2.0 out of 10

Ralph Bunche

37.8131246280338 -122.28174161075
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Public Transport
  • Pest Free
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5

"Maria's Coffee--The Only Bright Spot"

Like some of the other neighborhoods in West Oakland, Ralph Bunche is mostly a poor neighborhood. It straddles the southern end of W Grand Avenue, the major artery through this section of the East Bay. Rents throughout the neighborhood average around $900. One does see some signs of new construction in the area though they seem to be more urban housing by the way they are bundled together.

Stats for the area show that some two thirds of the residents here have nothing more than a high school diploma. About a third of the homes in the area date to before WWII and even with ACORN building newer low-cost housing for the poor in the area, only about one in five homes here seem to date to the ACORN housing booms of the 1970’s.

On its eastern end, the neighborhood is a mix of working class and poor families. The homes in the area are mostly split level Victorians with double doors separating tenants who share the location.

The poorest section of Ralph Bunche is between Market and Adeline where cracked cement roads and dilapidated Victorians make things feel as if they are slowly coming undone.

On the far western end is Ralph Bunche High and a mostly industrial area containing a handful of businesses. Ralph Bunche High is an alternative school with less than 300 students attending. I am not sure what its mission is. Businesses that make their headquarters here are Kavamore Press (creates business letterhead and that sort of thing) and a Lexus Parts dealer among others.

One stand out business in the area is Maria’s Coffee—just a great Third Wave coffee shop--definitely where you want to get your brew in the morning.

There were three shooting deaths here in 2007 but I don’t believe there have been any since.

Ralph Bunche, by the way, is a now largely forgotten diplomat who won the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing the 1947 Arab Israeli War to a peaceful resolution. Bunche was the first African American to get the Peace Prize, and though born in Michigan, was a graduate of UCLA.

This neighborhood has not yet lived up to his hopeful memory however.
  • Maria's Coffee
  • Affordable Housing
  • Good Public Transportation
  • Gang Activity
  • Run Down Homes
  • Poorly Kept Streets

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