urbangardener

  • Local Expert 42 points
  • Review 1
  • Questions 0
  • Answers 0
  • Discussions 0

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Vibrant, diverse, and amenity rich neighborhood for those who don't mind a bit of grit"

I've lived in this neighborhood for seven years and absolutely love it.

This is one of the few places in the Bay Area where a single family house with a large backyard is still relatively affordable. Housing is less than half of the cost of SF and less than 2/3rds of the cost of downtown Oakland or North Oakland.

I love the amenities near me and the central location. I'm walking distance to Bart and commute to my job in Downtown SF in less than 40 min door to door. That's a shorter commute than from many places in SF! I have at least 7 meat & produce markets, a microbrewery, a coffee roastery, and countless restaurants and taquerias within a 10 min walk of my house. This morning, I stopped by the farmers market stands outside the Bart station and picked up eggplants and squash for $1 a lb. Beat that.

I know and love all of my immediate neighbors and hang out on occasion with some of my neighbors down the block. While we may speak different languages and come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, there is a real community vibe on my street and people regularly say hello, share produce from their backyards, and look out for your package deliveries.

Most people don't know that the weather in Fruitvale is one of the best in the Bay Area. We are usually about 10 degrees warmer than SF, 5 degrees cooler than San Jose and have more sunshine hours than Berkeley or North Oakland because the peninsula buffers the fog.

Those are the pros, which in my opinion considerably outweigh the cons. But the cons also deserve consideration.

The crime risk is absolutely real - in particular property crime and other crimes of opportunity. If you park your car on the street, get a car lock and don't leave anything valuable in the car. Break-ins and theft are as common as any other location in Oakland. Prostitution on International Ave and illegal dumping are conspicuous and comes and goes depending on how hard police are enforcing. All that said, it may surprise others to know that the crime risk rarely affects me. My house is fenced in and I park my car in my driveway behind a gate. I walk everywhere in the daytime and take rideshares, bicycle, or drive at night. I'm not at all worried about homicide because shootings are almost always targeted and gang related. Whoever wrote the review estimating your risk of death to be 1/500 in this area doesn't understand conditional probabilities.

The neighborhood is also lively and some folks may get ruffled by the occasional fireworks, dog barking and loud parties. My street is relatively quiet and when parties do go down (maybe once a month), they usually wrap up by 11pm because this is a working class neighborhood and everyone has to get up super early in the morning.

I can't imagine that the school system is anything to write home about. But I don't have kids so this is a non-issue for me. Google opened up a children's coding program (Code Next) in the Fruitvale Bart plaza last year to serve local kids but I haven't looked into the eligibility criteria.

In summary, I really love this neighborhood and think it's a real undiscovered gem for progressive and creative types who don't mind a bit of grit.
Pros
  • Grocery stores
  • Diverse
  • Walkable
  • Good Transportation
  • Inexpensive Housiing
Cons
  • Property crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

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