Oakland!

June 24, 2013

greetings from oakland

By Gabrielle.

It was fun to see the guesses come in last Friday and over the weekend. At last count, 55% of people who voted guessed San Francisco. And they guessed right. We’re moving to the Bay Area!!

The home we’re moving to is actually in Oakland, not San Francisco. But when I’ve mentioned Oakland to people, some give me a blank stare (apparently most of our French friends have not heard of it), so I’ve mostly been telling people we’re moving to San Francisco. : ) We actually don’t know much about Oakland at all, so we’re trying to get caught up! We’ve heard it referred to as East Bay, Berkeley, and Oaktown, and several friends have described it as the Brooklyn of the Bay Area. If you are an Oakland lover, I hope you’ll chime in with some of your favorite things about the city — and I’ve been scouring SFGirlbyBay’s Oakland guide, too!

Here are a few FAQs we’ve been getting about the move:

Q: Why are you moving?
A: We first made plans to move because the family that owns La Cressonnière was going to move back in. They’ve since decided to stay in Australia for another year or more, so yes, we could have stayed around. But we feel like it’s time to head back. Ralph and Maude are ready to try American high school. And sometimes, living here affects how easily we can run our businesses. But we hope we stay tied to Normandy for the rest of our lives! In fact, we hope our cottage purchase ensures that we do. But the whole family agrees that it’s time for us to head back to the U.S..

Q: What brings you to Oakland/The Bay Area?
A: Good question. We can live and work virtually anywhere, so we opened our search pretty wide when we thought about where to move back. Ultimately, the Bay Area tempted us for 3 basic reasons: 1) because we have family there (my brother Jared — he’s married to Liz of Say Yes to Hoboken, and my sister Jordan of Oh Happy Day), 2) because there are particular opportunities for our children there, and 3) something Ben Silberman, the founder of Pinterest, said in his Alt Summit keynote speech a couple of years ago about being where your field of work is centered, stayed with me. As non-techy as I often feel, our fields of work (blogging, Olive Us and Alt Summit) are all online. And the world behind the online world is based in Silicon Valley. There’s actually a longer story about why we’re headed to Oakland, but I’ll save it for another post. : )

Q: How often will you return to France?
A: Alas, we don’t know the answer to that yet. I’m sure some of it will depend on how the cottage renovation goes. (Speaking of which, we meet with an architect tomorrow! We are very excited.) We like to imagine spending our summers here in France, and maybe the Christmas holiday. Who knows! We’re also open to moving back here if for some reason our family isn’t thriving in California.

Q: Are the kids excited about the move?
A: For sure! I think everyone is feeling ready to start the next chapter of our lives. And they’ve already started thinking about their future bedrooms and what their school life will be like in Oakland. But the kids are feeling reflective too — talking about what they’ve seen and learned over the past 2 1/2 years. Making note of what they’ll miss.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you ever spent time in the Bay Area? (I’ve spent many a vacation in San Francisco, but Oakland is fairly new to me!) If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you pick?

P.S. — Hah! As soon as we announced the move to our families, I received this video from 2 of my siblings:

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{ 176 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa June 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

Congrats on this next exciting chapter of your life! It is so fun to follow along on your family’s sweet adventures!

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2 Jessie rivers June 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

We used to live in Alameda which is thru the tunnel from Oakland. It is awesome!! Alameda has a really cute Main St. and Shoreline Dr. runs along the beach. Have fun!! You will love it!

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3 Kristen June 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

Congrats! I love Oakland. There are some fabulous neighborhoods there on that hillside, great and interesting people, and even some fun history. Add the perfect weather and your family nearby…BINGO! And you’re right–there’s nowhere quite like the Bay Area/Silicon Valley for tech businesses and start-ups. There are some brilliant minds in that place. Yay Blair family. Best wishes!

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4 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:09 am

I hope we get to interact with some of those brilliant Silicon Valley minds!

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5 Heather June 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

I guessed SFO bc of Jordan (family). You’ll like the Bay Area. I live in Los Altos Hills. I can’t wait til you move & start posting about the city!
Congratulations!
xo

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6 Gina June 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

SF area has always been my #1 spot I could move back to. (excluding the city my family is located…). In fact, my husband and I were planning to move there when swift moves took us to Sweden. I can only send more “luck you” accolades and wishes! The time I’ve spend in Paola Alto has always been so easy .. the entire region endlessly interesting…. with one foot still back in Normandy, I would say it sounds absolutely perfect. Congratulations!

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7 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:10 am

You and Sweden are a match made in heaven! But if you end up in SF, I won’t complain. : )

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8 Gina @ Oaxacaborn June 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

Oh how wonderful! If could live anywhere in the US, it would absolutely-positively be NorCal. I’d move to the Bay Area in a heartbeat. I’m just THRILLED for you!!

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9 Christine June 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

I lived in oakland for the first 24 years of my life! (until i got married and moved about 12 miles away). My parents still live there but I miss the city so much! It is super diverse and has so many unique neighborhoods. Most of the better areas to live in are above the 580 freeway. American indian charter school is a great one, but can be hard to get into since it is a charter school. Let me know if you have any other questions..i’d be happy to help! As a popular tshirt for the area goes, “I hella <3 Oakland"!

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10 Angela June 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

I’ll be on the opposite side of the bay from you! Oakland is a great place to be. You get all the benefits of living in the Bay Area but with much more reasonable rent/home prices! Also it is the best place in the Bay Area for food truck lovers. As far as I’m concerned everything is better when served from the back of a truck.

Oakland (and really the Bay Area in general) will be a great place for keeping up your family’s French skills. There is a HUGE French speaking community throughout the Bay Area and if I remember a pretty good French preschool in Oakland if you want to keep the littlest one speaking it.

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11 barchbo June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

I’ll miss France but I look forward to reading about Oakland! I’ve enjoyed my limited time that I have spent in the city.

I hope you will continue to post about your children’s education – I think that is a really valuable resource for people to have first-hand accounts of different learning environments!

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12 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:12 am

The education options in Oakland will be such a big change for us compared to France! There are so many schools. And people have such strong opinions about them. Should be interesting!

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13 Timothy June 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

Congrats on your move back to the states and best of luck in the Bay Area. Although you’ll miss France (and we will all miss those updates), I can’t wait to see what’s next for you and your family.

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14 Michelle A June 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

Yay!!!! So glad it’s official and can’t wait for you all to move here. After living for 8 wonderful years in San Francisco, my family and I begrudgingly made the jump across the bridge to Oakland and have been so pleasantly surprised to find how much I adore living here. Right now, if I could live anywhere it would be in Oakland. I hope your family grows to love it as much as my family has. Welcome!

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15 Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty June 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

Hahaha, that video at the end made me crack up! Congrats on your exciting news! I can’t wait to see what kind of awesomeness the Stanley-family-blogging-mafia will come up with once you three are all in the same area :)

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16 Catherine June 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

There’s a great article in the current issue of Anthology which depicts Oakland in such a way that I would like to go now to visit this city! Hope you like it as much as the author!

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17 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:13 am

Thanks for the tip, Catherine! I’ll have to check out the article.

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18 Jenny also June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

Welcome to the Bay Area! I know you and your family will love the weather, fresh food, people, diversity, and culture; we sure do! Also, we have the best day/weekend trips!! Our favorite is Santa Cruz and we just got back from a great trip to Tahoe. Napa and Marin are also pretty wonderful; especially in the Fall.

I am so looking forward to how you describe our area with your fresh eyes.

Sounds like you’ve researched educational opportunities so you’ve probably discovered there are lots of options in Oakland but they can be very tricky; especially for Middle School and High School. You may have already settled on a house but if you’re still checking areas I could go on and on about how much we LOVE ALAMEDA and it’s schools (an island right next to Oakland). We’re on the beach, have a great small town feel, and are just moments away from all the big city stuff in SF and Oakland.

Congratulations on a great decision; you’re going to LOVE it here! (maybe I already mentioned that?)

jenny

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19 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:13 am

The weather! We are definitely looking forward to the balmy weather.

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20 vanessa June 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

I live in oakland! I moved here 6 years ago from Portland Or, with the intention of living in SF. But my job was in the east bay so Oakland just made mores since. It’s a great city and I needed up staying here. What neighborhood will you be living in?

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21 Ceci Bean June 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

Oh yay! I sure hope you love living in Oakland as much as I do.

It is sometimes tiring trying to convince others that Oakland is not a sad runner-up to San Francisco, but actually a great city too. I bet your lovely photos will help others see that!

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22 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:15 am

“It is sometimes tiring trying to convince others that Oakland is not a sad runner-up to San Francisco, but actually a great city too.”

Hah! I’m getting that feeling from some of the comments. But hey, we’re used to it. We often have to defend our little part of Normandy to our French friends.

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23 Zoe - SlowMama June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

Always a little bitter-sweet to start a new chapter — but more sweet than bitter because new adventures await! I look forward to all the new and creative work this new place will inspire in you.

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24 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux June 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

Congrats on beginning your next chapter in your lives! How exciting! I will be reading about what you think about Oakland and the Bay Area – it has always fascinated me, but I have never actually visited – so I’m looking forward to virtually living through your eyes!

It will be interesting too for your children returning to the US with their “foreign” perspectives – sort of a reverse culture shock as they enter schools there. I’m sure you and your husband will also experience some reverse culture shock too. Enjoy!!

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25 Melissa L June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

I’m so happy you chose the Bay Area! I live with my family in San Francisco, and have spent many college years in Oakland. I think it’s the perfect fit for your family, and you will have many fun days at Tilden and Golden Gate Parks, and I’m sure you will have many posts about your trips to Tahoe (only 3 hours away). Safe travels back to the US!

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26 .:|Angela|:. June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

I lived in Oakland for 12 years until I got married and moved across the bay, but my family still live there. I used to live and work around the Rockridge neighborhood. It has lots of little shops and restaurants. You can try a new one almost everyday! My sister and her boyfriend live in a little condo in Jack London Square which is pretty popular, too. Farmers’ market and food festival can be found there almost every week. Looking forward reading your blog from Oakland, CA!

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27 Claire June 24, 2013 at 11:33 am

We live in the Bay Area, but in the south bay, and love it. I will be so excited to follow your family as you discover the endless beauty and fun here. Best of luck!

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28 Karen June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

I am a long-time reader but infrequent commenter. Can I just say how thrilled I am for you and your family that you will be moving to Oakland? I lived there for 5 years before jumping across to SF this past winter (for a shorter commute for my partner), and I really miss it, even though it’s only across the bay! The weather there is fantastic, and the people are so friendly and down-to-earth. We still head across the bridge to hang out in our old neighborhood. The Lakeshore neighborhood has a fantastic farmer’s market, and Lake Merritt has been completely re-done in the last few years and is so beautiful. Check out the Oakland Zoo and the Oakland Museum of California, too. Both are real gems.

Neighboring Berkeley has a bunch of wonderful activities for families, especially at Tilden Park. There is also the annual kite festival, which we only attended for the first time last year even though I’ve seen it from afar for years. It will be held on the weekend of July 27-28 this summer, so if you move here in time for that, you should go!

Best of luck for a smooth move back to the States! I am looking forward to hearing about how your family adjusts to being back in the U.S.

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29 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:17 am

It’s fun to see how often the farmer’s market gets mentioned. What a neat perk!

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30 Sonia June 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

Never in a million years would I have thought you’d say OAKLAND. I live in Adams Point near Lake Merritt, which is super diverse, young and mostly professional. The Oakland hills are amazing to hike in and feel like another world from the gritty city life. I have lived here for fifteen years and can’t imagine moving away. The city government is having a hard time these days but the spirit of Oakland and its people are hardcore/determined and passionate. May be a bit of culture shock coming from pastoral France. I would be super star struck if I ran in to you and your family!! Looking forward to it though!

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31 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:18 am

“the spirit of Oakland and its people are hardcore/determined and passionate”

Love that! Feels like another theme running through these comments.

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32 krugthethinker June 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

How awesome! I lived in Oakland for seven years while attending grad school at Berkeley, and it is my favorite place on earth! So much art and good food awaits you! Seriously, if I could live anywhere in the world, I’d live there! Rockridge, Piedmont, and Temescal are fantastic neighborhoods, full of cool shops and restaurants. And the beauty of the Bay area, along with its crazy diverse plant life, just blew me away every day. Here are a handful of blog posts about a few of our recent trips up to the Bay area:

http://krugthethinker.com/2013/04/shopping-in-berkeley/
http://krugthethinker.com/2013/05/bay-area-highlight-reel/
http://krugthethinker.com/2013/04/a-map-of-days-gone-by/

These are two of my favorite places on earth:

http://krugthethinker.com/2011/12/la-note/
http://krugthethinker.com/2011/12/the-east-bay-depot-for-creative-reuse/

Have so much fun!! Excited for you guys!

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33 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:18 am

So helpful! Thanks you for the links.

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34 Sara June 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

Congratulations, Blair family!

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35 Holly Snyder Thompson June 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Very cool! We live in Davis, less than an hour from Oakland, and have good friends that live there. You might be interested in this campaign: http://respectourcity.org/. Oakland gets kind of a bad rap sometimes, but there are a lot of people doing community organizing and reconciliation work in the city. I’m sure you’ll love it!

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36 Chris June 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

fun! I had a hunch it might be in that area when you mentioned it at Alt. I admire the adventuring spirit that you and Ben Blair have created with your family. Good luck with the packing and the move!

Chris

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37 Becca June 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I was born in Oakland and spent my first 5 years of life there before my family moved to Utah. We recently went back and visited our old stomping grounds. I said to my parents, “How could you ever move away from a place that smells this good?” Because the air has not only a perfect temperature, but also the most wonderful scent.

My mom had a pretty good answer to my question. She said,”If we had stayed we would have needed to repair the roof on our house, which means I would have had to go back to work to afford the repairs. But I wanted to stay home with you and your siblings all day so we moved somewhere less expensive.” And I’m pretty glad she did.

Good luck with the move!

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38 Leslie Morris June 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Oakland is a great spot. Kinda surprised you picked it, though, as a mother of six, as the public schools have some challenges. Understatement. There’s a great charter school for the arts downtown. And a lot of fabulous diversity coupled with an easy hop to the city and SFO. While the farmer’s markets won’t compare to those in France, the Temescal one on Sunday mornings is a favorite of ours.

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39 Cathryn June 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Fantastic news…I live just south of SF on the Peninsula and am SO excited that I might bump into you one day in the city!!! Fabulous!

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40 Koseli Cummings June 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Oh, so happy for you! I have heard it’s like the Brooklyn of California. Most of our friends leaving Brooklyn are moving to the Bay Area actually! It feels a bit like an exodus these days. It’s always on our radar because of Silicon Valley + gorgeous outdoors + less expensive cost of living. We miss the West like crazy. Can’t wait to hear all the ins and outs of your new house and community. They’re lucky to have you!

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41 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:19 am

Maybe you’ll be our neighbors some day!

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42 agirlandaboy June 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Welcome to Oakland! There are some lovely parts and some…not so lovely parts. (We’re in a lovely part surrounded by not so lovely parts. It certainly keeps things interesting.) Best of all, it’s 15 minutes into SF, which is faster than anyone in SF can get to anywhere else in SF. :)

Definitely check out Alameda and Bay Farm if you need a dose of suburban living. Big parking lots! Safe streets! Strip malls! We spend as much time there as we do in Oakland proper. (You can take the girl out of Utah but you can’t take the Utah out of the girl, apparently.)

p.s. My 4yo adores the Olive Us videos, so he’ll be jazzed to see future episodes featuring our fair city. Fairyland! Tilden! Lake Merritt! So much fun stuff.

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43 Meghan June 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Welcome to Oakland! I grew up in Oakland and live across the Bay in SF now. Really excited to hear that you’ll be bringing your family to Oakland, it’s a wonderful place for kids. If you ever need any tips for restaurants, shops, neighborhoods to explore, parks, anything. I’d be happy to help.

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44 marlies June 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Congratulations! We live in Oakland and love it. There is so much diversity, creative people and gorgeous places to explore. Some spots for kids: Fairyland, Lake Temescal, Redwood Regional Park, Play Cafe, Sibley Regional Park (and its secret labyrinth), the New Parkway Theater (and its family matinee), the Grand Lake Theater, Lake Merritt, the Museum of Children’s Arts (MOCHA), Fentons Creamery, the Oakland Zoo, Roberts Park and Pool, Doughnut Dolly, etc. And the list goes on! See you in the neighborhood!

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45 W June 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Oakland!!! I live in Oakland currently and am sadly packing up to leave in a month for grad school. It has probably been my overall favorite place I have ever lived. It’s a huge city with a wildly diverse population going through some serious growth and change right now, for better and for worse, and it feels very exciting. Some of my favorite Oakland phenomena and resources:
–The revitalization of the Oakland Alameda estuary. (http://www.waterfrontaction.org/index.htm) Right next to downtown, they have completely re-imagined a major roadway and turned (or are in the process of turning) formerly inhospitable areas around Lake Merritt and the channel that connects it to the Bay into interconnected, walkable parks and trails which also makes these urban neighborhoods much more livable and increases access to public transit, green space and cultural centers. It’s design with humans in mind and creates spaces for people to come together. I’m impressed.
–Art Murmur and First Fridays: began as a monthly open-gallery art-walk type event, at it’s peak it turned into a huge monthly streets-closed-for-blocks community happening with artists, musicians, performers and basically anything you can imagine. It’s been ebbing, flowing and evolving ever since (especially in the face of questions about safety, etc.) but remained very grassroots. Oakland celebrating itself!
–http://oaklandwiki.org/ is a really cool site I just discovered and has opened my eyes to Oakland history. Has a cool mapping function so you can see what historic places are right next door.
–The Oakland Museum of California is a great art, history and natural sciences museum, a very unique site from a design perspective and very community-oriented.

Also, the weather here is WAY better than Berkeley or San Francisco, seriously. The way the bay and the peninsula are shaped, we just don’t get the fog as much as they do. Good choice!!

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46 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:21 am

Your recommendations have me so excited! Thank you.

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47 tracy June 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Wahoo! That’s fantastic news. WELCOME to the Bay Area! You’re going to love it here!

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48 Jennette June 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

We lived in Berkeley for 7 years and we love Oakland and the whole area. Marlies’s comment above outlined some of our favorites in the area. The regional parks make fantastic hiking year round. The food culture is spectacular (no need to go to SF for good restaurants), the cultural activities are so accessible, and Oakland is like the best kept secret of the whole Bay Area. Besides, we loved the wards there and the stake president is the best in the church and lives right there in Piedmont/Oakland. Congratulations. You will love it!

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49 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:22 am

“Oakland is like the best kept secret of the whole Bay Area”

Sounds good to me. : )

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50 Stoich91 June 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Very excited for you all!

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51 Another Emily June 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Gabby, we were in the Berkeley Ward for 5 years and I miss it so much! I’d recommend Albany (it’s 2 square miles and is right next to Berkeley). It’s next to Oakland but you’ll enjoy your school experience much more.

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52 mom in mendon June 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

So exciting! I remember that in the book Cheaper by the Dozen the children travel to Oakland to visit their genteel, well-to-do, maternal grandparents–in the early 1900′s. And, DM, you had a few relatives living there about the same time. But it’s a century later. Now you can check out Pixie Donuts and see how they compare with French bakeries. : )
(http://www.yelp.com/biz/pixie-donuts-claremont)

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53 Heather B. June 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I’m glad that you always move to places where I’d like to visit. It works out nicely, no?

Sad that you’re leaving France just as I’m planning a trip to Paris ( I KNOW.) but happy to have more people to see when I visit the Bay Area. xoxoxoxo

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54 annie leavitt June 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Congrats! I’ve always loved Oakland.

My favorite memory was eating fresh pie at Ikeda’s in Auburn. The burgers there are pretty fantastic too. Best wishes to your family!

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55 Wendy June 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Next time you’re in Auburn, try Machado’s for homemade pie. It’s very near Ikeda’s, just off the frontage road on the OTHER side of I-80. It’s smaller, family run and sits right in the orchard where the fruit is grown. You can even eat your pie at a picnic table sitting in the orchard!

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56 Cynthia June 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I lived in the Oakland hills, in the shadow of the Mormon Temple for 7 years some time back. Lovely neighborhoods up there with real summers (as opposed to SF’s cold and foggy ones). Good luck! I’ve since moved to Seattle which I love even more…mostly b/c of the trees and incredibly quick access to wilderness.

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57 Franca Bollo June 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Just went hiking on Mt Tamalpais last Saturday. Left sunny San Francisco around 9 am, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and was at the trail head 20 minutes later. I’d say that’s pretty quick access. You do have to get on the road early to avoid the snake of cars, though.

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58 chapman sophie June 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Sad to hear you leaving France but happy to know you enjoyed it and especially Normandy where I m from and still live. You inspire me so much each time I read your blog, your family, online, crafty, adventure, career life, you are such an example of successful womand to follow ! Hope we’ll meet one day ! good luck for the move back but i m sure you ll be all ok !

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59 Katie @swimbikequilt June 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I grew up in the East Bay! The weather will certainly spoil you. I look forward to seeing/hearing about your adventures. Great biking in the Bay Area!

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60 Lila June 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm

HUZZAH! Now I can piggyback off all the wonderful places and adventures you discover!!! Even though we are in Santa Cruz and have plenty of awesomeness surrounding us, frequent trips over the hill to the Bay make life extra bright. Welcome to NorCal, it’s hella fun!

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61 Chantalle June 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Congrats! We are in Pleasanton, about 15 minutes on the freeway straight East of Oakland. I love parts of Oakland…but see some pretty sketchy areas, so I was shocked with your announcement! I’m sure you’ve found somewhere great.
I will be anxious to see what you find to do in the East Bay- I love seeing posts from your family about SF, but it’s a day trip to go there, so some fun things closer to home will be great! We’ve found lots of fun adventures, and are always up for more. Also- Val’s Burger in Hayward. Blackberry shakes are a must. Welcome to the Bay Area!

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62 Kate June 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Welcome to the Bay Area! Your family will have to make the trip down here to Santa Cruz at some point!

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63 jen June 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

welcome to oakland! i’m smitten that you’ve chosen to move to a place i call home :) i’ve been living here for 17+ years and have lived all over oakland (lake merritt, west oakland, oakmore, lower rockridge) and now in upper rockridge! you and your family will love it here as we do. there iss o much that this city has to offer and i think it’s one of the best places to raise a family. feel free to email if you have any questions, especially about neighborhoods and schools. i’d love to help if i can!

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64 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:23 am

Thanks for your sweet offer of help, Jen!

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65 Sweetpea and Pie June 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Welcome to the East Bay!!! We’re in South Berkeley, and love it!

If you’re arriving this summer, this is a must for a Friday evening (especially with their new natural sciences wing): http://www.museumca.org/friday-nights-omca

Also love the Temescal Farmer’s Market, and Temescal Alley; and College Ave, from Elmwood to Rockridge. + so much more!

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66 maureen June 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

congratulations! my husband and i are moving to the bay area next year – closer to palo alto but it’s all wonderful when it’s california, isn’t it? oakland/east bay seems to have some of the best restaurants!

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67 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:24 am

“it’s all wonderful when it’s california”

Hah! Agreed.

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68 PARIS BEE kids blog June 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

What an amazing choice! We’re looking forward to hopefully visit San Francisco later in 2014 to help promote our family wine. We can’t wait to spend some time there, we’ve heard how foodie people are! Congratulations, I’m sure it’s going to be a fab place to live!

xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

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69 Melanie June 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Congrats on your upcoming move! I love Berkeley, which is right near Oakland-such a fun city with great restaurants and beautiful homes! California is an awesome state.

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70 Franca Bollo June 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Welcome to the Bay Area! I live in San Francisco and after 28 years here I’m still hopelessly in love with the place. I’m glad you chose the East Bay over Marin County or the Peninsula. It’s much, much more diverse than the other two SF neighbors.

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71 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:25 am

The diversity was definitely one of the big draws for us.

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72 Jill June 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I’ve lived in the Bay Area all of my 47 years and I love it! You absolutley cannot beat the weather here. And you will be close to so many places (beach, mountains, wine country, the foothills, music venues, and Disneyland is just a short 6 hour drive away!) I can’t wait to see the Bay Area through you and your families eyes. Congrats!!!

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73 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:26 am

Only 6 hours away? Hooray! I grew up in St. George which is also 6 hours away — and we went all the time. How fun!

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74 kelly harp June 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Yaay! Congrats! Ive never been to Oakland, but i think thats where thefictional family from the show “Parenthood” lives! & if you havent watched that show since being abroad, i recommend Netflixing it! Might be a fun Welcome back to America treat :)

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75 Rebecca June 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Wow welcome to the Bay Area ! I’m sure you will love Oakland! We live in SF & can’t imagine being anywhere else the Bay Area is so inspiring! I hope you will be doing some meet ups around town :)

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76 Laura June 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm

How exciting! I just visited my college roomie in Oakland, and my fave part of the trip was taking (of all things!) a lesson at Trapeze Arts (trapezearts.com). I never dreamed of flying on a trapeze, but it was amazing! There was a good mix (50/50) of kids and adults, so anyone can feel comfortable doing it. It could be a very unique date night! :)

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77 Artnam June 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Fabulous choice, Gabrielle! I’ve lived in Oakland for 9 years and just adore it. Some roughness around the edges but amazing diversity and true creative spirit in art, food, parenting, nature, tech and more. Can’t wait to get the design mom take on my city!

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78 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:27 am

“true creative spirit in art, food, parenting, nature, tech and more”

I love how you describe the city and the people there!

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79 JulieG June 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm

What a great part of the world for your next chapter. So good that you will retain strong links with France/Europe too. Your warmth, enthusiasm and inspiring approach to life will serve you well wherever you are. Hope you and your lovely family will be very happy there.

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80 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:27 am

Thank you, Julie! Your kind words mean a lot.

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81 Cassandre June 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Move into the Oakland 9th ward boundaries! We would love to have ya :)

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82 Jamie June 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Welcome to Oakland! I absolutely ADORE living here and so will you.

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83 emily Musso June 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

A fun read: Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold. It’s set in the 1920′s in Oakland. Fictional but based on fact about a professional magician/stage actor. It’s become a favorite of mine and was my first introduction to Oakland. Check it out, my bet is it you’ll like it :)

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84 Jennifer June 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Congratulations! We are moving back to the Bay Area too, after five years away in France, DC, and LA. Will you send the children to the Lycee in Berkeley?

I cannot wait to hear all about your next phase!

Jen

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85 Agnes June 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Gabrielle, so excited for you and your family’s next chapter! I was born and raised in SF, and grew up in Hayward (near Oakland). I also lived in Berkeley and worked in Oakland after graduating college. It’s a beautiful place to be. The food in the area is amazing. Any ethnic food you want you can find. Rockridge, Piedmont, Jack London Square Farmers Market, Lake Merritt, the Oakland Museum, Solano Avenue, Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Tilden Park, Lawrence Hall of Science. The Oakland Zoo is my favorite. Hikes and state parks (Point Reyes, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach). So much to do! I’m anxious to learn of your adventures in my area!

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86 Erin June 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I’m an East Bay girl and love it! Oakland keeps it real, that’s for sure. Try Ms. Ollies for some knock-your-socks-off Creole food and don’t miss Fenton’s for dessert. My kids and I live at Chabot and did you know Oakland has redwoods? Lots to explore near by, too. Just 45 min east and you can pick the best peaches you’ll ever taste in a town called Brentwood. I’ve lived all over the country and nothing quite beats the Bay Area!

Go A’s!

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87 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:28 am

I had no idea Oakland has redwoods! How cool!!

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88 K June 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I was born in Oakland and have lived in the East Bay my entire life. For so long Oakland had a bad rap, so it’s kind of funny to me that it’s getting so much positive attention in the recent years, which it deserves. What I love most about living in the Bay Area is its diversity and culture.

My favorite Oakland neighborhoods are Temescal, Rockridge, and Lake Merritt. Downtown and Uptown are great too, but more for an evening out (music venues, restaurants, art murmur).

I grew up in Alameda which is a great place for families with kids. It has a small town feel. It’s an island, so there’s a beach, nice playgrounds and parks. And there’s a cool vintage flea market once a month (maybe you know of it? I read an interview with Oh Happy Day on Refinery29 yesterday and she mentioned it!)

Berkeley is actually different from Oakland, but they border one another and there are some neighborhoods that blend together (Rockridge/Elmwood for example). Albany is another city you might want to check out.

Congrats on your decision to move here, I’m looking forward to seeing your posts from the Bay Area!

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89 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:31 am

“Berkeley is actually different from Oakland, but they border one another and there are some neighborhoods that blend together (Rockridge/Elmwood for example).”

Got it! I kept having conversations that were like, “Oakland is so great! You’ll love Berkeley…” Which made me think they could be referred to interchangeably. Hah!

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90 Rebecca June 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I’m from Oakland, now living in Fremont, glad to hear we’ll be neighbours! Our favourite restaurant: http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com/ (much, much more than pizza).

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91 Melanie June 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Oh and p.s., you guys should totally go on House Hunters again when you rent/purchase your new home in Oakland! It was fun seeing your episode in France.

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92 rachelle galloway-popotas June 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm

OAKTOWN!!!! CONGRATS!!! What an amazing decision!

OAKLAND. IS. FABULOUS. With about a million capital Fs! I live in north Berkeley now (less than 10 minutes from Oakland) but before moving here a few years ago I lived in Oakland for five years and I’ve also worked in downtown Oakland for almost 10 years so I know a lot about the city and I think it’s absolutely an incredible place to be based. I can say without reservation that I loved every minute I spent in Oakland (and still love it whenever I go). I love all the funkiness of it, the vibe, the incredible style of the residents, the diversity of the people who live there. What great timing too – because Oakland is experiencing such an incredible renaissance, revitalization, rebirth – it’s just completely thrilling to be part of a city that’s going through such dynamism. You’re going to love it and I think your kids will too. I’m sure you’ll find a million ideas through your family and through online resources but if you ever need any ideas on kid stuff (mine range between 2.5 and 9 years old) or questions about school or local resources please do not hesitate to drop me an email.

I would recommend one of the first things you do is go to the Grand Lake Farmers Market, it’s held every Saturday morning. I think it’s one of the most “Oakland-y” things you can do and you can see the full range of the diversity and flavor that makes up this incredible community. Good luck with the move and with all the school and house stuff!

PS – I’ve also lived in San Francisco (inner Sunset) for many years – and, make no mistake about it, while SF is one world class city, I always try to steer the conversation in a different place when people try to compare Oakland with SF – because they are just such totally different places – and, it seems to me, that comparing them tends to either pit them against each other as if in a competition of equals- which is irrelevant since they are both so uniquely amazing – or somehow seems to diminish one of them which is also not really helpful because these two bay cities just cannot be dimmed, they are both so fabulous!

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93 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:32 am

“I always try to steer the conversation in a different place when people try to compare Oakland with SF”

Smart!

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94 Tonja June 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I am excited that you will be moving so close to me – I live inland about an hour from Oakland. All I can add is to do your research and listen to your readers who know that area really well. The perception of Oakland from here is that it’s not good – so focus on the good parts that people tell you about. Every city has its ups and downs! I know you will make a great home for your family! Welcome to California!

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95 kitterlee June 24, 2013 at 7:52 pm

There are so many beautiful areas of Oakland! The weather there is perfect – it’s so mild, I just love the lush vegetation. I lived there for several years, and loved it. I now live east of there, in the suburbs, and still enjoy heading “through the tunnel”. It’s urban, to be sure, but when you need some nature, the gorgeous Oakland and Berkeley hills are right there. It’s a really lovely area! Congratulations!

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96 Patty June 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

The Bay ARea is a GREAT SUPER DUPER FANTASTIC place to settle in after being in France. Oakland is a huge city with many neighborhoods and is very diverse. The kids will have a blast! Lots of adventures to be had all over all the time. Looking forward to hearing what neighborhood you guys will fit the family into and how urban living goes. After living in Oakland for 10 yrs we moved to VT and now settled in Portland, ME for the time being and love it here but I still pine for my beloved Lake Merritt. Best of Luck!

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97 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

Lots of shout outs in the comments for Lake Merritt. We’re looking forward to discovering it as a family — sounds like everybody’s favorite spot!

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98 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay June 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Ok! I’m at Girl Scout Camp…with my daughter and her gang. All day long I’ve known the answer has probably been announced and I have been swimming in the lake at 7:15 a.m. , on a ropes course, wrangling girls at a cook out, supervising chores and otherwise participating in wholesome activities. Here I am finally up at the lodge at 9:15 and YEAH I got to check in. So happy for you all that you get to be with family you love in a beautiful part of the country. All the best and I can’t wait for your adventures to begin.
:)

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99 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

You’re so cute! Thanks for checking in from Girl Scout Camp. : )

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100 Gia June 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I’m so excited to call you a near by neighbor! We love the Bay Area and think it’s an amazing place to raise a family. Our favorites in Oakland:

The Oakland Zoo – they even have rides! My kids love to kick their feet from the sky tram while looking down at the Elephants below.
The California Museum of Oakland – just opened their natural history section, which is a huge boon to the area, but we also LOVE their history and art levels as well. They have some amazing hands-on exhibits and some great afternoon/evening programing that you can enjoy for free. DJ spinning classes anyone?
Blue Bottle Coffee – is roasting by Jack London Square. You can take a coffee tour and enjoy the best cappuccino the Bay Area has to offer.
Brown Sugar Kitchen – AMAZING food, but with a big family get there at opening or you’ll wait for hours to get a table.
Street Art – EVERYWHERE! I love all the accessible art, from tags to more advanced murals there is art all over Oakland, bringing color and interest to even the darkest corners. There are also some great street art festivals that happen.
Chabot Space and Science Center – look at the stars and feel how small you are. Always fun during the day (sit in an old space capsule and figure out how much you would weigh in space) but especially magical at night when they open the telescope and you can see the stars and planets up close. Wow.
Ferry Boats – Ride the Ferry to San Francisco and enjoy the city across the bay. On Friday nights you can take the Bay Farm Ferry (in Alameda) for free from Bay Farm to San Francisco for a night out with kids (dinner and a gelato at the Ferry Building?) and get a free ride home too!
Temescal – my favorite neighborhood in Oakland, full of local artists, makers, great food and enough grit to remind you that you’re in a city, but with a neighborhood feel that reminds you that you’re in a safe space too.
The Oakland Athletics – The Bay is bursting with professional teams but none make it as easy to be a family going to a game like the Athletics. We live in San Francisco but come across the bridge to watch the A’s play regularly. Take BART to the game on Wednesdays and get your tickets for $2. Go to a Friday night game and get 4 tickets, 4 hotdogs and 4 drinks for $50. Also, regular priced seating is reasonable and good seats won’t cost you hundreds like at the Giant’s game. Also, Oakland baseball is quicker than most, which makes it fun to watch and super fun to cheer for. They may be moving to San Jose, but you’ll probably get in a season or two before the move becomes official.
Bike riding – much of Oakland is flat so it’s a great place to ride a bike. If you’re in Northern Oakland you’ll be near the Berkeley border and you can enjoy all the bike lanes. If you’re up in the hills you’ll enjoy some amazing views and some great biking and riding trails.

Here’s to a simple and easy move. Can’t wait to see you and the family around the Bay. How wonderful to be near family and also in one of the best places in the world!

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101 Sara June 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm

We got a lot of blank stares when we told people we were moving to Detroit. This has everything to do with race and class, unfortunately. But, we’ve had a great experience in Detroit and I am sure you will in Oakland too. I volunteered about so years ago, backpacking in Yosemite with some girls from the East Oakland Boxing Association through Big City Mountaineers. Great people and great organizations. Best of luck with your move!

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102 Amy June 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

SO excited for you and your fam. It will be nice to live near family, too. I live in the East Bay in Dublin and it has been our favorite place we’ve lived so far. Alameda is cute and has a fun row of houses with Christmas lights affectionately known as Christmas Tree Lane. The hubs and I love to venture to the Fruitvale area of Oakland for some amazing Mexican food and groceries (it feels like getting off of a cruise ship port in Mexico going here!). Can’t wait to read about your adventures, as I’m sure you’ll have some great ideas for us to do around here, too!

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103 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:44 am

I miss Mexican food.

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104 Emme June 24, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I live in LA, but I keep hearing good things about Oakland, dusting off it’s old dangerous image and becoming more “hipster” and family friendly. Good luck with the move, welcome back!

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105 Tammy June 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Go A’s! I married a lifetime Bay Area boy, and we lived there for 7 years. Miss it so much while we are expats in Africa. You will love it, so many good activities for the family… Be sure to hit up Fentons after all your temple trips and just down the street is an amazing Chinese place with authentic, delicious food (and no wait… Eat dinner here and then get ice cream to go afterwards from Fentons). Tilden Park and Brentwood fruit picking and Contra Loma Regional Prk (they have a great sandy bottom pool perfect for all ages) are some of our favorite activities.

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106 Jamie Grumet June 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Awesome Gabrielle! That is where I am originally from.

I was with Shannon last weekend and you came up in the conversation! I heard you were going to meet her but your flight to California was delayed. You will be an hour flight away now. :-)

Congratulations on the big move!

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107 Monica Lalanne June 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I am an Oakland native, living now in Santa Cruz. Such a surprise to read you are moving to my home town! I grew up on the hillside above the beautiful
Morman Temple. I could see it from my window every day. Wish I had a picture to include here for you! Oakland is diverse, historical, and near so much. Good Luck!

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108 Kelly June 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Welcome to my home state! I am similar in that I’ve visited SF many times, but don’t know much at all about Oakland. (I’m a SoCal girl myself.) Looking forward to exploring that area through you and your family.

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109 mari allan June 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I hope you will look into Ghost Town Farm, run by Novella Carpenter (http://ghosttownfarm.wordpress.com/). I love her book, Farm City, about her adventures as an urban farmer in Oakland.
Congratulations on your next adventure and best of luck with the move!!

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110 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:45 am

Thanks for the book recommendation, Mari.

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111 hairyshoefairy June 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Hooray for Oakland! I lived in the Adam’s Point neighborhood for 3 years while my husband was in school. We spent a lot of time walking around the lake and the surrounding neighborhoods. I love Oakland! I think the weather is perfect. The peninsula gets a bit too chilly and the other side of the hill gets too hot but Oakland is like a perfect fall day almost all year. It’s awesome. We drove into the city quite often as a family but if it was just me and my daughter we often just took BART which is easy peasy.

You will likely attend church at the Inter-Stake Center which is the massive building on the same grounds as the temple and visitor’s center. We were part of the Oakland 9th branch but I think it’s become a ward since we moved away. The primary and ym/yw were really small, though, so we combined with the 1st ward and the Chinese branch for those programs. I don’t know if they still do that but it was a great way to get to know people from all over Oakland, rather than just the students like us. The Oakland hills are beautiful!

Berkeley and Alameda are really close and have fun shopping as well. The best grocery store ever is in Berkeley and is called Berkeley Bowl. It used to be an old bowling alley and has a massive produce department with awesome produce (including stuff you’ve likely never heard of) for the best prices ever. It’s worth going out of your way to visit. I’ve heard they now have a second location as well, though I’m not sure where it is as it opened after we moved.

I know a lot of people love the Cheese Board for good pizza. They make one kind of pizza every day and it’s always something tasty. I preferred a different shop with the same idea, though, because it was closer to me. Arizmendi is just off the 580, east of Lake Merritt. Like a lot of other people have said, there’s just a ton of little shops you wander through and there’s always something fun going on. Something we liked to do with visitors was take a ferry from Jack London Square to the SF ferry building or fisherman’s wharf.

Good luck with the move! It’s a great place to live!

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112 hairyshoefairy June 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Ooh! Yes! And Fenton’s! Yum!

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113 Lauren June 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm

You are going to love it here!
Great farmers’ market: http://www.yelp.com/biz/temescal-farmers-market-oakland
Spicy Hot Chocolate (rose, chili, cinnamon) or white chocolate cardamon cocoa: http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
Fairyland! http://fairyland.org

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114 paula June 25, 2013 at 12:16 am

Wow! I love your blog – it really inspires me! I live in Oakland with my husband and two kids and fluffy cat and we love it! Kids walk to their public school- no it’s not perfect but we have neighbors we love, friends and community and food trucks outside the museum on friday nights, awesome weather, a beautiful lake, parks, tons of restaurants, good grocery stores, farmer’s markets… i could go on. Not sure where you’re headed but there are lots of nice neighborhoods and lots of schools of every type. We’re in the glenview neighborhood- where the houses are modest but the neighbors are awesome! Welcome to Oakland!!

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115 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:49 am

Your description if one of my favorites, Paula!

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116 Kim June 25, 2013 at 12:27 am

I’m as excited as all the Bay Area folks that you’ll be moving here! I was in Berkeley for school then lived in Alameda for a number of years. The east bay took some time for me to get used to but I grew to love it. People have already listed my favorite places, as well as a number of new places I want to visit.

There seems to be a noticeable rise in graffiti around the city, though, which is unfortunate…

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117 Bambi & Birdy June 25, 2013 at 4:55 am

Dear Blair,

living near to San Francisco sounds perfect to me…. but did you ever lived in Spain?!
Granada, Andalusia in Spain, is my personal paradise!
It is like orange trees in the streets, Jasmine Blossom smell everywhere and such a mixed culture!

If you like to see a couple of pictures from Granada, visit our Post about “Granada” and “Greetings from Granada”.
http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/06/granada-i-alhambra-generalife.html
http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/06/greetings-from-granada.html

I hope you all have a lot of wonderful last days in France!
Love from Germany
Birdy (from B&B)

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118 Sally from Little Hiccups June 25, 2013 at 7:05 am

Welcome to my part of the world!

It’s so exciting to hear that you’ll be moving to the Bay Area. My family and I moved to Berkeley from Australia almost two years ago and so far we’ve loved living here. It’s such a great part of the country with so many wonderful places to visit, great food, so much culture and you’ll never run out of things to do!

Like you, we mostly say to friends and family back home that we live in San Francisco. It’s hard for them to get their heads around the fact that San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley etc are all separate cities. In fact, if the Bay Area was located in Australia it would most likely be one city (San Francisco) and all of the neighbouring cities would be the suburbs. Australian cities tend to be physically very large with suburbs that sprawl on for ever – even if they’re on the other side of a bay or harbour (like in Sydney). It’s also easier to just say we live in San Francisco as most friends and family know where to find it on a map! Plus my husband works there and when we first moved over we had planned on living in the city. Trying to find a suitable and affordable rental in a good school district forced us out of San Francisco and into Berkeley. We considered Oakland because it’s much cheaper but decided on Berkeley due to the fact that it’s a better school district.

From the East Bay it’s so easy to get into the city. In fact, my husband lived in San Francisco temporarily when he first arrived here and his daily commute by bus back then took longer than his current commute across (or under!) the Bay by BART. We haven’t owned a car the whole time we’ve lived here and I love being able to get around everywhere on foot, bike or public transport. That was definitely not something we could easily do in Australia – and I’m guessing not easy in most parts of America either. From Berkeley we have amazing views over the Bay and San Francisco and I imagine that in many parts of Oakland it would be the same. Oh, and the best part about living in the East Bay as opposed to San Francisco? The weather is so much better on this side!

I love exploring the Bay Area with my kids and I write about our adventures on my blog. You can see our adventures and ideas for places to visit here: http://littlehiccups.net

Looking forward to having you in my adopted part of the world! It really is such a great place and you’re going to love it.

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119 Vandegee June 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

I was hoping for brooklyn and that you’d be putting the kids in to the French dual language public school program :-) (though it only goes to 5th grade at the moment – 6th grade next year). But SF/Oakland/east bay are great!!!

Curious about if you’ll try to keep the French going with the kids? Especially the younger ones, who might easily forget it if they aren’t hearing it, reading it, writing it…

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120 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:48 am

We’re definitely looking into French programs. So much information to sort through!

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121 Sally from Little Hiccups June 26, 2013 at 4:28 am

Not sure where you’re thinking of sending your kids to school but here in Berkeley there’s a great French bilingual school, Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley. Would be a great way for your kids to keep up with their French and I’ve only heard good things about it.
http://www.eb.org/index.html/

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122 Heather June 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

You’ve discovered the hidden gem! I’m Bay Area born and raised but have spent time in Oakland and its a good placd to be. It gets a bad rap in the media, but people are trying to make a change. If you need respite from city life come north an hour to Sonoma County! We are like Marin/Napa’s laid back boho cousin. Good luck in the the Bay Area!

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123 Stephanie June 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

I am so excited for your family and can’t wait to read about your discoveries in Oakland and the East Bay. I just left Alameda (after 5 wonderful years) and I am currently en route to live in Miami. Best wishes for a safe journey & new adventures!

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124 Sarah June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

Oakland is beautiful! My husband grew up in Walnut Creek and when he took me to his old stomping grounds I distinctly remember the urge I had to eat the grass at his soccer field!

Happy Trails!

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125 nicole i June 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

Welcome to the East Bay. I am sure you will love it here!

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126 susan June 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

Congrats!! Welcome to the East Bay! My husband grew up in Oaktown and Alameda and I grew up in A-Town. We just spent the last 7 years in Texas (Dallas and Austin) and are so happy to be back in the Bay (Lafayette). So many great things to do and see! I am excited to see the adventures you have around the Bay. We just got back from a long weekend in Mendocino. I would definitely add that to the list of trips to take.

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127 Ann June 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

My sister just called me this morning to tell me you were moving to Oakland. I live in Piedmont which is surrounded by Oakland and absolutely love it here. Depending on where you have bought your home you will probably be in my ward which is the Oakland First Ward. You can’t find a more beautiful place to spend your Sundays than on Temple Hill. I do hope to meet you soon and am looking forward to your arrival.

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128 Colleen K June 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Congratulations! We are raising our family in Oakland and we love, love, love it here (and we’re ex-New Yorkers so I hope that says something).

While still more affordable than SF (and, it’s not called the sunny side of the Bay for nothing!) the recent housing market has been crazy. Elmwood, Rockridge and Piedmont are far and away the most desirable neighborhoods with the cute cafes, restaurants galore and easy freeway access, but no matter where you’re located, you’ll always be able to find something fun to do.

And, don’t worry, once you get here, no one will give you a funny face when you tell them you live in Oakland!

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129 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:47 am

Oh good! In France, apparently not many people have heard of Oakland, but everyone has heard of SF.

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130 Jamie June 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I grew up in Piedmont and now live in San Jose. Can’t wait to read about your adventures in the East Bay…where in Oakland you’re settling, schools, and your upcoming favorite haunts! All I can say is Fenton’s on Piedmont Ave!

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131 Design Mom June 26, 2013 at 2:46 am

Another vote for Fentons! Which is fine by me. I’m an ice cream fan for sure.

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132 Chandra June 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Oaklandish! It is such an amazing family friendly city with so much to explore. My husband grew up near the Lake (Merritt) and I moved to be near him from LA. I lived in Oakland for 4 yrs and now only live about 10 mins away but I miss it terribly. The food, the people, the arts, culture and much better weather than SF. Many people don’t know the half of what Oakland has to offer. Congratulations! I look forward to the posts and perhaps running into you and the family someday. Welcome to the Bay!

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