Outside Magazine has discovered what those of us who have lived in Oakland for years know well: Oakland is one of the best places to live in America. From it's August 2008 issue:
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (POP. 397,000)
Want to curb urban sprawl, boost the economy, and reduce inner-city crime? Get people to move downtown. It worked for Jerry Brown. In 1999, Oakland's then-mayor decided to direct more of the city's focus on downtown Oakland through his 10K Housing Initiative, a plan to attract 10,000 new residents to the city center by streamlining the permit process and creating economic incentives for developers. The result? More than 10,000 housing units are in various stages of planning or completion—far surpassing the original goal—and the area is home to some 40 new restaurants, 15 new art galleries, and 18 new nightclubs. Even the skyline is different, thanks to a 20-story condo complex on Lake Merritt and a nearly completed 22-story high-rise on Grand Avenue. All this in a town that, according to Rand McNally, has the best weather in the country.