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Old Town Oakland

By in Neighborhoods

By Dameon Bledsoe

In only five short blocks, Old Oakland has an abundance of life, with a plethora of restraurants, bars, music venues, and local activities. The borders of Old Town are west of Broadway to Castro Street, between 6th and 12th. While I have lived in other East Bay neighborhoods, Old Oakland is my personal favorite. My wife and I have lived here for five exciting years. Walkability is key. BART is conveniently located at the 12th Street Station. AC Transit and the free B shuttle are dependable and frequent. The Broadway shuttle runs from 7am-10pm Monday – Thursday, Fridays from 7am-1am and from 6pm-1am on Saturdays. I’ve even observed them hard at work on major holidays. If you’re in Old Oakland for the nightlife, you can often find a KMEL DJ packing the intimate lounge Parliament, or possibly Happy Hour at District and be amongst Oakland’s young business professional crowd. Perhaps a Belgian beer and an order of deviled eggs with prosciutto chips is more your speed. The Trappist is open at least until 12:30am daily.

Because I brought up food, I am very pleased to announce that the area I live in seems to be opening new restaurants daily. My wife and I are avid Yelp “checker-inners”, so while loyalty makes us Duke and Duchess, trying new restaurants and discovering what they bring to Oakland can be even more gratifying. Thankfully 24 Hour Fitness is eight blocks from my home. After all the indulging in mouth-watering temptations of Old Oakland I require the walks. More about food: Molcajete Cocina Mexicana, at 1734 Webster St, has me salivating for their fresh guacamole and oversized tortilla chips. I love their shrimp tacos, and they are the only restaurant in Oakland that I have found to serve Peyote Pale Ale (one of my favorites). Rio Café is a Brazilian Café in picturesque Preservation Park that is perfect for lunch on a weekday. Their jerk chicken is unforgettable and the salad served with all their entrées has a cilantro salad dressing I have yet to find a rival for. One should also sample the fried chicken sandwich at Café 817, the clay pot at Le Chaval, and several others in between. Futhermore, us carnivores can savor delicious meats carved from giant skewers at Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse , or grab a deli sandwich from the 1897 established Rattos. I could write an entire blog on the food in this area alone. It’s safe to say there’s no lack of options or sustenance eating in Old Oakland.

The Victorian style homes and turn of the century architecture, presented throughout these few blocks will remind visitors and residents alike of Oakland’s rich history and beauty. New developments springing forth between the already existing charm, add a welcome contradiction. There are buildings such as 901 Jefferson, a 75- unit five story condominium building, the 99 units at 555 10th Street, and the awesome 76 unit community at 655 12th street located in the backyard of the Pardee Home Museum. Home values are steadily climbing as more and more people discover what I was so privileged to have found. They too seek to make Old Oakland their home. Longtime residents awaiting their opportunity to purchase are secured by Oakland’s rent control laws on apartments, condominium buildings, and homes built before 1983.

Annual festivals use Old Oakland as their backdrop such as Art & Soul & Oakland Music Festival. There is a Farmers Market every Friday at 9th and Broadway. Old Oakland is also home to the African American Museum and Library. Old Oakland retains and contributes greatly to the continuance of Oakland’s rich culture. In the shadows of the Golden State Warriors official practice facilty; The Oakland Tribune Tower ; the Elihu M. Harris State building; and the towering Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building;; as well as Oaklands City Hall, Old Oakland is surrounded by activity, industry, and jobs, private and public. There’s much to offer in just a mere 5 blocks. For more information on Old Oakland please visit Enjoy the photos!

Old Oakland is a historic district in downtown Oakland, California. The area is located on the northwest side of Broadway, between the City Center complex and the Jack London Square district, and across Broadway from Chinatown.Wikipedia

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