MAY 3 2013 –
Yes, you read that right. Oakland is hella exciting.
While it often seems to lose out on “cool factor” when compared to another Bay Area city that shall remain both nameless and expensive, Oakland topped all other major American metropoles in a listicle put out this week by real estate blog Movoto.
Movoto judged the 50 largest metro areas in America on a host of factors, such as park acreage, percentage of young adults, low concentrations of big box stores and fast food restaurants, diversity of its population as well as bars, museums and movie theaters per square mile.
“This isn’t a perfect definition,” wrote Movoto blogger David Cross, “but you can think of our list as ways to fight that ever-present boredom everyone faces at some point or another.”
The list didn’t even take into account Oakland’s hosting of the Internet Cat Video Festival this spring. If watching cat videos projected onto a giant wall with thousands of your closest friends isn’t the textbook definition of excitement, we don’t what is.
Even the New York Times, a paper whose never sleeping hometown didn’t even crack the top five, agrees—ranking Oakland number five in its global list of “must visit” places last year.
However, not everyone is so enthused about the media’s recent portrayal of Oakland’s sudden transformation into an epicenter of coolness.
“I take issue with the idea that Oakland is worth visiting only because new has supplanted old…That notion supposes that everything I’ve loved about my city for the last 27 years is void,” Oakland-born playwright Chinaka Hodge told local hip hop blog 38th Notes. “The [New York Times] blurb invites those who would not otherwise be interested in the cultural backbone of my city to descend and take, as opposed to respectfully visit and interact.”