Where is East Oakland?

There’s a pretty interesting, if somewhat off-topic, discussion going on over in the comments of my Susan Gluss post about Oakland neighborhood names. The catalyst was the observation that when the media reports on crime that happens in Oakland, it’s usually referred to simply as “Oakland,” whereas a crime in San Francisco is noted as happening in “the Tenderloin” or “Bayview.” A search of Chronicle archives over the last few months showed that most murders were identified as taking place in “East Oakland,” which I thought was plenty specific, but the consensus among other comments seemed to be that it was too generic.

I’m sympathetic to the frustrations of people who live in nicer parts of East Oakland and don’t like seeing their neighborhood lumped in with more crime-ridden areas, but I’m inclined to side with the Chronicle on this one. What’s the point of saying something happened in Melrose when nobody knows where that is? I call everything past High Street “East Oakland.” Perhaps the answer is to try to promote more awareness of neighborhood identities. Of course, first we have to figure out what those are.

So, I decided last night to close out the week with this, then idiotically spent like three hours trying to build some kind of interactive map that people could mark and share to identify neighborhoods until I realized that what I was trying to do what like, completely beyond my technical abilities. Then, of course, I had wasted all this time on it which meant I didn’t have time to make up a decent looking normal map. Lame, huh?

How do we, as residents, divide this into neighborhoods?

For the purposes of identifying neighborhoods in a regional-serving newspaper, I don’t think I’d get any more specific than downtown, West Oakland, Jack London Square, Center Oakland, North Oakland, East Oakland, and the Oakland Hills. But what about when we talk about Oakland to other Oaklanders?

Eric Fischer pointed us to this map, apparently prepared by the Oakland Planning Department in the 70′s:

Click to englarge

There’s the Oakland Museum’s Neighborhood Search Map, which is pretty detailed, although the neighborhood names are all historic, and most of them are things I’ve never heard anyone use. There’s the Walk Oakland map (PDF), which seems pretty good (if slow loading and kind of hard to read), and includes names I’ve never heard in my life before, like Havenscourt.

I posted a link to the WE Riders blog, which I swear, everyone interested in Oakland mapping and neighborhood names should read, because it’s fascinating. The team (who I believe are also behind the 10,000 Steps project), went bicycling all around Oakland and had people fill out surveys identifying how they mentally divided the city and noting their associations for different areas:

Click to enlarge

On a finer grain, you’ve got dto510′s Where is the DTO? and Where is the DTO 2?

So, obviously you identify neighborhoods more specifically based on where you spend your time. For most people, the area bordered by Lake Merritt, 880, 980, and Grand Avenue is just “downtown.” For me, it includes Chinatown, Old Oakland, City Center, Uptown, Financial District, Sobo, the Lakeside Apartment District, Laney, and the West DTO. There might be a few blocks here and there of sort of no man’s land where I wouldn’t be sure which neighborhood to put something in, but for the most part, these all have pretty solid boundaries in my head.

In my mind, West Oakland is the area between 980, 880, and MacArthur. But I rarely refer to anything there as being in “West Oakland”, instead identifying locations as Oak Center, Acorn, Oakland Point, Prescott/Lower Bottoms (depending on who I’m talking to), Dogtown/West Clawson, Ghosttown/Hoover-Foster, and JAMMI. Again, I have pretty well defined boundaries in my head for all these areas, although my mental map has some big holes with areas I don’t have a neighborhood name for, and will refer to instead by intersection or landmark (“sort of near McClymonds” or “out by the train station”).

Outside of downtown and West Oakland, I think I could draw pretty specific lines identifying the borders of what I think of as Koreatown, Jack London Square, HarriOak, Adams Point, Grand Lake, Eastlake, Fruitvale, Mosswood, Pill Hill, Golden Gate, Piedmont Avenue, Rockridge, and Temescal.

Then there’s a fair number of neighborhoods I could point to on a map, identifying the general area or maybe the center, but I wouldn’t know how to stay where it starts or ends: Glenview, Dimond, the Laurel, Crocker Highlands, Trestle Glen, Montclair, Oakmore, Bushrod, Idora Park, Jingletown, and San Antonio.

And last, neighborhoods I have heard of but don’t have a freaking clue where they are and could not even point to generally on a map, even if I’ve ridden through half of them before and had people tell me what they were: Millsmont, Maxwell Park, Elmhurst, Allendale, Melrose, Leona Heights, Sheffield Village, Piedmont Pines, Brookfield, Hiller Highlands, Sobrante Park, Brookdale, and East Lorin.

I think it would be a neat exercise to put together a map sort of like the Oakland Museum’s, with six or seven broad areas that are then broken into more specific neighborhoods on a more detailed level. So, how would you guys mentally organize the city? What do you see as the borders of the neighborhoods I’ve named? What neighborhoods did I leave out?

107 thoughts on “Where is East Oakland?

  1. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    This is a fantastic idea. But to keep things from getting out of hand too quickly (and at the risk of being a bit boorish of a guest), I’d like to propose that we start by listing only the neighborhood (finer grain), district and area (not sure I have the category names right) that we ourselves live in, including boundaries. This will be an interesting exercise just to see where ABOs readership lives.

    So, I live at 62nd and Dover (parallel to Shattuck, one block west).

    Neighborhood: East Lorin (centered on Alcatraz and Shattuck)

    Borders: N: Berkeley | E: Racine St./Raymond St. (halfway between Shattuck and Telegraph) | S: not quite sure, maybe Poirier St. (between 60th and 61st), which would allow a Bushrod neighborhood between me and Idora Park | W: Adeline/MLK (@ Alcatraz is the center of Lorin)

    District: Temescal (centered on Telegraph and 51st)

    Borders: N: Berkeley | E: Shafter St. | S: 40th St. | W: MLK / Hwy. 24

    Area: North Oakland

    Now some may list Temescal as their neighborhood, and might draw the borders a bit tighter, especially to the north. But I think that is ok., the Temescal neighborhood just dominates my district.

    In drawing neighborhoods at my scale, Oakland is going to have something like a hundred, whereas I’d imagine it might have 15-20 districts. Looking forward to hearing from others…

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    Thanks, Raymond. I was trying to figure out how to organize the discussion, and I couldn’t think of what to do. That’s a great suggestion.

    And if anyone feels like using a graphics editor to draw neighborhoods on maps, feel free to download any of the following and send me what you come up with, and I’ll upload whatever I get.

    All of Oakland
    Central Oakland 1
    Central Oakland 2
    Central and East Oakland
    East Oakland 1
    East Oakland 2
    East Oakland 3
    East Oakland 4
    North Oakland
    Oakland Hills 1
    Oakland Hills 2
    West Oakland, Downtown, and Jack London Square

  3. Erik

    Check out this project that uses craigslist housing posts to link addresses to neighborhood names in SF, then does some fancy graphics/math stuff to make a colored map of the data:


    Their software is available for download, someone could just point it at the oakland section of craigslist.

  4. V Smoothe Post author

    Okay, I’ll go next.

    I call my neighborhood Uptown.
    Borders: 17th Street, Broadway, San Pablo, West Grand, and 980.

    District: Downtown
    Borders: 880, 980, West Grand/Grand, Lakeside Drive, Laney College.

    Area: Um…also downtown? Central Oakland maybe? Although I generally think of Central Oakland as starting at the other side of the Lake.

  5. 94610BizMan

    The Walk Oakland Map is probably the best fine grained listing of neighborhoods. Especially for the hills, the map maintains a good double listing of the original farm or real estate development names along with most current real estate agent designations.

    Not so good for below 24/980 showing its real estate bias. So it may not be the best or most relevant for the ABO readership and won’t show you Dogtown or Ghost town.

    BTW i live right above Lake Shore

  6. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    Fascinating V.

    I think of Uptown as centered on Broadway and going east to Harrison or maybe at least Valdez (between Broadway and Harrison) and north up to 27th, overlapping somewhat with Broadway Auto Row. And I would call your area Central Oakland, from the east end of the lake to 980 and maybe north up to 580.

    It is difficult because major streets often are thought of as borders, but where they intersect are usually nodes or centers, presenting an interesting conundrum.

    This is going to be fun.

    Bizman – give us more!

  7. Aaron Priven

    This is interesting. We put a few, but not too many, neighborhood names on the AC Transit system map. I’d be interested to hear if there are any salient corrections.

    I call my neighborhood “Grand Lake” and I live between Grand and Harrison north of 580. Before that I lived on 41st at Howe and later Terrace at 41st (“Piedmont Avenue”) and on Jackson at 17th (“Downtown” — I know there is a name “Lakeside Apartment District” but I’ve never heard anybody use it in real life).

  8. Patrick

    OK, I’m in.

    Neighborhood: Reservoir Hill, east of 23rd Avenue, south of 580, west of Fruitvale and north of 27th Street.

    District: Hmmm. Probably East Oakland. But I describe where I live as “6 blocks east of Highland Hospital”, “below 580, Fruitvale exit” or just “East Oakland”, depending on who I am speaking to.

    Area: Again, East Oakland. I’d love to say “Central Oakland”, but such a thing doesn’t exist. There is East and Deep East, no Central. For the record, I’d say Deep East starts east of 73rd, but I think the dividing line is creeping west.

  9. Chris Kidd

    Well, I live in Jingletown(also called “Kennedy Tract” in planner-speak). It can be subdivided even further between “Jingletown” proper and “Jingletown Junction”. I live down on Glascock St. next to the White Elephant building (and I’m NOT looking forward to the press of humanity it will bring after the new year…)

    Boudaries – Fruitvale on the southeast – the estuary on the southwest – park street bridge/23rd street on the northwest out to E. 11th – then E. 11th, 29th St. and 880 as the northeastern boundary.

    Jingletown Junction could be defined as Fruitvale, 880, 29th St. and the estuary, with Jingletown proper being the triangle of neighborhood being on the other side of 880. From neighborhood apochrypha I’ve heard, the area called “junction” was the factory region where the residents from “proper” went to work. Man, those 1950′s transit planners did a great job laying down 880, cutting Jingletown in half.

    It has surprised me how many long-time Oakland resident friends of mine didn’t know that a neighborhood called “Jingletown” even existed. It’s also funny how many of those same people, upon learning that such a neighborhood does exist, dismiss it as a new-fangled made up name created by bobo’s/developers to make it seem “less mexican” than the Fruitvale. They never seem to believe me when I tell them the name goes back to the Porteguese immigrant community back near the turn of the 20th century. I’d love to see them try to tell the Jingletown gang that they aren’t “Mexican enough”. That’d go over real well…

    For the whole “where is east oakland” thing, I think part of it is a nomenclature issue. A lot of people would describe what you call “east oakland” as starting at High St. (I’m one of them), but a lot of people also call that area “Deep East Oakland” (DEO), while calling the San Antonio/Fruitvale “East Oakland”.

  10. Art

    This can be a real challenge in part because some neighborhoods don’t have identities. Take mine, for instance, which is bounded roughly by Broadway, 580, 27th, and Harrison Street. We call it Westlake. Some people call it Harrioak (especially the people who live on Harrison and Oakland, even though Adams Point also claims Oakland Ave). Some people call it Broadway Auto Row (especially the people who live closer to Broadway). The people who live near Oak Glen Park (go see it if you’ve never heard of it!) are their own sub-neighborhood because there’s a big hill separating them from the rest of the neighborhood. I’ve also seen the area lumped in with Uptown and Pill Hill. It’s conveniently not in a bubble on the OPD map, the Walk Oakland map calls it Broadway Auto Row (though I’d argue that’s the commercial district—not the residential neighborhood around it), and it’s Oakland Ave/Harrison St. on the Oakland Museum map. But at the end of the day, it’s all the same place. And it’s in serious need of some branding and identity-building!

    Here are some easier ones nearby, though:
    Mosswood (“Lower Temescal” in realtor talk): bounded by Broadway, 24, 580, and 40th
    Adams Point: bounded by Harrison below the split and Oakland above, 580, and Grand

    Two other factors to think about in neighborhood boundaries: police beats and elementary school boundaries. Ideally these track to neighborhood identity lines, but realistically that’s not always true, and it does affect how unified a district is. Half of our neighborhood goes to Lakeview Elementary, for instance, and the other half goes to Piedmont Ave. Oakland Ave is, I think, just outside of the Adams Point police beat, which I’m sure contributes to the confusion over which neighborhood it belongs to.

  11. Joanna/ShopGirl

    Jack London Square should be the Jack London District. The Square is (in theory) a specific place, even if there’s no square there. And why there’s a hair salon at Sierra Condos called Salon at the Square is even wackier, but I digress…

    The boundaries of the Jack London District are 880 (or 5th St), the Estuary, the Lake Merritt Channel (Fallon Street is often used), and Adeline.

    We just started using it about 6 or 7 years ago when we first started our ad-hoc parking committee.

  12. Max Allstadt

    A quick aside: is it me or do we have many many more neighborhood names in Oakland than they do in SF? Why?

  13. Tallysmom

    We generally call our are the border of San Leandro, but we also find ourselves calling it Durant… because of the new shopping area and housing development.

    But in all honesty, I love the old name of Stonehurst. I hate living on a number street, and Stonehurst recalls the time gone by when the old fruit orchards were growing next to our homes in what is now San Leandro.

    The old street names were stone fruits, and Apricot still exists. I know one of the roads was Plum. And then there’s Pearmain.

    But all things change….

  14. das88

    There is an application in Facebook called Neighborhoods that lists 76 neighborhoods for Oakland. I do not know if they borrowed this list from another source. Unfortunately, it is meant to be self-identified — there is no map.

    They have some weird ones like Chabot Park Estates and King Estates. They also have separate categories for Jack London and Jack London Square.

    I call my neighborhood Jack London Square or JLS. The district (in the sense of this post) I refer to as downtown – at least that is where I tell non-Oakland people I live. The association that covers JLS refers to it as a district, not a neighborhood — http://www.jlda.org/.

    People in the neighborhood further breakdown the area into districts (i.e. districts are smaller than neighborhoods in this context) that include the Produce Market District, and the Waterfront Warehouse District, and some people refer to Jack London Square specifically as the plaza with the shops and restaurants.

    Wow, 3 different uses of district in my comment.

  15. Art

    Do we, really? San Francisco has an awful lot of neighborhoods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhoods_in_San_Francisco,_California

    But I think it’s also worth noting that many of the Oakland neighborhoods (especially East Oakland & the hills) go back to developers in the 1920s-1950s. Some places (Oakmore, Trestle Glen, etc.) even have HOAs that date back to their construction in the 20s and 30s. Even places like Rockridge were originally developed, named communities. So every time someone built on another tract of land, they gave it a new name—and many of those areas grew into neighborhoods. (Others were totally lost, though, and merged into nearby areas—a la Rockridge today, which includes both the original development and lots of adjacent homes).

  16. 94610BizMan

    Mason-McDuffie was a Berkeley based Berkeley Piedmont Oakland development firm from 1887 that survived until the late 90′s as Berkeley/Rockridge/Oakland Hills largest real estate brokerage. They developed many (probably most by count) Berkeley, Piedmont and Oakland neighborhoods. They had their own maps that contained all their development names, as well as other real estate development derived names in Berkeley Piedmont and Oakland.

    All of their corporate records from 1887 through 1980 are in the Cal Bancroft Library

    I’m fairly certain that those maps are the source for most of the Facebook and Walk Oakland neighborhood heir terms

    Wherever you see two stone pillars on either side of the street, that was the sales entrance to a Mason-McDuffiie development

  17. Eric Fischer

    When my brother was visiting from Los Angeles recently, he was surprised that Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, and Adams Point are considered distinct neighborhoods instead of being indistinguishable parts of some larger category. Apparently neighborhoods as small as these are unknown there.

    In my mind, for whatever it’s worth, the boundaries of Rockridge are Claremont, 51st, Broadway, and a line somewhere around Ross or Presley.

    Piedmont Avenue: bounded by Pleasant Valley, Broadway, MacArthur, and maybe Oakland Avenue? Or maybe only as far east as Fairmount/Kingston/Rose?

    Adams Point: bounded by Bay Place, Grand, MacArthur, and Vernon.

    OaklandSpaceAcademy, thanks for the insider’s view of Temescal. I wonder what neighborhood the people between Shafter and Broadway consider themselves to live in.

  18. 94610BizMan

    Because of the hills and swampy creeks, the real estate developments here were much smaller that in LA. an initial 50-150 home development was large for early 20th century East Bay but smal by LA standards.

    Each one had a name.

  19. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    Max – I think again this goes to level of detail due to distance. I’m not sure how familiar you are with SF, but for instance SOMA is a huge tract of land. It would make sense for SF residents to divide it up more finely. And because Oakland streets typically follow the topography more closely, you actually might expect Oakland to have a finer grain anyways.

    I also think it is important to note that neighborhood names always arise from both top down and bottom up processes. Developers and real estate people often “make-up” names and have for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And so do settlers and residents. After all, somewhere sometime someone had to say, I’m going to call this that. The key is, does it make sense and is it picked up upon and actually used.

  20. Art

    The Piedmont Ave neighborhood association uses Broadway, MacArthur, Oakland Avenue, and the Piedmont city limit (just north of Pleasant Valley) as their neighborhood boundaries, for whatever that’s worth. (Similarly, the Adams Pt. and Mosswood boundaries from my earlier post come from those respective neighborhood groups.) I’d call the area between Shafter and Broadway Temescal just for simplicity’s sake if Piedmont Ave starts at Broadway, but who knows….

  21. Joanna/ShopGirl

    DAS88 – The reason we referred to it as “District” vs “Neighborhood” was mostly in deference to the mixed-use aspect of the area. Also, there used to be a group called Jack London Neighborhood Association – JLNA – and it had a history. Some good, some not so good. We decided it was time to go with something new when we started working on the mixed-use parking plan.

    By changing the designation to District, we sought to include the businesses of the area, which some felt had been left out of JLNA. Besides, we couldn’t really use Jack London Square, because that’s a specific place and we’re bigger than just the retail/port area. When people call my business and ask if we’re in Jack London Square, I explain that we are not, but we are in the Jack London District.

  22. Frankie D

    V Smoothe and everyone else, the East Oakland thats usually discussed in the crime reports should actually be referred to as South Oakland, which is where I grew up, why the city has never referred to this area as South Oakland has always preplexed me. The neighborhoods are as follow: The intersection of 98th and E 14th is traditionally known as “The Elmhurst District” , Brookfield is further down 98th Avenue between the railroad tracks and 880 freeway on the downtown side of 98th Ave. and Sobrante Park is on the San Leandro side of 98th Ave between the same two points. When you cross 880 heading to the Airport on 98th Ave. that neighborhood is Dag Hammerskjold (growing up “Dag”, was always the toughest part of East Oakland) back when kids fought with their fists instead of with guns. Technically everything above 580 should be called East Oakland because those are the most eastern points of the city bordering Contra Costa County. So technically East Oakland should actually refer to neighborhoods like, Skyline, Joaquin Miller, Crooker Highlands, Piedmont pines, the Montclair district, Redwood Hts, and Sequayah view. As a current resident of one of those neighborhoods if I were ever to refer to any of those areas as East Oakland my neighbors would not approve.

  23. Max Allstadt

    Frankie D,

    I think part of the “East” moniker is because there was at one point a mental division of the city running down the center of the lake.

    Plus, because the city is a blob on the map that runs northwest to southeast, there was probably an urge to simplify the nomenclature. We could have had south vs. north instead of east vs. west. Somewhat arbitrary really.


    You’re right about distance, and about how residents might breakdown neighborhoods a little more finely. And I totally get the things folks are saying about the developer tract names that still haunt us. In some cases, like trestle glen, there’s totally valid physical geography behind it. In others the lines seem arbitrary.
    As far as too many or too few names go, it’s a tough balance: do we go with what’s comprehensible to outsiders, or do we go with what arises organically?

    I think the simplified breakdown I would present to outsiders is: North, West, East, Hills, Lake, Downtown, and Rockridge. The only trick part is that Temescal is to me part of the North sector, but STAND and ULTRA would disagree probably…

  24. Art

    Max, your list reminds me a lot of the Craigslist breakdowns: Downtown, East, Hills/Mills, Lake Merritt/Grand, North/Temescal, Piedmont/Montclair, Rockridge/Claremont, and West. I actually wonder if that wouldn’t be a good sociological proxy for exploring how people identify—where do they put themselves when asked to sort, for instance? Where are there not enough options? (The CL forum is full of Oaklanders who want more fine-grained options, especially when searching for housing—people who want to live in Glenview, the Laurel, and Elmhurst all share the same “Oakland East” moniker, even though the areas are miles apart, for instance.)

  25. dto510

    CK – As someone who makes up development names, I would never assume that Jingletown was a new name. Jingletown Junction sounds cutesy but Jingletown sounds ghetto. It’s very colorful, though. Definitely a keeper.

    Speaking of ghetto names, what about the neighborhood called The Twomps? That’s the 20s around 12th and International. Twomps Tower, anyone?

  26. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    Max: I would go less specific on area. North, East, West, Hills (maybe including Rockridge / the hills east of Redwood(?) would just be East) and I’d lump Lake and Downtown together as Central. I don’t think Rockridge should get its own area (but instead be a district) and Central is not commonly used but maybe should be.

    It is interesting how semantics and custom play into this.

    Of course, East should be South, but it isn’t. And I prefer the local color, rather than everything be “correct” (except Central :) . Such that it is something that you have to come to know.

    And I wouldn’t think to distinguish between Jack London Square and District. To me, that is too contrived. Squares and parks often provide the names for their surrounding neighborhoods. I’m thinking Gramercy Park in NYC, Lincoln Park in Chicago, Echo Park in LA, and Alamo Square in SF. And in cities, neighborhoods include businesses and often commercial districts are the center of their neighborhoods.

    In fact, for me that is the rough definition a city (or town), political boundaries notwithstanding. Can you walk to a commercial node? Does that node form the center of an area you’d call a neighborhood?

  27. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    DTO: Ghetto is good. Any neighborhhood name that signifies a rougher area is going to develop negative connotations, that is just how language works. I would hate for neighborhoods to try to change names; far better (if harder) to change conditions. Twomps is good, is there a Twomps Tower? Can we get one? Oh, and where you at?

    I didn’t know Jingletown for about a year after I moved here, but it might be the best neighborhood name Oakland has. If the story is true (and even if it’s not), it is just too cool.


  28. Patrick

    Art good point re: Craigslist…it is almost useless when you live in our part of Oakland. A friend was looking for a rental, but “east Oakland” is 7 miles long. Unfortunately, Max’s simplification lumps 75% of the city under Hills and East…which is exactly the reason this discussion began.

    V., great .pdf map! It is the only one posted that shows my neighborhood boundaries as my neighbors think of it.

  29. Chris Kidd

    The twomps is a pretty awesome neighborhood name. While growing up in the 80′s/90′s people I knew reffered to the sections of 80th to 90th between foothill and international as “the shady eighties”.

    I think that the breakdowns that max and art were laying down are a start, but being craigslist/housing oriented, it skews *way* towards more affluent areas. Temescal, north oakland AND rockridge for the north while everything south of two blocks off the lake is “east”? I think that the San Antonio/Glenview/Fruitvale/Jingletown/Dimond/Laurel area is really starting to define itself as an independant region that should get equal billing with the other major groups.

    I don’t think that having small neighborhoods is the problem with name recognition. It’s density. The boundaries for Noe Valley in SF are just as small as any neighborhood in Oakland, but people know the small SF neighborhoods because there are that many more people per square foot living in those neighborhoods to bolster the name recognition. The higher density also increases the likelihood that a business would move in, further drawing activity to a neighborhood which would further reinforce that neighborhood’s name/identity.

    Also, I totally love Jingletown’s name. Definitely one of my favorites.

  30. Eric Fischer

    Here’s yet another map that doesn’t try to show boundaries but does try to give areas names, although I don’t trust it too much because it labels Oakland Avenue as Piedmont Avenue.

    V, thanks for posting that map from CEDA. I find it really weird that they consider the area from 580 to 40th, all the way west to highway 24, to be part of Piedmont Avenue.

  31. Navigator

    V, What do you mean no one knows where Melrose is? These neighborhoods have schools named after them, they have libraries named after them, they have parks named after them, they have business establishments like Melrose Ford which occupied that section of East 14th for many years, named after them. Eastmont has a Mall named after it. San Antonio has a big park in the middle of it. Elmhurst has a Middle School and a big field with the same name. All these neighborhoods have post offices with their respective names. Sobrante Park is a residential neighborhood south of 98th Ave bordered by the 880 freeway, San Leandro, and San Leandro Blvd.

    To call a huge area like this, with many different neighborhoods, “East Oakland” just goes to show you the elitist attitudes shown by the Chronicle when describing Oakland. Only San Francisco has neighborhoods. And, the only neighborhoods in Oakland which are ever identified are Montclair and Rockridge. As if these are the only neighborhoods in Oakland worth a mention. Also, these neighborhoods are usually mentioned in a manner as to identify them as being separate of Oakland. They’re identified as almost being separate towns. There are people in the Bay Area who think that Montclair is a separate city, and that when their eating at Oliveto’s, their actually in Berkeley.

    V, when you take that San Francisco elitist attitude, you do the city of Oakland a great disservice. These neighborhoods deserve the same king of recognition and respect as anywhere else in Oakland. There are plenty of honest hard working people living in these neighborhoods. Why do you trivialize them? Just because the Chronicle doesn’t know Oakland, doesn’t mean that the residents living in these neighborhoods don’t know where they live.

  32. V Smoothe Post author

    Navigator, what you’re forgetting is that all these writers who you are so convinced don’t know Oakland or have it out for Oakland are also residents here.

  33. Eric Fischer

    The Chronicle *does* host a list of some East Bay neighborhoods, parallel to their list of San Francisco neighborhoods. Maybe they’re trying and just need to be informed of some others that they should add to the list?

    They’re not much more igorant of Oakland neighborhoods than the East Bay Express is, which only acknowledges Downtown, Glenview, Grand Lake, Jack London Square, Piedmont Ave, Montclair, Rockridge, and Temescal, lumping the entire rest of the city into “East” and “West”. Of course they are in Emeryville so maybe they just aren’t local enough either.

  34. Izzy Ort

    I live in Fruitvale, above Foothill and below 580. I guess that’s upper Fruitvale, if there is such a place. On the northwest, the boundary with San Antonio would be around 29th Avenue, although Wikipedia puts it at Sausal Creek. On the northeast it would be 580/the Dimond District. Then High Street to the Southeast and Jingletown to the southwest, although the Wikipedia article on San Antonio says it’s part of San Antonio, and the article on Fruitvale says its part of Fruiitvale.

    Anyway, Jingletown rocks.

    Apparently it has some fame outside of Oakland as the home of the protaganist of Green Day’s “American Idiot” album.


  35. Navigator

    V, It’s irrelevant where these San Francisco Chronicle writers live. I don’t judge them by whether or not they live in Oakland, I judge them by what they write about Oakland, and by what they don’t write about Oakland. Chip Johnson living in Oakland doesn’t do Oakland a bit of good if all he does is trash the city. It serves the Chronicle well to have an Oakland resident bash the city. It gives the San Francisco Chronicle plausible denial. A non Oakland resident wouldn’t have the latitude to bash Oakland to the extent that Chip Johnson does. It’s interesting that the “on San Francisco” columnist, CW Nevius, lives in the East Bay. CW walks a fine line on SF issues.

  36. Chris Kidd

    Hmm, there is a recording studio in Jingletown. Did Green Day record American Idiot there, or was their character just based in the area?

  37. V Smoothe Post author

    Navigator, in the comment I was responding to, you draw a distinction between people “living in these neighborhoods” and the Chronicle’s writers. I was simply pointing out that the writers you think are so biased against Oakland are also living in those neighborhoods.

  38. DoubleA

    To continue the theme of the ghetto neighborhood names, there is Funktown for the San Antonia area and the Dirty 30′s for the area from 30th to 40th, roughly between International (I still want to call it E. 14th) and MacArthur. If you think the Twomps is a ghetto neighborhood name, anyone remember when it was called the Murder Dubs? Twomps sounds like a nice peaceful neighborhood in comparison. None of these names are flattering, I don’t think it should come as a suprise that they aren’t used much anymore.

    I agree that Jingletown is the best neighborhood name in Oakland.

  39. Max Allstadt

    Studio 880 is in Jingletown?

    Jingletown isn’t a ghetto name at all to me. Especially because I live in GhostTown, which is south of Dogtown and northeast of the Lower Bottoms. Those would be ghetto names, Dogtown probably being the least offensive, although on the flipside Dogtown is also already the name of more than one other neighborhood outside of Oakland.

  40. Brian T

    My neighborhood San Antonio.
    Borders: between 14th and 23rd Aves, RR tracks/880, the upper border towards 580 is a little fuzzy (21st St maybe).

    Neighbors with Eastlake and Fruitvale.

    District: Pat Kernighan’s Dist. 2

    Area: Just East Oakland
    Having only lived in Oakland for 2 years I haven’t distinguished the different parts of E. Oak. any finer.

    When I tried to find the right NCPC meeting to go to I found out that I was right on the junction of several police beats East Park, San Antonio, and Garfield.

    Oakland’s nonconforming spaghetti-like streets confused me to no end when I first moved here. Also it took me a while to get used to having numbered streets and avenues in my ‘hood.

    I’m beating myself up for missing Jingletown’s Open Studios last weekend. It would have been an ideal time to explore.

  41. John

    I’ve lived in the Grand Lake area now for slightly over 10 years. Before that, I lived in Adams Pt. for 11 years. For most of the time that I lived in Adams Pt., I worked in downtown Oakland; I walked to work for over 7 years. I worked for a large senior housing organization on 22nd Street for 3 1/2 years and then at a large law firm near 20th & Harrison for another 3 1/2 years.

  42. len raphael

    east oakland definitely most interesting part of town. got all sorts of fascinating buildings and cemetaries tucked away.

    E and Space: Temescal absolutely is bounded by bway, MLK, 51st and Mac. Despite the farmers market calling itself temescal, it aint.

    housing above tele, north of 51st goes for >10%k more than temescal, even though before 51st was widened in the 60′s that area north of 51st but below bway was not considered rockridge. a realtor innovation of the 60′s probably. but my old italian american neighbor who used to deliver newspapers on his bike in the early 50′s says the italians north of 51st came from a different section of italy and considered themselves superior to the italians who settled south of 51st.

  43. V Smoothe Post author

    Len, it’s been weeks since you commented! Surely, you must have something to say about something we’ve brought up here besides where neighborhoods are located.

  44. OaklandSpaceAcademy


    I didn’t much care for the Gluss essay, and I think the Oakland coverage in the SF Chronicle does have some problems. But I don’t think it stems from elitist bias or some anti-Oakland conspiracy.

    And it is clear to me that Chip Johnson does Oakland a wonderful service. He doesn’t “trash the city”, he exposes the government of Oakland as ineffectual, incompetent, and corrupt, and rightly so.

    I can’t imagine thinking those as the same thing.

  45. OaklandSpaceAcademy


    There is a bit of disagreement about Temescal’s borders.

    The book Temescal Legacies, by Jeff Norman, refers to the neighborhood’s ever shifting boundaries. In the late 19th century, “Temescal was generally considered to be everything north of the Oakland city limit at 36th St. to the Berkeley border and from Broadway/College west to the Emeryville line.” That is about how I’d define the Temescal district.

    The book goes on to describe others who (re)defined it as you did, with 51st St. being the northern edge because of the psychological barrier of such a large thoroughfare and the same on the south with 40th. While still others feel the freeway (around 56th St. ) now forms the northern edge, which makes the most sense to me.

    In the historical map on the first page of boundaries section of the book, the word “Temescal” is written right over the intersection of 51st and Telegraph, perhaps indicating that as the center. To my mind, it is hard to think of major intersections such as 51st and Telegraph or Broadway and Grand as boundaries of neighborhoods; they seem like they want to be centers.

    The sections ends with an insightful few lines, which I think can apply to almost any neighborhood, “think of the neighborhood not as a single, fixed entity but as an assortment of areas, one superimposed over the other, with semi-permeable edges, each slightly different, all valid. Or, maybe Temescal’s boundaries are best left to each of us to define by examining our own subjective experience of when we feel we are entering and leaving our home turf. One way or another, when we say we live in Temescal, some part of us wants to be sure of what we mean. Perhaps this is because to know the answer is another way to know ourselves.”

    Thanks V.

  46. OaklandSpaceAcademy

    Murder Dubs, Shady 80s, and Dirty 30s may be a little much, but I think names like GhostTown, Dogtown, and Lower Bottoms are fantastic.

    Thirty years from now, when these neighborhoods may have new condos and restored homes filled with yuppies and dinks, these names will help provide them with some historical memory, which is a wonderful thing for neighborhood names to do. I would hope I’d feel the same if I lived there right now.

    Maybe Murder Dubs could be refashioned as M Dubs, that could be a keeper.

  47. Max Allstadt


    You do realize that “Lower Bottoms” is African American slang that essentially means “bottom of the barrel”, “slumming it”, “poorest of the poor”…

    Ever watch “The Wire”? Bubbles refers to himself as Low-Bottom when he’s at his worst. Not really a wonderful name in my book. Not too different from “Skid Row”.

    Dogtown’s OK, and Ghost Town could have their charm in time, I guess.

  48. Navigator

    OaklandSpaceAcademy, I have no problem with Chip Johnson exposing government ineptness or corruption. I have a problem with the many times which he has trashed this city with broad brushed commentary. He can criticize Dellums all he wants, but stop generalizing about Oakland and stop rehashing old crimes along with creating a false impression of some sort of exodus from Oakland when every statistic contradicts that being the case. Also, instead of 95% negativity about Oakland, how about maybe a 60/40 balance. All you have to do is compare Chip Johnson’s colums to the “on San Francisco” columnist, CW Nevius to know that San Francisco is treated with kid gloves while Oakland gets the sledge hammer over the head. This is fair? I don’t think so.

  49. Robert

    I have no idea where Dogtown and Ghosttown are, only a guess about where the Lower Bottoms are, and a rough idea of where Jingletown is. And I have lived in Oakland for almost ten years now. I guess my point is that neighborhood designations are not that improtant if you don’t live in or near the neighborhood.


    Lakeshore neighborhood, roughly 2 to 3 blocks on either side of Lakeshore between 580 and Piedmont. I admit I sometimes tell people the Grand Lake area, because they know where the Grand Lake theater is, and therefore think they know where the neighborhood is, and its not to far off. In spite of being a freeway exit, most people really don’t know where the Lakeshore neighborhood is.

    District – don’t really think that applies

    Area – I like the lower hills designation in the map above, but I don;t think I have ever heard somebody use. it. I will usually say the lower part of the Hills, or ‘near Piedmont’.

    I heve never heard anybody use ‘Southeast Oakland’ as a designation. To me everything southeast of Fruitvale is East Oakalnd. This does leave a gap between the lake and Fruitvale. West Oakland, North Oakland and the Hills all make sense, and the downtown area (or central) could cover downtown, uptown and JLS.

  50. Andrew

    I lived in Temescal in 1990 or so, when the neighborhood organization Temescal Neighbors Together or TNT was forming. At that time we decided to cover Broadway to 24 (not MLK), 51st to 40th (not 580). Nowadays I think Temescal should go north to 24 and include the blocks around the DMV office, and south to 580, though maybe the Mosswood people wouldn’t like that.

  51. len raphael

    Space, yup, temescal did shrink over time to a sliver of it’s original size.
    do smaller neighborhood definitions make residents feel warm and cozy, or exclusionary? personally warm and cozy leading to greater stake in the bigger city.

    v, last couple of mos i’ve been breaking my cardinal rule: think locally and act locally. but since economic history has always fascinated me, and these are 100 year flood times in that dept. i spend much of my online time just boning up on credit swaps and such. the interaction w muni and real estate finance works in there too.

    at this point, though it seems that the light at the end of the economic tunnel for oakland will be several years to maybe a decade away after severe muni famine interspersed with well funded infrastructure repair projects and implementation of your beloved bus lines. my concern for small biz parking along tele is quixotic because many of those biz’s won’t make it thru a prolonged downturn. hey, maybe maybe it’s like forest fire fires and earthquakes: what doesn’t kill towns, makes them stronger..

    when i get some time, i’ll resume pounding on a well heeled acquaintence to beg him to run for mayor. like other civic minded highly competent charitable oaklanders who could afford to run a winning campaign, he thinks it would just be extremely frustrating. any pointers on how can i convince him otherwise?

    -len raphael

  52. Eric Fischer

    By the way, if anyone wants a more precise source for the Oakland Planning Department neighborhood map, it is from the June, 1979 second printing of Rehab Right: How to Rehabilitate Your Oakland House Without Sacrificing Architectural Assets, City of Oakland Planning Department, June, 1978, p. 6.

  53. Coolhand Luke

    V great post. Technically East Oakland is anything East of the Lake, hence the Eastlake neighborhood. I’m gonna break down a few East Oakland neighborhoods as I understand them, though the list is definitely not anywhere near exhaustive.

    Funktown is the Aves up till 19th

    Murder Dubs (formerly The Twomps) 20th Ave-29th Ave

    Dimond District- Centered at MacArthur and Fruitvale

    Dirty 30s (MY NEIGHBORHOOD!) 30th Ave- 39th Ave below MacArthur
    I stay on 38th Ave, hence the name of my site http://www.38thnotes.com

    Allendale- Between 35th Ave & High St and MacArthur and Brookdale

    Laurel- 35th Ave to High St on either side of MacArthur BLvd. (Even has signs across Mac welcoming you to the Laurel)

    Redwood Heights- Either side of Redwood Road (35th Ave) starting about 8 blocks up from MacArthur and ending past the Safeway

    Maxwell Park- East of High St roughly between Foothill and MacArthur

    The 40s are kinda a no mans land as far as I know

    The 50 Avenues by Seminary are known as Sem City (in reference to the video game)

    Frankie D has the Deep East on lock. Elmhurst, Eastmont, Shady 80s, Brookfield, Sobrante, Dagville etc. Dagville is probably the least known of all Oakland neighborhoods in my opinion.

    There are way more than this, but I think it’s also to important to realize that young folks in The Town have a lot of different names for areas too. Neighborhoods are known as “turfs” and are even tinier in scope than the labels we are assigning. FOr instance, there is a gang division by my house that divides High St into Upper High St and Lower High st. As far as they are concerned, they are in very distinct areas, though we might just say they’re all at the edge of Maxwell Park. Or in North Oakland Bushrod and Gaskill are distinct sets even though Gaskill is just one street right by Bushrod Park.

    My vote for best neighborhood name is a tie between Jingletown and Funktown. I love Jingletown for the sound and the practice that gave rise to it, but Funktown is great too. (Forgive me if the following is common knowledge, but I detect some transplants and older folks in the commenting section so I will speak as a young Oakland native) In Oakland, Funkin’ is a term meaning to beef or to have a problem with someone. So you could say that “We’re funkin’ with Sobrante cuz they killed Rob” or “Me and V Smoothe got funk.” So, given that, I love the name, especially given the history of funk in Oakland thanks to Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power.

  54. 94610BizMan

    Isn’t it charming that a “young Oakland native” uses murder as the first example of understanding contemporary Oakland slang.

  55. Max Allstadt


    Dogtown = Clawson
    LowerBottoms = Prescott & South Prescott
    Ghost Town = Hoover-Foster & McClymonds, roughly.

    I believe Ghost Town is also used by a gang. Same with Jingletown, actually. But a funny thing is that the part of Jingletown where the artists are is not Jingletown according to a rival of the Jingletown gang, so Jingletown artists have had their signage vandalized at times.

  56. 94610BizMan

    FWIW when we were looking at buying into the conversion to live work of the very interesting industrial building the the corner of 30th and Filbert in the very early 90′s we were told that the name “Ghost town” came from the old casket factories located on the block.

  57. Coolhand Luke

    Isn’t it equally charming that “Zip code boy” clearly didn’t understand my post. Funkin’ does not mean murder, it simply indicates a problem. So I would say that we got funk due to your lame attempt at condescending sarcasm. And no that doesn’t mean I’m going to kill you genius.

  58. 94610BizMan

    “So you could say that “We’re funkin’ with Sobrante cuz they killed Rob”

    Your words dude?

  59. Max Allstadt


    to clarify, I meant a gang uses the name, not that they originated it. Hard to blame them. If I was a gang, and that was my neighborhood name, alliteration alone would make it appealing.

  60. 94610BizMan

    Got it Max. Since most folks haven’t heard of the neighborhood it I thought I’d provide some local color.
    It is an interesting neighborhood with some very excellent industrial buildings.

  61. Max Allstadt


    One could also say “We funkin’ with the Ugglesworths, cuz’ they scheduled their soiree on the same night as ours”.

    Funk = Dispute. Funk ≠ Violence.

    Coolhand, cool off. “Zipcode boy”?

  62. Coolhand Luke

    Yes, “We have a problem with Sobrante because they killed Rob.” Not “We’re gonna murder Sobrante because they killed Rob.” You are correct that murder is in the scenario, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the term “funkin” necessarily. Maybe that was your only point, but it sounded like you thought that defined the term.

  63. Max Allstadt

    It is indeed an interesting ‘hood. If anybody out there feels like converting one of those industrial buildings or SROs, I will gladly help fill the place with artists.

  64. 94610BizMan

    My point was that for your “example” to define the term funkin’ you selected a murder scenario, as you just stated, for your first example. If you thought that it was funny to use a reference to murder on the “Better Oakland Blog” then my sarcasm stands.

    “And no that doesn’t mean I’m going to kill you genius”.
    More excellent humor.

    After the first of the year when, I finish my current project, I would be happy to host the “For A Better Oakland” target shoot afternoon at the San Leandro range to see which of the posters here (with a legal weapon) is the best shot. I won’t even take a handicap for my age and disability.

    Ever been called to Jury Selection for a murder case here in Oakland? I have, twice.

  65. V Smoothe Post author

    So what are the borders of Ghosttown? I think of it as West Grand, Peralta, 580 and 980. Someone else tells me it’s much smaller, just the area with its own street grid between San Pablo, Peralta, and West Grand.

  66. 94610BizMan

    Your smaller area definition was what I was told by the residents at 30th and Filbert in the very early 90′s.

    The primary reason we don’t live there is that the cost of rehabbing industrial property turned out to be significantly more expensive than rehabbing large residential property ( 5000 square feet which was the size of our loft in Chicago).

  67. 94610BizMan

    The Ghost town area I was told was centered on 30th and Filbert. Below San Pablo, above Grand and East of Peralta.

    There was a “Welcome to Ghost Town” sign done in scrap metal/welded cut out on the 30th st side of the building in about 1992

  68. V Smoothe Post author

    Okay, Bizman, I understand. You’re saying it’s about half the area in dark pink, with San Pablo as the dividing line.

    So what’s the neighborhood on the other side of San Pablo called?

  69. Max Allstadt

    peralta doesn’t make much sense as a border at the southern end. a lot of industrial inside that line.

    I think you’d have to ask a gang member to get a seriously committed answer on that one.

    I am confident in saying that 580 is too far north. Dogtown runs all the way to San Pablo in the 30s. As a matter for fact 30th might be the gang boundary.

  70. 94610BizMan

    The folks who were working on rehabbing the industrial buildings focused on the few blocks around 30th and Filbert and down Myrtle.

    I looked at my notes from then and we had talked to an older African American real estate agent who lived on Filbert St. She used the ghost town name for the neighborhood including the single family houses from Myrtle to San Pablo as well as mixed real estate blocks between 28th and 24th below San Pablo.


  71. V Smoothe Post author

    I’ve never thought of Dogtown rto as going all the way to San Pablo. I always think of it as being bordered by Mandela, 580, and Peralta. It’s easy to pick out on a map because it has its own street grid.

    The Dogtown wikipedia article, however, says its bordered by Adeline.

  72. 94610BizMan

    Again FWIW from our early 90s industrial to live-work search, a re-developer called the blocks from 32 to 35th below Adeline and north of Hollis as Dogtown. She did distinguish it from the Ghost town developers.

    Could have been her marketing pitch since that was where she and her partner owned properties.

  73. driver

    When 60-minutes did the story on Ghost town 5 years ago (guess) They decidesribe it as from West Mac to west Grand.Then from San Pablo to 980. Of coarse they could be wrong.

  74. Robert

    Personally, I think it is one of the fun aspects of self-identified neighborhoods, the lack of clearly defined, fixed borders. Where are the true borders of dogtown or ghost town, and does it really matter? In some cases, if you can get the the actual origins of the name, you might be able to figure out the boundaries, but in many other cases you may not. If you are really into it, you can go digging in the oral history of the neighborhood to try and understand origins and boundaries, which for somebody who lives in the area could be a lot of fun, as you would get to talk to all the oldtimers. If you are in to mapping, you could represent different people’s ideas of the boundaries as a probability density (sort of like the craiglist map). If you did, you would certainly find that neighborhoods overlapped.

    Back to my case, I don’t think of some of the area shown as Lakeshore on the Oakland Museum map as being Lakeshore, but rather belonging to Croker Highlands or Trestle Glen. And this is for a case where the names most likely derived at one time from real estate developments with fixed boundaries. But this type of thing evolves and changes over time, just like at some point peeople decided to split Ghosttown out of the McClymods neighborhood.

    Now for me, I miss Grove Street, since my father lived there. And at the time, it was part of West Oakland.

  75. Chris Kidd

    The reason signs with “Jingletown” on them get trashed is because the Jingletown gang is in Jingletown proper on the other side of 880. The E 7th St. gang is the gang that is on the Jingletown junction side of 880 on, well, E 7th St. Since the two of them have beef, E 7th vandalizes signs with “Jingletown” on their turf and the Jingletown gang vandalizes “Jingletown” signs because that’s *their* name. What’s been great for graffiti abatement, however, has been all the mosaics on building walls down here. While taggers will ply their trade on the blank White Elephant building, they’re never once touched a mosaic in the 2+ years I’ve been in Jingletown.

  76. len raphael

    when you took that walk around town, you might have noticed that much of the sidewalk in the flats is highly trippable. and apparently so have many people who file and win suits/claims against the city for sidewalk. (under current law, city has primary liability, then there is shared liability with owners depending on differnt factors).

    you might also have noticed that in the poorer sections of town, there are fewer trees. that’s because under current law, owners are responsible for all claims and repairs if the owner planted the tree rather than the city.

    without getting any more into the boring details, russo and the entire council are close to shifting more of the financial responsibilty to property owners. this particularly affects owners who planted sidewalk trees instead of waiting years for the city to do so.

    making owners more responsible for sidewalk repair not a bad idea, and if done before someone trips, would be even better.

    But the council has to come up with a carrot to make it affordable and equitable. eg. a 5 year low interest repair payment plan, where the repair is done at the lower of the city’s cost or the owner’s. eg. all sidewalk damage caused by trees that are or were on approved city list for planting, should be handled the same way to encourage residents to plant trees.

    sidewalk repair done to city specs and inspection is absurdly costly when done one building at a time, as compared to aggregating several blocks. the slip/fall claims probably even more so. pushing more of the cost of the claims and repairs over to the owners should be accompanied by a plan to make preventive repairs payable over time.

    please email the usual suspects. v has a link to the council members, and also John Russo who drafted the proposed change.

    (yeah, i’m back to thinking locally)

    -len raphael

  77. Raymond Johnson

    Responding to comments from a bit earlier…

    Max: I did not know exactly what “Lower Bottoms” meant, but I kind of guessed it was somewhat negative. I still think it is a good name because I tend to prefer names that arise from bottom-up processes and I think it is important for neighborhood names to help tell the history of place. That said, I don’t live there and don’t have to suffer the negative connotations, so I’m willing to give wide lattitude to people who do and are more directly affected.

    I haven’t seen “The Wire”, but I’ve heard it is fantastic. Maybe I will rent it when the conspiracy (probably based in SF) to darken my TV arrives in February.

    Nav (from Sat 2:05pm): Our discussion of SF media bias against Oakland doesn’t really belong here, so I’m going to more thoroughly in comments at my “Oakland Exodus” post over at OSA. But the abridged version is that you need to provide examples. I will explain further there.

  78. driver

    len raphael, Residential property owners are responsible for sidewalks.Commercial property owners are not.If what your saying is true,the city will have to make all commercial districts meet with ADA law FIRST.Somehow it aint going to happen.

    Residential owners are only responsible for trees not on the city list as acceptable SIDEWALK trees.Yes I can buy a tree from the list and plant it.

  79. Max Allstadt

    funny thing is that the Bottoms are probably the most likely of those three West Oakland neighborhoods to end up gentrified by the end of the next up cycle.

    Dogtown is too close to highways and a stinky sewage treatment plant, it’s also small and surrounded by industrial. It’s proximity to Emeryville makes it somewhat attractive, and there are certainly development efforts under way. Lack of public transit is an issue though.

    Ghost Town will be the last to flip. The city has spent decades following a racist habit of piling up high impact social services on either side of the 980. This effectively creates a border of blight that keeps middle class people afraid of everything on the other side. Take a drive up San Pablo from Grand to 27th some time. This is what we allow on the edge of our downtown? I don’t want to displace poor folks, but allowing this level of blight to continue is unacceptable.

  80. Max Allstadt

    V, per your map,

    the neighborhood on the other side of San Pablo is either called West Oakland generically, because it’s the border, or people who’ve been here for a while call it Hoover-Foster. I’ll ask more people. It’s where I live.

    I own property in the little light pink triangle. Its an odd place. My block is safe, the one over, Mead St. needs to be cleaned out by OPD, and aggressively. Most would call that GhostTown too, if they want to use a ghetto name. Seeing as it’s called McCymmonds officially, and it has a high school by that name, I would prefer to call it, and everything in the traditional boundaries of McClymonds… “McCymonds”.

  81. Max Allstadt

    I meant call everything inside the magenta parallelogram “McClymonds”. That little triangle is hardly big enough to be it’s own neighborhood.

    Those diagonal streets are all little anomalies anyway. I like the one my property is on, the rest could use some drug and hooker removal. It’s interesting how layout affects crime. The street I’m on is one way, narrow and a thousand feet long. Minimal trouble. The wider two way streets to either side of it on a parallel…constantly a mess. Maybe a way to curb drive-in and walk-by vice transactions is to stunt traffic flow. Speed bumps, one ways, or even splitting up blocks into cul de sacs… wups. tangent.

  82. Robert

    Interesting observation Max. It would be really hard to have a drive by shooting when there is only a foot or less between the shooters car and parked cars on either side with a single bi-directional traffic lane down the middle. Many older neighborhoods are set up like this, and people just pull to the side and yield. But really hard to stage your getaway if you risk running into the parked cars or the oncoming traffic. (By older I mean the areas dating from pre-1920 or so.)

  83. Max Allstadt

    Patrick, the lot on Athens is for my as yet unbuilt cult compound. A neighboring church uses it for parking.


    It’s less dramatic than that. Just being physically closer to houses on either side discourages shenanigans. Being unable to turn around, unable to stop without blocking someone behind you, and being super easy to corner in a sting… I’m sure that all of this goes through a dealer or a hooker’s mind either subconsciously or consciously. Really it goes back to density: Single family detached homes might actually be dense enough to deter crime on tiny lots along a narrow street.

  84. Patrick

    Does this mean…no party? I guess I’ll just have to drink this Ron Zacapa 23 year old cask aged Guatemalan rum all by myself.

    The street I live on is, as I mentioned, dead-end. We get our fair share of people that appear to be looking for trouble, but when they see there is only one way out – they leave. An added benefit is that the dead end is created by the convergence of two large lots; a senior center that wraps around one side of the street and a school that wraps around the other side. Both have 8 foot fences surrounding their properties. So, egress is not easy even by foot. However, 23rd Avenue, one street over is a hotbed. A long stretch of wide road, houses fairly well set back and a million escape routes.

  85. Coolhand Luke

    This is a random question, but does anyone know who controls the Oakland wikipedia page with such a dictatorial hand?? Every time I have tried to change something over the years, some one changes in back within minutes. THe whole point of wikipedia is for information to be somewhat democratized, but somebody with way too much time on their hands scours it like an old woman in a window. It is particularly frustrating when I am correcting something and the incorrect info is re-upped 5 minutes later- minutes that could have been better spent doing research.

  86. scott

    We live at 65th and San Pablo right near the northern border. Historically our neighborhood is called ‘Golden Gate’ – but currently it’s been being referred to by 3 new names which reflect the growing community focus where Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville meet.

    Triple Point (or the Triple Point) – this is what we named our cohousing group after
    Three Corners (there is a neighborhood list named this)

    Right near 67th, just west of San Pablo is where the 3 city boundaries meet. It has been fascinating to watch and see how to keep up with 3 different cities. We live 1/2 block from Emeryville and 2 blocks from Berkeley. The proximity means we talk to our neighbors down the street about things like trying to get Berkeley and Oakland to work together on traffic calming on Alcatraz, we regularly see beat cops from all cities (have had Emeryville chasing a robber through our alley). In the past the area was less residential in the Emeryville and Berkeley zones, but lots of higher density housing along San Pablo and Hollis seem to be building a nice community with more livable businesses (cafes, restaurants, bars) starting to come in.

    Anyhow come on down the Triple Point and check out some of the new great businesses around – and old. We have BlankSpace gallery as the northern member of Art Murmur, now with the new Compound Gallery next door.


  87. Tone

    From growing up 16 yrs in oakland from 2nd grade I can elaborate the best on east oakland and west oakland territories growing up on 3rd and e12th east oakland starts on first ave period heading towards grand lake and no more number streets is not, living in that area we were cross districted thru school to west lake where we shared our schools with west oakland and north oakland tomy knowledge west has 3 seperate areas lower bottom by old cypress st or 880 adjacent by going to shools in that area or lower st nums up to 15st general west is 16 or higher usually 24th and then ghost town top of west boarderd by 580 and north starts above 580 around telegraph and san pablo.