Oakland (pron.: /ˈoʊklənd/), located in the U.S. state of California, is a major West Coast port city and the busiest port for San Francisco Bay and all Northern California. It is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth-largest city in the state, and the 47th-largest city in the U.S. with a population of 390,724. Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. It serves as a major transportation hub and trade center for the entire region and is also the principal city of the Bay Area Region known as the East Bay. The city is situated directly across the bay, six miles east of San Francisco.
Oakland has more than 50 distinct neighborhoods. The greater divisions in the city include downtown Oakland and its greater Central Business District, Lake Merritt, East Oakland, North Oakland, West Oakland, and the Oakland Hills. East Oakland, which includes the East Oakland Hills, encompasses more than half of Oakland's land area, stretching from Lakeshore Avenue on the east shore of Lake Merritt southeast to the San Leandro border. North Oakland encompasses the neighborhoods between downtown and Berkeley and Emeryville. West Oakland is the area between downtown and the Bay, partially surrounded by the Oakland Point, and encompassing the Port of Oakland. In 2011, Oakland was ranked the 10th most walkable city in the United States.
Arts & Culture
Oakland has a significant art scene and claims the highest concentration of artists per capita in the United States. Galleries exist in various parts of Oakland, with the newest additions centered mostly in the Uptown area. The city offers a wide variety of cuisine in restaurants and markets, often featuring locally grown produce and international foods that reflect the city’s ethnically diverse population. Historically a focal point of the West Coast blues and jazz scenes, Oakland is also home to musicians representing such genres as rhythm and blues, funk, punk, heavy metal, Rap/Gangsta rap, and hip hop.
Downtown Oakland has an assortment of bars and nightclubs. They include dive bars, dance clubs, modern lounges and jazz bars. The Paramount Theater features headlining musical tours and productions, while Fox Oakland Theatre draws various musical genres including jam bands, rock, punk, blues, jazz, and reggae. The Paramount and Fox theaters often book simultaneous events creating busy nights uptown. Recent years have seen the growth of the Oakland Art Murmur event, occurring in the Uptown neighborhood the first Friday evening of every month.