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Re: “Oakland's Dive Bar Aficionados Adapt to the City's Changing Bar Scene

Let's turn down the thermostat a notch, people. The G word - gentrification - is so incendiary it's difficult to talk about it with anything resembling our inside voices.

I get it. It's tough. Would you prefer a vacant storefront to an artisanal cheese shop in your neighborhood? What about the Dollar Store next to your favorite Asian fusion restaurant? The answer is not easy, which is why I only pose the question.

Me, I hold out for those pockets of Oakland where unicorns still exist, where, say, a long standing shoe repair shop, or donut place, or mom ‘n’ pop hardware store, can exist cheek-by-jowl with a cocktail bar or exclusive clothing boutique. I know the pressure of increasing rents and a shifting demographic are driving these unicorns away, but those neighborhood pockets are still out there. Let’s cherish them.

The G-world also begs the chicken and egg question: are the newer, cleaner hip places being opened to cater to the more affluent crowd that can afford Oakland's ridiculous rents (average two bedroom apartment $3244), or are the affluent crowds following the leads of new bar owners and upscale entrepreneurs? Again, I only put the question, not the answer, out there, because the issues are maddeningly complex and nuanced.

But I am certain about one thing: this article made me actually feel proud about the dismal (charming?) state of our bathrooms. Alfredo, Ruby Room and Radio Bar.

Posted by Alfredo on 09/30/2016 at 7:21 AM

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