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Westbrae Reviews

14 reviews
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A lot of resources, parks, situated close to both central and so. berkeley libraries, Ohlone Greenway paths for bicycling, joggers, & families with strollers, plus a lot organic products in family owned stores and community-neighborhood gardens. Self contained area with public transportation access and friendly walkable streets.
Quite a bit of theft occurs, but besides this, I feel very safe. In order to avoid being stolen from, one must watch their belongings.
I love Berkeley! The Bay Area is an international, accepting part of California. I feel like I could walk around in the strangest of outfits, and no one would think twice. It is also full of studious souls who attend and/or teach at the University.
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If you're in the tech industry, there's no better place to be.

Apart from that, you get progressive politics (even if it can get nutty), a real melting pot of cultures, and sublime weather (if a little foggy).

If the area can get a handle on its housing issues, there's nothing but upside in the future.
Westbrae has close access to AC Transit for local busses, as well as BART and transbay AC Transit busses for fast commuting. There are a lot of pedestrian paths (beyond just sidewalks), and there is a lot of infrastructure for bikes (bike lanes and so-called "bicycle boulevards"). North Berkeley BART even has taxis waiting around if you need that, and Uber cars are never too far.

Biking and walking are a delight because despite feeling like a small town Berkeley (and Westbrae) are pretty dense, so you're never too far from an interesting commercial street or park or something.
If you're into progressive issues, Berkeley is a good place for you. However, even if you are, you'll run into people with strong opinions about really dumb things, generally under the guise of being pro-"natural", like people worried about GMOs, cell phone radiation, etc.

If you're conservative, I have no idea how you'd ever enjoy living here.
Great parks, cutting-edge progressive politics (though that can be annoying at times), strong support for local infrastructure and public goods like libraries and schools. Heck, there's a tool library, which is a dream for any DIY renter/homeowner, which I haven't seen much of. Police are responsive and generally good stewards of the community (especially compared to neighbors Oakland and Richmond).
A lot of great city parks and there's water access for boating, but more importantly you have immediate access to some of the East Bay Regional Parks, which are wonderful resources for hiking, camping, backpacking, and just taking a breath of fresh air. There are some really stunning views from some of the Regional Parks in the Berkeley hills.
More urban and dense than most other Bay Area cities, so even when you're in an area with single-family homes they're packed closely together.

It's way more affordable than San Francisco, but it's no Oakland when it comes to finding a discount. The quality of the housing stock is in general better - a lot of homeowners who keep up their property and a little less inclined to have deferred maintenance.

Vacant lots are hard to come by, and virtually every neighborhood is walkable. There are a few busy streets, but cars here tend to respect pedestrians.
You need a little bit of street smarts since Berkeley is pretty urban by most standards, but I generally feel comfortable walking around at any time of the day in almost any part of Berkeley.
Gets a little foggy at times, but year round the temperature barely budges and the sun generally shines. If you can stomach wearing a light sweater or coat year-round, you'll be in a privileged position of never being too hot or cold.
A good diversity of bars and restaurants. Not a great place if you like clubbing or live music (though there are a few notable venues), but you can always hike it to San Francisco if that's your taste.
If you work in the tech sector and don't mind a bit of a commute, you can find endless opportunity here.
A lot of great local businesses and good commercial streets. There are amazing strolls like Solano Ave and 4th Street, and there are small neighborhood strips with a nice mix of stuff like on Gilman Street.