Vivre à East Bay en CalifornieIyna Bort Caruso
California’s East Bayis an area of 33 cities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that sits on the eastern shores of San Francisco Bay. Nearly one quarter is designated open space, a fact locals take advantage of with an outdoors lifestyle. That active way of life is buoyed by a mild climate cooled by sea breezes and, in more urban areas, walkable downtowns.
East Bay residents represent 36 percent of the entire Bay Area population and 30 percent of the jobs, according to a report by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance. Government agencies and educational institutions are major employers. What’s more, the caliber of talent associated with an intellectual powerhouse like the University of California Berkeley provides an added incentive for economic development.
Victorians, Craftsman, California bungalow and Art Deco architecture is prevalent around the region. After World War I, the East Bay area experienced a housing boom. Later, the mid-century builder Joseph Eichler built some 800 affordable homes that have come to be highly sought-after for their sleek design and open floor plans. Two local Eichler subdivisions are now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The East Bay offers a diverse cultural scene and good value, particularly when it comes to real estate within commuting distance of San Francisco.
Oakland, in Alameda County and the largest port in Northern California, has been experiencing a burgeoning food and wine scene courtesy an influx of buzzed-about young chefs, artisan food makers and the more than 20 wineries in and around the area. The city encourages grassroots entrepreneurism. Some have taken to calling Oakland the West Coast counterpart to Brooklyn. Artists have turned the area into a cultural destination with pop-up galleries, monthly art walks and open studio events.
Elsewhere in Alameda County, cities like Piedmont, Pleasantonand Livermore are highly regarded. Livermore is the state’s oldest wine region. Farms, ranches and wine estates mark this western heritage hub that connects the Bay Areaand California’s Central Valley.
Contra Costa County, north of Alameda, boasts tony pockets of executive estates, exclusive country clubs and top schools in places like Danville, Lafayette and the three cities of Lafayette, Morago and Orinda, known collectively as Lamorinda.