Oakland or San Francisco?
Those are some of the questions many ponder when making a move into the Bay Area. San Francisco is a major metropolis, but it's also among the most expensive places to live in the country. Oakland is cheaper and has a growing and diverse entertainment scene, yet it continues to struggle with crime.
But the cities also have at least one thing in common: they can instill a fierce sense of pride in their residents. Blogger and filmmaker Sarah Verena Kleinman touched on that pride in "A Beginner's Guide to Oakland," a post this week on the blog The Bold Italic. An Oakland resident, Kleinman notes that it can be difficult to convince her San Francisco friends to pay her a visit.
To make her friends and other residents of the City by the Bay more comfortable crossing the Bay Bridge, Kleinman describes several East Bay attractions in terms of what she believes are their San Francisco equivalents. Her post is generating some heated discussion on other local blogs like Mission Misson.
The comparison that might draw the most online hullabaloo? Kleinman likens Lake Merritt to Golden Gate Park.
Yes, I totally understand that Lake Merritt isn't the sprawling 1,000+ acres of glory that Golden Gate Park is, but the two spots do serve as central community spaces that are used in very much the same ways. Both parks host their share of boot camps, joggers, and other fitness fans. Each spot offers activities including paddleboats, bocce ball, and botanical gardens. While there are no museums within Lake Merritt, there is a bird sanctuary. Most importantly, on a sunny day you'll see lawns filled with friends and families gathering to enjoy each other's company and their awesome cities.
This morning we asked our followers on social media to tell us why they'd rather live in Oakland or San Francisco. In about two hours we received more than 100 responses, including many from Oakland residents who said they're proud of their city's diversity and accepting atmosphere.
"I've lived in both and find Oakland to be more creative, diverse, and gay-friendly. And the farmers markets are the best I've seen," wrote Clay Walsh in a comment. Brenda Carrasco added that "the weather is great and the cost of living is more reasonable than in San Francisco."
San Francisco residents, meanwhile, offered similar praise for their city.
"I moved to the Bay Area to live in SF - the diversity, energy and beauty of the place," Lisa Weddle wrote. "Plus I can walk or take the bus everywhere. Double plus, I can wear sweaters in July! Hooray for fog!"
Below are more of the comments we received on social media - you can read additional responses here and here. What do you think? Would you rather live in San Francisco or Oakland? Why? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let us know.