Fast Company has just come out with a pretty cool article touting Oakland as an up and coming place to do business. SFist had a lovely and perfectly snarky response.
As a Bay Area born and raised lad, and a lover of comedy, I can’t tell you how much the SF versus Oakland shit talk battle delights. It’s a time honored tradition here in the Bay Area to talk shit about cities and neighborhoods, and the Oakland vs SF fued has been going strong since I can remember - and I feel extremely comfortable making fun of both sides. I was born in SF, grew up down on the peninsula in a beach town called Pacifica, then to the East Bay, then back to San Fran. I’ve got ghetto love for all of the Bay.
But Oakland vs SF is comedy gold. It’s like New York and New Jersey. You can make a thousand Jersey jokes, and they don’t get old. Jersey-raised Jon Stewart makes some of the harshest and funny jersey jokes I have ever heard. If you’re in LA, it’s kind of like the LA verses “the valley”. Valley jokes just don’t get old.
One of the funniest Oakland jokes recently came when I was walking down the street with the fam. A homeless friend of mine, eyes lit up when he saw me. “Hey brotha!” he yelled. “Guess what?” “what!?” I said, riveted. he pulled out a set of keys from his torn jean pockets. “I got a house!” I smiled. “Awesome!” I think I said. But his face suddenly wilted. “Yea, but it’s in Oakland,” he said disdainfully.
Honestly Oakland is an amazing, dangerous yet thriving and misunderstood city. It is true at the moment there are a few more restaurants and bars and hispters and I would love nothing more than for Oakland to become Brooklyn. But until then. Let the jokes fly.
As a good friend poignantly said the other day, “Oakland will always be up and coming.”
This hilarious video from the SF based Sketch Comedy troupe Killing My Lobster will give you a sweet taste of what Oaktown is all about. Oakland!