I’m going to be completely honest with you. Until three years ago I didn’t know Alameda existed. Driving down the 880 I assumed there were just more warehouses and cargo cranes between Oakland and the Bay. Then, I found myself friends with people who lived here.
After a few visits with our new friends it didn’t take long for my husband and I to fall in love with and move to Alameda. For the last year we’ve continued to fall head over heels for our adopted home. Where else can you walk or bike to a wide array of delicious restaurants, cozy coffee shops, the grocery store, bank, historic movie theater, and even the beach, all from your affordable and larger apartment and still easily commute to work in San Francisco?
A typical week night has my husband cutting our transbay commute one stop short to swing by BurgerMeister for dinner (or Scolari’s if its particularly nice out), wandering through Rocket Reuse for literary and musical treasures, and stopping in Tucker’s to share a sundae of their most unique flavorings - salted caramel and Humbolt Fog ice cream? Yes, please. The best part is that unlike in the larger cities we’ve lived, we not only run into friends and neighbors, we have gotten to know the proprietors and people who work in their establishments, too.
However, as transplants in our early thirties we aren’t just new residents exploring our adopted home town. We are a part of a subsection of Alamedians - The Breeders. When we decided to move from Oakland to Alameda and upgrade to a two bedroom apartment our friends were more than a little suspicious. The moving boxes marked “second bedroom” were lugged into what all of our helpers dubbed “the baby’s room.” Only...all of our friends were right. Over the last few months, my walk around the neighborhood has become more of a waddle.
Unbeknownst to us when we moved, Alameda is affectionately considered the place where “hipsters go to breed.” I beg to differ. It is also the place punk rockers go to breed - my husband can can reminisce about touring with about half of our block - and where lots of couples who love the Bay Area choose to raise a family regardless of hobbies and clothing styles. While I may be one of few members of the PTA without tattoos, the reason so many young families choose to live here is not because it is the hot new place, but because at the same time, it isn’t. Alameda is a town that has the best of both - a bit Mayberry, with just a touch of the Mission District. A small town where hip boutiques nestle in among decades-old family businesses. A place with a rich history and solidly rooted community that is willing to welcome new members and adapt to positive change - and it has really great schools.
We’re currently turning that second bedroom into a nursery for our first child (due at the end of this month!), which means we are about to explore a whole new side of Alameda. I’ll be sharing the experience through posts ranging from the loads of kid-friendly activities the community has to offer, to how to meet new-parent friends. If there is something you think new parents should know about I’d love to hear from you.