What are your thoughts?
Oakland has been described by the NY Times as the last place for Radicals in the United States. Much of the progress in the areas surrounding Oakland seems to have skipped over this City. It is a place of radical ideas and intense cultural movements. The most recent movement has been the rise of the arts and culture scene. In the past 5-7 years the way that Oaklanders and the Bay Area has interacted with and seen the East Bay city has dramatically changed. Tech elites are moving in, people do not leave Oakland to enjoy their nightlife and the hipster crowd is drifting over the Bay Bridge on weekend nights and weekends for an infusion of culture.
Is it because the rents are low? is it because it is an incredibly diverse city - economical and culturally? It is a mixture of both?
What about "Maker Culture"? It is an outgrowth of DIY or Do It Yourself culture. People are shifting to learning how to make things using basic materials. Oakland is an epicenter of this culture. With unemployment hovering at around 14.3% there are people creating opportunities all around. Artists and tinkerers have taken over old warehouse spaces and turned them into modern workshops and labs. I visited one such shop where a group of people collectively own a space that houses a wood, metal, glass, shops and also contains a room full of pulleys - they often work and support the local artist community in developing their work and experiment in making and deconstructing things.
And of course... what about the Muslims? the Bay Area is a center of learning, community, fellowship and activity with an incredibly diverse muslim populaiton. What is it about the Bay that attracts this amazing community?