Visiting her home town of Oakland, Gertrude Stein said, “There’s no there there.” With all the changes over the past decade, Oakland has finally become a destination of its own. The Uptown Project, Jerry Brown’s 10K Housing Initiative, new housing development and the rising value of condominiums, lofts and single-family homes have contributed to Downtown Oakland’s success.
Downtown is the heart of Oakland, and the city’s changes are most evident here. San Francisco Magazine named it "the" place to live and play. The area now offers all the benefits of other metropolitan centers. Civic and cultural centers, residential and retail buildings—both new and historic—are focused around Oakland's City Center which features an on-site BART station.
A unique area is Old Oakland. Surrounding Washington Street, old town features Swan’s Market, a farmer’s market and many upscale bars and restaurants. Some of which include Levende East, Tamarindo Antojeria, B Restaurant, The Trappist, Cafe 817, Cock A Doodle Cafe and Air Lounge. The city’s art scene and nightlife have flourished as more and more people migrate to the area. Good times can always be had at Luka’s Taproom, Flora, The Uptown and Maxwell’s Lounge. Caffe Verbena and LeCheval are also city favorites. And classic performance halls like the Paramount Theater and Fox Theatre make for an exciting night out on the town.