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Great thread! I like the unique things you captured. I grew up in Lodi, a little ways away in the central valley. California is an interesting place... there are beautiful and amazing places like Muir Woods and the coast, but nobody can afford to live in those areas. The "real" parts of California that are not as glamorous are not what people in Ohio think of. I still love to visit but don't miss living there!
C-Dawg, I was shocked while touring the streets of Oakland on Google Streetview to see that the very first BART station on the east side of the transbay tube is surrounded by derelict houses and empty lots. It looks like goddamn Hamilton or Middletown but with an elevated rapid transit station with trains coming and going every 90 seconds, just a 5-minute ride from downtown San Francisco.
Yeah, but can you afford to live alone? Living independently is the only fair way to compare cost of living. I have tons of friends from New York who moved to San Francisco and they say, "I'm still only paying $2,000 a month in rent!" What they fail to mention is that they had their own nice studio apartment in Manhattan and now they are sharing an apartment with two to three roommates from craigslist in San Francisco for the same rent they were paying to live alone. They also fail to mention that they are not on the lease, and are subtenants at the mercy of master tenants. As a master tenant, I'm well aware that I have a lot of power over newcomers, but I don't abuse it the way all my native and long-term friends do in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. Even in NYC, it's tough to pull off living for free like tens of thousands of master tenants do in SF/OAK. Not to mention turning your apartment into an Airbnb tech hostel is more lucrative in the Bay than anywhere else. I have tons of friends who have done that and now are retired in their 20s.The Bay's politics are eradicating the upper middle class at warp speed. Though it's Oakland that deserves the vast majority of the blame, not San Francisco. San Francisco is now finally building some mixed-income housing while virtually nothing is being built in half-destroyed Oakland where thousands of empty lots sit vacant forever due to protests and riots against all housing construction. The NIBMY politics of Oakland are the greediest in the world.But San Jose is where the biggest political sea change has happened. NIMBYs have incredible power in Oakland, some power in San Francisco, but very little power in San Jose. San Jose went through the sea change that LA went through where NIMBYs are now struggling to block housing construction. NIMBYs in Oakland are successful at killing housing projects almost any time they are proposed. NIMBYs are successful at delaying projects in San Francisco. But San Jose is where the real housing construction is at...hence why it's now cheaper pound-for-pound than the rest of the Bay's big cities despite its higher incomes.The 'real' parts of California, i.e. the Central Valley and others are so similar to the rolling farmlands of the midwest. Driving along the 5 between LA and SF reminds me a bit, at times, or driving through Ohio.Sacramento = Columbus. The Bay is similar to Ohio and Michigan in urban structure with the obvious exception of San Francisco proper. Oakland = Toledo (but for ten times the cost of living and with much crappier amenities/people). Alameda = Sandusky (for ten times the cost). Berkeley = Ann Arbor (for triple the cost).
^But are you renting or owning? Can you ever own?
Looking again (I'm at work), it appears that the BART parking lot at the very least could be the site of a pair of 300-unit apartment buildings. Why would that be controversial? I can see trying to preserve the existing old housing stock, which looks like the kind of stuff that sells for $40k in Cincinnati, but there are empty lots all over the place that could become 4-famlies or 10-unit buildings. Meanwhile, there appears to be a fair amount of new construction (1980s-onward) but it's all pretty low-density 2-3 floor apartments. The kind of stuff the government has put up that is sort-of public housing but tries to look like a suburban complex.
Quote from: jmecklenborg on March 14, 2017, 02:55:21 PMLooking again (I'm at work), it appears that the BART parking lot at the very least could be the site of a pair of 300-unit apartment buildings. Why would that be controversial? I can see trying to preserve the existing old housing stock, which looks like the kind of stuff that sells for $40k in Cincinnati, but there are empty lots all over the place that could become 4-famlies or 10-unit buildings. Meanwhile, there appears to be a fair amount of new construction (1980s-onward) but it's all pretty low-density 2-3 floor apartments. The kind of stuff the government has put up that is sort-of public housing but tries to look like a suburban complex. BART is trying to do that. But you should look up the controversy that has arisen around a proposal by (i think) BART to do that at/neat the Macarthur Station.