10.25.2007

RETIRING IN OAKLAND

Some people want to retire to exotic places like Costa Rica, Trinidad,
or Greece. Me? Give me Oakland.

Growing up in the Bay Area, Oakland was the ugly blue-collar
step-sister to San Francisco's refined wine-and-cheese set. San Fran
won Super Bowls with class and style, while Oakland said, "Just win,
baby." And while pockets of the Bay Area boomed during the tech
run-up, Oakland's real estate market and political environment
stumbled along.

It's still not one of the ritzier parts of the Bay Area, but it is on
the upswing. Thankfully, these positive developments haven't taken away
from the character or diversity of this historic city; they've just
enhanced the existing quality of life.

Even better, from what I've read, transit is starting to get its due
in terms of use and orientation; I guess even Californians have a
threshold for traffic-related aggravations. And thank goodness;
hemmed in by water and mountains and still growing in population,
there's simply no better way to develop that greases vibrant commerce
and sustains healthy neighborhoods.

So others can take their tropical, mountaintop, or high-rent
retirement destinations. I'll take dense, urban,
neighborhood-centric, and ethnically rich Oakland. If you need to get
to me, you'll find me working the infield as a groundskeeper for the
A's.

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