Life in ALAMEDA...
The East Bay city of Alameda is comprised of Alameda and Bay Farm islands, south and west of Oakland off of Interstate 880. Originally marshy farmland, the city of Alameda was founded in 1853 and had a small, central village, ferry and shipping terminals, and was a western hub for the South Pacific Coast Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad. The Alameda Terminal was the site of the First Continental Railroad inaugural train trip to San Francisco in 1869, and Mark Twain graciously described Alameda as the “garden of California” in 1906.
Much has changed in what was once sleepy Alameda since those early days. A US Naval Air Station made its home on the northwest side of Alameda Island at Alameda Point until 1997, and its future is still largely undecided although many ambitious plans for the site are currently being developed. Bay Farm Island is the home of Oakland International Airport and the Bay Farm Ferry Terminal, and the ferry offers a novel way to commute to San Francisco.
With a current population of nearly 80,000 people on both islands, Alamedans are fiercely proud of their parks, acclaimed public schools, and rich architectural heritage. More than 10,000 homes were built before 1930, offering a wealth of Victorian, Arts and Craft and California Mission homes to choose from. In addition, there are numerous parks, including Crown Memorial State Beach and Shoreline Drive, both of which offer amazing views of the San Francisco skyline and great windsurfing on the San Francisco Bay. The historic downtown is full of locally-owned shops and restaurants, and the wonderful Art Deco Alameda Theater, built in 1932, is still very much in use.
Alameda’s topography and proximity to the main shopping streets and schools make for perfect biking and walking. Alameda truly feels like a step back in time to a simpler era, and her devoted residents would never dream of leaving this lovely place on the San Francisco Bay.