disruptive?”

    “Oakland has some rough edges, what can I do to contribute and help my new community?”

    “I really only want cheap rent, so I moved to Fremont instead”

    Do us a favor. Stay out of West and East Oakland. Our communities are better off without you. There’s nothing here to buy.

    • MrOakland

      How about ” I don’t look like everybody else on this block – I need to watch my back!” because that’s basically what you’re saying: “Shut up, and give us money. Don’t expect to feel comfortable in your own home.”.

  • Dan Silvert

    As a semi-bougie white guy (relate-ability bonus points! who was born in Berkeley and has lived in Oakland (and may be writing my first blog-berating message ever):

    1) Berkeley is way more vibrant than you give it credit for.
    2) Your perceptions, in general, are skewed, farcical, and myopic.
    3) If you want to come to Oakland “to escape SF,” at least spell Cafe Van Kleef fucking correctly. You know what? Actually, just stay in SF.

  • Alex Dees

    This is just sad. If this article reflects your cultural approach to life..please don’t move to the East Bay. I moved to the East Bay from S.F. back in the 80s and never understood the snobbery (there’s no there, there..jeez)…Cost of living is escalating everywhere, so this will just push up the traffic and costs over here..which is one of the reasons I left S.F. in the first place.

    • MrOakland

      She lives here. Probably longer than you have.

  • blackalaureate

    the person who wrote this is a complete jackhole.

    even with the offending paragraph edited out, it comes off as douchey, smug, and ugly.

    please leave oakland. we don’t need more hipsters with their noses stuck in the air.

    • MrOakland


  • Indigo Mordant

    Negative comments? In my internet?! What did you expect from a piece titled “A SAN FRANCISCAN’S guide to living in Oakland”? Down-to-earth consideration for all walks of life low and high with heaping helpings of charm for taco trucks and the Pacific Pipe Co. industrial charm? Were you all born yesterday with an inability to not take back-lit Retina-displayed pixels of facetious color so personally?

    I guess KQED overstepped some boundaries with this blog post! They better watch what they right, that’s for sure!

    • MrOakland

      Psst! They mostly pretty dumb. Don’t tell them.

  • eastoakland

    KQED, I demand you to take this article down.

    • MrOakland

      A thing I don’t like! Kill it!

  • elindi

    Yeah we really don’t need people like you telling more people like you it’s really ok here.

  • joe

    I was born and raised here, lived all over the city, and this article does suck however East and West Oakland suck more. You hipster fucks, a couple cool hole in the wall joints and domiciles, don’t erase the homelessness, deprivation, high murder rate and gang violence in East and West Oakland. These areas have been shit holes for years, only recently with white flight have they improved slightly, only recently has it become un PC to call them shit holes, which will only insure that they remain mostly shit holes for years to come. In response to that earlier comment, l’ll take my chances walking alone to my car at night on Piedmont Ave, over West MacArthur or Seminary any day.

  • Briahn Badelle

    I would expect an article like this on Fox news…not KQED. Of course, it’s offensive. But what planet does she live on? The best shops, coffee shops, bars..most on Piedmont? Best bookstore on Piedmont? What about Walden on Grand or the Oakland LANDMARK Marcus Books?

    You want folks to stay out of East and West Oakland? How about you stay out of Oakland all together. Why do you think Oakland is so popular with you annoying ass hipsters? It’s BECAUSE of the original inhabitants of Oakland that you are so drawn to it’s allure. ESO/WSO/NSO MAKE Oakland so appealing. You like Oakland because of the way we speak, the new dances that the youth come out with, the charisma of the young black and brown men, the nail shops, the various restaurants (Nellys Soul Food, Champa Garden, Genovas) all of this was here way before you. THe hipsters come in, open new trendy businesses, only hire other hipsters-not the folks who have been living here for years, and then get upset with they get robbed. Get over yourself. Here’s the thing, we don’t want you here anyways so please don’t think you’re doing any of us a favor. Pretentious hipsters like you are the reason folks such as myself-born and raised in Oakland-can’t afford to buy a house in our hometown. YOU come in because it’s popular at the moment, buy a house with the money your daddy gave you, do NOTHING for the community and then leave when you get ready to have kids because it’s not fun anymore. Take your unwanted ass back to SF. ::in my Too Short voice:: BIAAAATCH

    • caitlin a.

      I think you are my soul mate. you wrote precisely what I was thinking- thank you! let’s go, Oakland!

    • yupitsme

      YES. ALL OF THIS (what’s my favorite word)

    • MrOakland

      No, space is cheaper here, and it’s close to Berkeley and SF. You got the whole thing wrong. Hip hop is tired and passé. Are you trying to say that the robberies are extortion that happens when new businesses hire experienced workers, rather than starting a jobs program on their own dime? What’s wrong with you?

  • John C. Osborn
    • pottymouth_princess

      Cache apparently updated with KQED’s attempts to quell the firestorm (how’s that for an OAKLAND reference that Serena will have to google to understand?).

      • MrOakland

        Wow, you’re an old timer. Massive loss of life because of poor upkeep, and government neglect. That’s some caché there.

  • Renoir

    Just in case late comers missed the redacted version: “Don’t Be Scared | The only rule to living here
    is to find where to go and not to go. The places I am going to take you
    on a tour through will label me as
    “bougie” by Oakland standards, but I don’t think there is anything
    elitist about coming home in one piece. So stay out of East Oakland and
    West Oakland. That doesn’t sound like it leaves much, but it does. Trust
    me, my friends have been violently mugged in East Oakland and had the
    same house robbed three times in West Oakland. But be my guest if you
    want to go to either for ‘cool points.’”

    • San Fran

      i see nothing wrong with that. just a personal opinion. i wouldn’t recommend sending my visiting relatives into those areas, so why should she? if she wants to be “bougie” let her be. it’s a free country.
      sure this is not p.c., so maybe it doesn’t belong on a p.c. website like kqed, so blame them, not her….

      • MrOakland

        It’s not a free country, it’s Oaklnd! Say what I want you to, or I’ll cry!

    • Roberto Santiago

      Thank you. I was looking for that. Funny, I don’t find that to be the most offensive part. It’s offensive, but the whole intro is offensive. Good to see they took down the whole thing.

  • Sac Masta

    How is a source as reputable as KQED going to publish an author that proclaims she pees in her pants in her author profile.

  • joe

    I was born and raised here, lived all over the city, and this article does suck however Im not going to jump down this authors throat for suggesting there is crime in Oakland, THERE IS. Cultural movements, and a unique ethnic communities don’t erase the homelessness, deprivation, high murder rate and gang violence in East and West Oakland. These areas have been shit holes for years, only recently have they improved slightly, only recently has it become un PC to call them shit holes, which will only insure that they remain mostly shit holes for years to come.

  • al_pal

    Holy moley, what an obnoxious article. Huge fail. I, too, am stunned that KQED decided to publish this tripe. A bunch of my friends live in West Oakland because they are *actually* poor artists [certainly can’t afford to live in/near Piedmont!]. Sadly, they keep having their car windows broken. If safety is really more important to you than vibrancy, live in the fog…or Fremont, as another commenter mentioned.

  • Nancy Vicknair

    Why does everyone always try to pretend that the elephant in the room is not in the room-when the elephant is in the room. Yes, crime is pretty darn well awful in Oakland and it does tend to aggregate around certain areas. Come on folks–you know, and I know, that it is really dangerous to be in areas of East or West Oakland at night. I lived all over the world and East Oakland was the worst. Oh yes,,. it can be pretty there, and lively, and happening but it is a mess in a lot of places. Ugly neighborhoods on the fringes, drugs, crime, prostitutes. You all are mad ’cause the writer has been brave enough to bring up the fact that your precious ‘hood is not precious. Posers.

    • Briahn Badelle

      Ok. Theres crime. There’s crime in other parts of Oakland as well. Theres crime everywhere because PEOPLE ARE POOR AND DESPERATE. There’s crime because we’re not spending enough money on the youth, re-entry programs, job programs. Try to come up with a solution for the issues in Oakland and then you can have an opinion. Try to do something to HELP the community instead of doggin’ it. The posers are the ones coming in acting like we asked you to come and judge the city. We did not.

      • MrOakland

        Get out.

    • MrOakland

      They’re probably in the human trafficking business and don’t want they’re families in SoCal to find out.

  • Mango Lime Time

    So tired of these played out articles about Oakland. The author is entitled to her limited views and trite writing. But just give it a proper title. Don’t call it “Welcome to Oakland” when it’s really “Welcome to Piedmont Ave.” I hope you make it big in your writing or art so you can afford to get the hell out of here. But from the looks of your work, I’ll probably be bumping into you at any of the yuppy-safe beer tastings and coffee spots. Maybe I should wear my scary East Oakland garb so you’ll know to stay away from me.

    • MrOakland

      It isn’t called “Welcome to Oakland. Can you read?And people aren’t looking at you like that because your ‘scary’. It’s probably not what you think.

      • Mango Lime Time

        Why yes, I CAN read lol. But the more pressing question is, can you read subtext, Mr. Oakland? I’ll break it down for you. Since the author stated that one of the only reasons she’s even in Oakland is because she couldn’t afford to live in SF, I made a reference to her poor writing and how, based on it, she probably won’t be making enough to move out of here any time soon. That’s when I said I’d likely run into her some time. (I was kidding because I really don’t even care to find out what she looks like so I wouldn’t be able to recognize her) Then I made a comment referring to the paragraph about her fear of East and West Oakland (that paragraph was later taken out by editors for being offensive) by saying that I might run into her in a bar or something on Peidmont or one of the other two areas she approves of. I was making an absurd reference to her supposed fear of East Oakland by asserting that she’d fear a person dressed as if they were from that part of town as well. That was a joke, because I doubt anyone would be able to tell what part of Oakland someone’s from based on their apparel. I may have mistaken an in-text heading for the title (because if YOU can read, she does write– Welcome to Oakland before getting into the body of her writing about piedmont ave and rockridge). My bad.

        • MrOakland

          Somebody is really starved for attention!

  • martinsnapp

    Congratulations. It only took you a week to undo all the goodwill toward San Francisco generated by Batkid. Now we can go back to thinking of you as a bunch of elitist douches,

  • Mango Lime Time

    If anyone needs an example of post-race racism, aka “hipster racism” or “ironic racism”, look no further.

  • TravisT

    Thank you. People need to remember that Oakland is more than robberies. True, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent, but it is completely irrelevant that virtually all these robberies are committed by one group of strong supporters of the Democratic party, my voters. Come to Oakland, violent crime rate only rose 16% to 1,993 per 100,000 residents, more than triple the national average, so it is a great place to live if you like some excitement and fear in your life, plus very high taxes. Oakland is heaven. Come here (we need your money to continue these success stories).
    –Jean Quan

  • Some fuckin dude.

    Oh my god “we’ve removed the offensive paragraph” KQED YOU REALLY DON”T GET IT DO YOU?!?!?!?

    Its not a paragraph, its the entire TONE of the article. Its the fact that this was written by someone who appears never to venture outside the “white people” areas. Its the fact that the article was written from the perspective that people who MOVE to Oakland should IGNORE the social conditions of the people who lived here before.

    People aren’t upset because the author didn’t say nice things about East and West O, people are upset because this article literally stinks of everything folks bring up in the gentrification conversation.

    Personally I am offended by it because one demonstration of this kind of self centered, elitist, and tacitly racist attitude destroys a huge amount of work that white transplants have to do in order to build community bonds so we DON’T come across like the author.

  • Aimee R. Van Selow

    Stay out of my city.

  • Tavian Andre Allen

    Two words for Kqed. I’m disapointed. Two words for the blogger. QUIT NOW!

  • Michael Grant

    STAY THA FUCK IN FRISCO!! Oakland ain’t no place for hipsters, or outa Towners … It’s trife out here n Oakland… period especially in tha east… Sick of u mutha fuckas tryna gentrify my city… Tryna turn it into a little sf or sumthin … What the fuck… I bet this is why I been seeing more and more weird ass no cultural white people around…. If u not from here or dnt no anything about it don’t come here to live here….

  • Molly Gabriele Jordan

    stay the hell out of oakland. you think that the only decent areas to eat and enjoy are in piedmont and all that shows is how little you know and how closed minded you are to expanding your horizons. you can keep SF. Try visiting the International district and trying every taco truck along international till it becomes east 14th. and you cant for get to visit POP ART BAKERY while down ther.

    • MrOakland

      Eww, salmonella. Every roach coach on International? You must have a death wish.

  • Josh Kaplan

    Really KQED, really? You removed THE offending paragraph? I’m a little amazed that this article was posted through your blog. Actually I am greatly saddened by this.
    My first reaction is to reconsider my membership, because this type of of article is not what I want to support.

  • Truthbot

    Fuck this author.

  • Kevin Lee Thomason

    The entitled elites do not come to the flat parts. FUCK THEM!

  • Dan Silvert

    One more thing about this post that sucks:

    You criticize “24 year olds from Madison” while misspelling bar names, being incorrect about which entity is in which city (like MO Lounge), can’t name “your fave taco truck,” etc.

    The biggest hypocrites I know, the ones who berate “bridge and tunnelers” and sing the praises of their own neighborhoods (Marina, Mission, Piedmont Ave., whatever) to the exclusion of other places are typically insecure little shits who aren’t from here.

    If OP is secure with themselves and from here then congrats, you’re just a poor writer with no sense of time/place who can’t conduct due diligence.

  • Emily Phillips

    This article is embarrassing and I thought better of KQED. I wish you lived in SF, because Oakland does NOT need, or WANT, people like you living here. Seriously, go back to wherever you came from, or better yet, go to SF, since that is obviously where you think you’re good enough to live. Stand next to the sewage smell at Valencia and 16th (well, any corner, really) and troll your iphone for the most glamorous place to be seen. Ugh.

  • smokedrugz

    This article was great and humorous. It was obviously written as a joke and it was supposed to be flippant. It was written in a voice of Oakland douche baggery and the comments it recieved exemplified the voice the author was going for really well. Oakland isn’t great and anyone who thinks that is fucking dumb. Oakland is like any other city except there’s more crime per capita, the rent is much higher, there’s less to do at night and thereso much more elitism here than new York city even. Fucking white hipsters who. Think thwyre slummin. This article was great at bringing out the elitist attitude a lot of people in Oakland, the bay area and California in general have. Face it people, there are great things about every city and the bay areas shit DOES stinkAnd to describe Oakland as fine is perfect, maybe momentarily tolerable would have been better.

    • smokedrugz

      I’m in west Oakland often… Where is everyone else then? Oh yea, probably waiting outside of brown sugar kitchen because that’s totally going to west Oakland. If everyone loves west and east Oakland and says they go there all the time. Why is it so fucking empty still?

    • MrOakland

      They’re terrified of even the idea of how people who aren’t sunk in the morass of Oakland might see them. They have to start attacking without even reading the the whole post. Also, they know they’d move if they could, but they’re stuck, and they’re afraid of the real world anyway.

  • Stephanie Sockel

    In light of all of the comments on FB & KQED’s site, the more I read this the more I am glad she wrote it. If it keeps people like her away from living in our beautiful city than write on. Hopefully, the silver lining will be better editorials and less entitle/privileged assholes living in Oakland because it’s affordable. I came to Oakland because I was drawn here. There is so much beauty to embrace with. Be here because it’s cool not because you want to be cool and live in the Bay Area but can’t afford the city. Plenty of people with all sorts of incomes make it work in SF. If that’s where you want to be then be there.

  • Lori

    What if we all stopped stereotyping each other? I live in the city and neighborhood that I do out of pure chance and circumstance. It doesn’t define me.

  • Oh word?

    This article is bad, and you should feel bad.

  • wizardofx

    I lived in Oakland for one year. After dealing with the cold damp weather, stupid-ass anarchists ruining down town for NOTHING, and being a foot away from catching a stray .45 caliber bullet with my head during a gunfight in the streets… I was OUT! Moved to LA. Far from perfect here too, but it’s warm, affordable and much fewer stray bullets flying.

    • yupitsme


  • Hampton Neal

    The taco truck is called Tacos Mi Rancho.

  • Jack

    Just want to contribute to the chorus of voices that say that this article is lazy and offensive. If the author attempts to say “Hey, it was tongue-in-cheek” i respond with “Get better at being funny without offending people.”

  • missjilie

    I cannot begin to tell you how much respect I have lost for KQED. There is just no excuse, no apology, no out in justifying this piece being published. I own a gorgeous Victorian home in West Oakland and have for 13 years. I live in an amazing neighborhood filled with rich history and rich culture and yes, beautiful BLACK people. We are a neighborhood, a community, a family. We know each other’s names, we know each other’s families, we bring each other plates of food when one of is sick, we drop off platters of food when some one passes. We greet each other, we don’t hang our heads and act fearful of the brown skinned human sharing the sidewalk. So yes Serina Cole, you are SPOT ON -stay the hell away from my West Oakland you racist bitch.

  • Dana Wisbar

    Hmmm….I’ve lived in the East Bay my whole life. Born and raised, and guess what, my parents were born and raised here too. And before that, everyone else was born and raised in SF (That’s all the way back to the 1800s). So, look….that shit doesn’t matter, and you’ve got some great things on your list. But you’ve barely even begun to live here. I can tell you’re still approaching Oakland from a completely outside perspective. You’re looking at Oakland from the classic “SF is better than you” approach. And rightfully so, that’s kind of what your article is about. But a lot of the best of Oakland and the East Bay in general (Oakland arts and music scene for one) is only open to people who can ditch that view and start to truly assimilate into East Bay culture…a lot of it is through word of mouth. For a good reason too, we like to keep the kind of SF folk we don’t like out, because as soon as they come along they make it trendy and then our space suddenly becomes cool enough for the start-up crowd. And a great deal of it isn’t found in a bar (BTW that “dive bar” the Missouri Lounge you’re talking about….it used to be divier (not a word, I know), and it used to just be full of alcoholic old men…a true dive bar. Now it’s just hipsters. And that cafe James and the Giant Cupcake as well as Actual Cafe, that area used to be quite different 10 years ago. A lot of hookers a lot of crime) Sure, we don’t have as much money, and we don’t look as fashionable. We still haven’t decided against meat and gluten. But our parties are way better, we’re way more culturally diverse, we bother to knock on our neighbors door and tell them to move their van because the street sweeper is coming and you don’t wanna get a ticket. Each block is like it’s own microcosm. Your neighbors share their awesome BBQ with you, you make sure you never take the parking space across the street because it belongs (unofficially) to the old man across the street who has lived on that block since the year before dirt. You wanna go out but don’t feel like dressing up? In Oakland you don’t have to. Wanna throw a big party in your back yard? You can! We actually have yards! And if you hopefully live in one of the big Victorians in West Oakland, your neighbors won’t care if you do, as long as you maybe give them a heads up. Anyway, my point is….you have a good list…for the SF crowd. But if you’ve lived here awhile, maybe it’s time for you to really start living here. Have you ever had a Top Dog? What about Lois the Pie Queen? Ever ate at Zari’s delicatessen? What about Pretty Lady?…oh wait, it’s in West Oakland. I’m not even gonna tell you how to get to MY favorite taco truck, the neighborhood will terrify you!

    • MrOakland

      Oh right, that part of San Pablo that’s been decimated by hipsters used to house Your Black Muslim Bakery, a great Oakland resource since pushed out by the police. Man, it really sucks now, no character. That was some hip Oaklandism there, incest pedo rape, women as total chattel, rat poop, guns. Damn these white people for opening businesses and pushing out the good Oakland cults! Damn these techies for having jobs and spending money! Everything was so great here before! By the way, when you’re voting for prop 8 in large numbers, don’t talk about your parties being ‘cooler’. There are good reasons why transplants don’t want to know you.

  • sf_oak_ny

    I also want to use this “forum,” to give a light criticism on Michael Krasny’s reporting on Oakland/ Frutville. Most of the time when I have heard him mention these places there is always a thread of disrespect, and bourgeois attitude. Here is an example, around the 50 minute mark of Daniel Alarcon’s interview, Daniel starts talking about living in Fruitvale and loving it, and Michael seems surprised.

  • Renoir

    Serena Cole’s bio on her website says, “[after divorce] her mother married a man because he looked like Tom Selleck, who lived on the top of mountain. Forced to
    leave the roller-skatable sidewalks of San Jose, at age eight she found herself living off-the-grid in the Sierra Nevadas and spent the rest of her childhood looking for
    the mall. This extreme isolation from culture and civilization created a
    fetishized association with anything perceived of as high art, fashion,
    or wealth.” — This chick’s got issues.

    • smokedrugz

      What makes you so aware and cultured? You can use the internet for research. Cool

      • Roberto Santiago

        Renoir’s got one thing Serena Cole doesn’t, the ability to use the internet for research. With a couple clicks she may have seen how many places she mentions are in Berkeley. Or found the address of that taco truck. Or found out the difference between “hoard” and “horde.”

        Awareness/Culture point to Renoir.

  • Jamie_Cohen

    Wow, dismissing Art Murmur in one fell swoop because the author only took the time to walk around the food trucks (which really are a new addition in the past 6 or so months) instead of inspecting and appreciating all the side-street galleries, the diverse crowd, and the various live musical acts!? Even though the article has been edited, the author should still be embarrassed by this post, and KQED has just been taken down a few pegs. Shameful. Author should be peeing her pants more than ‘a little’ after this one.

  • Jean Quan

    This isn’t an accurate portrait of Oakland.

    – Sent from a Blackberry after my iPhone was violently robbed out of my hands in East Oakland by disadvantage youth running away in a new Escalade.

    • a youth in oakland

      YOU ARE AN IDIOT. you know absolutely nothing about young people in Oakland. if you have a problem with oakland youth, move the FUCK out of here and keep your ignorant ass comments in your ass where it belongs you POS of a person.

      • Jean Quan

        You and the rest of Oakland’s youth are the best! No one else in the nation is robbing hipsters at such an astonishing effectiveness, and I promise to keep sending you money taken from ungrateful taxpayers who have the nerve to ask for safety and peace instead of welcoming diversity into their lives (in the form of stolen or broken-into cars, robbed homes, bruised faces, pain and fear). See you at the voting booth, bring your undocumented friends (they can vote a couple of times as well) and let us continue this success.

        • a youth in oakland


          • Jean Quan

            So proud of you, you represent Oakland’s public schools in the best way possible. You are also right that the fact that the five-year average (as of 2006) for homicide suspects in Oakland breaks down as follows: 64.7% Black, 8.6% Hispanic, 0.2% White, 2.0% Asian , so clearly the problem is with ignorant hipsters. I promise you we will stop at nothing to stop the people behind 0.2% of the murders in Oakland.

  • missjilie

    PLEASE, you and who ever the hell you are talking to…STAY OUT OF OAKLAND. I’ve lived in West Oakland for 14 years and know all of my neighbor’s names and phone numbers. Why? because I didn’t buy a home here thinking I was better than anyone. And who thinks that more than white people? I know the kind of hipster Serena Cole is, she is the kind that have moved around me over the years and won’t speak to anyone, won’t make eye contact with any neighbors, act like they are either better than the Black people around them, like they are slummin’ and doing some one a favor, or like they are scared of any Black person that may be walking up the sidewalk at the same time. I say “the kind of” because I have a of White neighbors that are awesome, because they love our hood and our communities and our neighbors. Because WE are awesome.

  • thetown

    lol, if the author gets mugged, that’s just karma handling town bis-nis

  • Tiffany

    I disagree with this author on basically everything she wrote. I’ve lived in Oakland for the past 5 years, so I’m not a native, but I’ve been working in Oakland public schools for the past 3 years with staff and families that were born and raised in Oakland. The only thing I’ll say about dismissing West and East Oakland is that it is 1. Absolutely, undeniably racist, 2. Classist, 3. Horribly ignorant. The author sounds exactly like that 24 year old from Wisconsin that she puts down at the end of the article.

    I have a huge problem with the basis of this article – like it is trying to assuage San Franciscans’ fears of moving to Oakland. I LIVE IN OAKLAND BECAUSE I THINK IT IS A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE THAN SF. No, I don’t want to live in a city of 20-30 something white tech/waitress transplants above a bar, pay up the ass in rent for a tiny room, in worse weather, around zero real families with children. I LOVE that I live in the most diverse city in the nation (look it up), I LOVE that there is beauty in every pocket of Oakland (and I don’t mean many people’s narrow definition of Oakland as Downtown, the Lake area and North Oakland – I mean ALL of it). I LOVE that I live on a quiet street with a driveway and backyard in a 2 bedroom house by the lake and pay 500 in rent.

    Yes, I’d like to keep my places on the DL, however, this article is so infuriating that I feel like I HAVE to do Oakland a favor and name the REAL highlights…seriously…Piedmont Grocery??

    Groceries: Cheapest cheap is any of the markets in Chinatown (FYI Oakland Chinatown is SF Chinatown if it wasn’t a tourist trap) or in Little Saigon (2nd-10th Ave-ish along International or E12th). Los Hermanos on Fruitvale. Step up? Farmer Joe’s in Fruitvale. Korean groceries on Telegraph worth a visit too..Oasis on Telegraph for anything middle eastern – they also have a great deli/restaurant. Also – let us call upon our neighbor Berkeley and hellooo Berkeley Bowl and Monterey grocery!

    Thai: Old Weang Ping on MacArthur in East Oakland. Your Thai grandpa built this hole in the wall restaurant as an addition to his house, then he was going to retire and close it after 20+ years, until the current owner, a former schoolteacher, quit his job to keep it going. This is my favorite restaurant in the world. Yes, I know Champa Garden exists – sorry, this is way better.

    Vietnamese: Kim Phuong has great banh xiao (just order it), Pho Ao Sen on E12th, Cam Huong for banh mi sandwiches

    Chinese: Shan Dong in Chinatown. I like Legendary Palace for dim sum, but Joy Luck is also a very cheap alternative.

    Pizza: Arizmendi, Lanesplitter’s.

    BBQ/Soul Food: The Brick Pig. There used to be a place called Genny’s in East Oakland that apparently used to be amazing but there was a fire and now they’ve been closed for awhile…re-opening may be dubious. I’ve heard Phat Matt’s is good too. Holiday Fish way down International. Vegan? Souley Vegan is HELLA good, and I’m a meat eater. Crispy BBQ tofu burger deliciousness. Lois the Pie Queen for brunch, Brown Sugar Kitchen is over-hyped but I guess you need to try it once.

    Taco truck: Okay- to clarify- the taco truck by the lake on E2nd or whatever that street is by International – that is only popular because it is the closest taco truck to the Yelp-using population. Yeah- it’s decent and it’s open the latest for the drunk crowd and I definitely frequent it from time to time. Best though? Taqueria Sinaloa (Al pastor, shrimp burritos, fish tacos) or the two battling trucks in front of the Goodwill down International – best lengua ever and good tortas too.

    Brunch: There are a million..some of my affordable favorites: Lynn & Lou’s and Bacheeso’s on Grand.

    Dive-y: Ruby Room, Heart & Dagger (nice outdoor area and free snacks), Kingfish in North Oakland (free popcorn, verrry divey), there are probably many more I’m missing. Beer Revolution and Telegraph for the beer gardens, and better yet, Souley Vegan will deliver to you at Beer Rev (next door).

    Gastropub: Sidebar, Plum, probably many more – this is new to me since I shy away from spending the $$$ in bars with food

    Dance-y: The Layover, the Uptown – whoops I don’t go out enough anymore to add to this one..

    Music Venues: The Fox, The New Parish (my favorite), Yoshis, Cafe Von Kleef, the Paramount, Piedmont Piano Co. apparently has amazing acoustics and tiny shows, I’m sure there are more…East Bay-wide includes Ashkenaz, La Pena, Freight & Salvage, the Greek, and 924 Gilman in Berkeley.

    Farmer’s Markets: Saturdays by the Lake, Sundays in Jack London Square.

    How could you not mention this????! Besides the obvious Lakes Merritt and Temescal. That park all the way down 7th called Middle Harbor Shoreline Park – best place for a sunset overlooking the bay- bike down there with a bottle of wine. JOAQUIN MILLER, REDWOOD park….Redwood is my dream of dream getaways- a 15 minute drive and suddenly I’m in redwood forest wonderland?! I know this is San Leandro, but hey East Bay neighbor- Lake Chabot! Then we got Mt. Diablo out East.

    Quirky things I’ve yet to experience:
    – That night-time adults only Children’s Fairyland event.
    – The Vulcan (artist live/work space with a Thai restaurant in the grounds)
    – Hoodslam – WWE style live wrestling event at the Oakland Metro
    – Taking a class at The Crucible – industrial arts like foundry, glass blowing etc.

    I’m sure any list leaves out a lot, but these are just some of my favorites. Please do NOT assume we just live here because it is a cheaper alternative to SF (albeit I do enjoy my cheaper rent) – we live here for the people, the history, the diverse culture, and to stay away from you.

  • Jerry Bold

    I’ll admit im a bit sensitive to this due to the sf refugees taking up all the space at my favorite places around town

    and a few other reasons.

    Its blatant consumerism and exploitation of Oakland marketed directly to SF, while ignoring facts: Its HELLA dangerous here, the cops suck, and the inhabitants don’t like you .

    Thank god they are building all those new condos downtown to fit all of you and raise rent around town. Maybe the buildings will be so tall i wont be able to see SF anymore.

    the title is unimaginative

  • Mike Pham

    I lived in Chinatown and East Oakland all my life, I rarely go into the good parts of the town like Piedmont or Rockridge, honestly I never even heard of little shin shin. Best vietnamese food at golden lotus? come to EAST OAKLAND for some real vietnamese food

  • Cornelius Jackson

    Love this article. Many commenters are tripping. Gentrification is a GREAT thing. I welcome folks pushed out from SF helping to make Oakland a better place. Thirty years from now, Oakland will be totally different than it is now, and I welcome that change. Lots of restaurants and sites I didn’t know about and I will look a few of them up.

  • big ballin

    This white bitch is fucking stupid and needs to go back to the Mission.

  • Mark

    “Since I don’t eat chicken, I am greatly disappointed that the only other option is egg salad, the Milhouse of sandwich options.”

    This article is hilarious. I love how mad it’s made everyone. First off, it’s one writer’s opinion, not an organization’s. Second, this writer is seriously funny and has some amazing phrasing. And third, who cares anyway? Some people think Oakland is the best, some think it’s the worst, and this author thinks it’s OK. Free speech kicking people in their sensitive parts. Bravo Ms. Cole. I wish I was this smart, brave, and funny.

  • Rue Mapp

    The privilege, premise, and cultural insensitivity of this article REEKS! …about to make me cuss on the internets! Shame on you KQED! Oakland has ALWAYS been wonderful and is NOT better because of gentrifying “discovering” folks who have helped drive our character to the isolation and cultural deserts of Modesto, Tracy, and Antioch — because they can’t afford to live here anymore…. signed – Oakland Native, Born at Providence

  • Azucena

    This is my response blog to this disgusting article…

  • d.angel

    Well, soon Oakland will become like Harlem and Brooklyn, NY and all the white people like this wack blogger, will move into Oakland, causing it become too pricey for the subliminally “unmentioned” “undesirable” element. Disgusting review, stay outta Oakland, since its slumming, and take you broke high class behind back to SF.

  • Tom Brown

    East Oakland is a good place to be FROM.

  • Harry

    Nice. Would love to go Back to Oakland, but schools ain’t so great there. One a these days.

  • bobbie

    the author of this trash; REALLY needs to broaden her comfort zone!!! In 5 to 10 years, I can see her barricaded in her home. Afraid to go outside or answer her door. I think she may have a mental disability. She needs to get help NOW!

  • Gerald J. Slaughter

    With the exception of Rockridge and Montclair District Oakland is a very diverse city –in all ways. When out and about you could not travel without encountering otherness, much of it beautiful. San Franciscans and 415 Peninsula folks quite acting funny-style. Get over your Bay Bridge phobia, and experience some different sh*t.

    San Francisco has long prided itself in being a culturally rich, socially diverse city. However ‘the City’ has since the era has struggled to maintain these qualities. Economic stratification has undermined diversity. Step into a public space -look around, scan it and you will find yourself place that presents as homogenous rather than diversity. Even where more than one racial group are represented there still tends to be a monolithic feel with regards to the energy, presentation, preferences, etc. This is to say that San Franciscans who value diversity and want to engage it in will need to make a concerted effort to access ‘new and different’ experiences. Complacency tends to lead to apathy [towards others]. You wouldn’t want to end up with the mindset of someone living in an isolated, gated community would you?

  • Elizabeth August

    This is despicable, vapid, mean-spirited and ill-informed drivel. KQED has taken a nose dive and you ought to do more than edit out the most offensive paragraph. Ditch the entire thing and the hack who wrote it.

  • Guest

    I’m going to have to start with the tone. The condescension is unbelievably thick here. The only attention this frothy, self-seeking piece deserves is that of one of those “10 Random Facts about Me” status updates that was recently flooding facebook.
    There is no substance here. I visualize the your head resting on a hand tilting to the side as you sigh with resignation at your life in Oakland. Get a grip!
    You’ve done the people of Oakland an incredible disservice by opening up your laptop to share your completely biased views on a city that works hard to rebuild after each news blast regarding its crime rate. Oakland knows!
    The people here have long accepted what other cities brush under the rug. There are flaws, but the beauty of its citizens is unmatched. When you warn of staying away from neighborhoods except for yours you create this hierarchy and to be completely fair you make white people sound trite, judgmental, scared, and as if they should only move to Oakland because, tear, that damn SF is just too expensive!
    I get that you were going for some sort of David Sedaris sarcastic, dry humor. But he’s actually funny. He takes jabs at his own fears and I never walk away feeling talked down to.
    My final comment is this.. You spoke so highly of the bars. Really? Is that all you get from here? No art scene, just a lot of bars.
    Though I guess it would be hard to know outside of your 3-block radius that Oakland is a mecca for Slam Poets & street artists. But I forgot you already said you don’t know jack about the majority of culture that exists in Oakland and spoke directly to the level of ignorance you have regarding the beautiful city you are biding your time in.

  • Carlita Carla

    BEST CHINESE Little Shin Shin?? THAT’S the reason the article should be pulled.

    And Spectator Books over Walden Pond on Grand? Seriously??

  • Carlita Carla

    If Oakland sucks so bad, how come houses in my working-class neighborhood–small, unspectacular houses @1,000 sqft, are selling for around 800K, if you can get them?

    • smokedrugz

      Because its for rich white people who pushed the original residents out with their fat pockets and “Oakland pride”. Dumbass

    • MrOakland

      They aren’t.

      • Carlita Carla

        Check the real estate ads if you don’t want to come up here to an open house and see it yourself.

    • Transit_Riding_Transit_Planner

      If houses are selling for that much, that neighborhood is no longer “working class”

      • Carlita Carla

        Exactly. And that doesn’t happen in cities that suck so bad.

  • Scott Sidorsky

    I grew up in Oakland and have lived in SF for 30 years. There is a much richer experience potentially for this story.

  • Guest

    Please put the removed paragraph back. You have missed an opportunity to learn from this with an open discussion. Now you have just white washed the article further. KQED should know better… (wags finger, stomps feet.)

  • joe

    Wow. I’m embarrassed for and of both the author and KQED.

  • smokedrugz

    Yes, freedom of speech. Fuck Oakland

  • Roberto Santiago

    I hella <3 these comments.

  • OaklandPook

    I’m offended KQED took this post down. The truth hurts and Oakland, all of Oakland, needs to deal with it. Pretending the most crime-ridden areas are safe to visit, let alone live in, is as ridiculous as it is unethical.

    • MrOakland

      KQED needs to pander to the faux liberals in the bay area to grab their pocket change while programming in a way that’s beneficial to their greenwashing corporate masters. This pecking party enabled the suckers to ignore how their shortcomings have contributed to the current state of things, and made them feel superior momentarily, and that’s the only thing that counts here.

  • Eclectic Infidel

    Oakland is a violent place and I’ll continue to live here until I can afford to move out. Yes, I have been robbed, and yes, black folk stood around and laughed and watched it happen. Racial tensions are high and the police are overwhelmed. Anytime family or friends want to visit, I make sure to tell them which neighborhoods to avoid like the plague. Sure, there are some decent spots in Oakland, but one has to watch one’s back there, even during the daylight hours. A shame the original post was removed, KQED – you were right to post it in the first place.

  • Nancy Vicknair

    Typical-posters are piling on the reporter. Blaming the messenger. She was spot on.

  • Leigh Costain
  • AdrianRR

    The kind of idiocy & violence in crime in E&W Oakland, and Richmond as well is beyond ridiculous and I really don’t need to bash this unfortunate writer for thinking that it’s better to stay away. I hope that Oakland continues to improve to become a better place where people can live truly without fear. I’ve lived in some dangerous places but none are as unpredictably dangerous as Oakland. It’s just a rap Oakland has to wear for a while until it gets better.

  • Kris Noel

    removed the original article. so much for freedom of speech in a PC environment. drink the kool aid



KQED Pop is a daily blog edited by Emmanuel Hapsis that critically examines the social and cultural impact of music, movies, television, advertisements, fashion, the internet and all the other collective experiences that make us laugh, cringe and cry. We focus on local, national and international experiences with a Bay Area lens. We don’t do reviews.

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