Travel blogger Johnny Jet recently visited Oakland and Art Murmur.  Here are a few excerpts from his report…

November 2013

Is Oakland the new Brooklyn? Many tourism industry experts think so since the city and its businesses have been making some major investments into the area, including a brand spanking new, $6 billion Bay Bridge which now takes people to and from another world class city: San Francisco.

When I got invited to Oakland to do my weekly #TravelSkills Twitter chat, which I co-host with Chris McGinnis, I decided to make a long weekend out of it. When I told a few friends who live in the San Francisco area my plans, they told me I was crazy! They said that Oakland is dangerous and that it’s always—and still—featured in one of the lead stories on the local news for murders.

I regretted my decision—until I arrived. Sure, Oakland has some rough spots, but what U.S. city doesn’t? I invited some of those weary San Francisco friends who hadn’t been to this part of the Bay Area in ages to join me and they discovered, like I did, that Oakland actually may indeed be the Brooklyn of the west coast.

Art Murmur Walk

If you happen to be visiting at the beginning of the month then be sure to visit Oakland’s free monthly First Friday gallery walk, known as the Art Murmur. Twenty-one member galleries and nine mixed-use venues are open to the public and hold artists receptions. The event takes place on the first Friday of the month from 6 pm-9 pm and the streets are packed. Each Art Murmur draws up to 10,000 people and includes food trucks, street vendors and other exciting installations.

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