spumoni620

.:good girl down:.
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Apr 18, 2003
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www.seekinghealthmd.blogspot.com
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Hi fellow MPH'ers -

Trying to figure out the move to UC Berkeley, and wanted to get some advice. I live in SF right now (and know very little about Oakland, Berkeley areas, etc except for a couple of visits to these cities on random weekends). Wondering what areas would be good to focus in on in the apartment search.

- Do most UCB MPH students live in Berkeley? I love the city, it's beautiful - a little nervous about moving away from "home base", but if students mingle and the city's friendly (which I imagine) I'd like to experience the city as well...

- How is Oakland/Lake Merritt? I checked out a great apartment there by the 19th center Bart (Grand avenue) and it seems like it'd just be a few stops to Berkeley. Is it safe? Convenient to Berkeley?

- As far as Berkeley itself, a search of these forums seemed to suggest stay away from South Berkeley as a grad student; North and West are ok - how is the area around 4th and University (seems like some brand new apts are being constructed here?) What are the "borders" of South, North and West Berkeley?

- Finally - living in SF - there are a couple of options near BART stations in SF (ie Mission/Dolores, Embarcadero) - is it a pain/hassle to drive daily to Berk and back?

Thanks guys, and looking forward to meeting some of you in the summer :)
 
Feb 23, 2010
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Hi fellow MPH'ers -

Trying to figure out the move to UC Berkeley, and wanted to get some advice. I live in SF right now (and know very little about Oakland, Berkeley areas, etc except for a couple of visits to these cities on random weekends). Wondering what areas would be good to focus in on in the apartment search.

- Do most UCB MPH students live in Berkeley? I love the city, it's beautiful - a little nervous about moving away from "home base", but if students mingle and the city's friendly (which I imagine) I'd like to experience the city as well...

- How is Oakland/Lake Merritt? I checked out a great apartment there by the 19th center Bart (Grand avenue) and it seems like it'd just be a few stops to Berkeley. Is it safe? Convenient to Berkeley?

- As far as Berkeley itself, a search of these forums seemed to suggest stay away from South Berkeley as a grad student; North and West are ok - how is the area around 4th and University (seems like some brand new apts are being constructed here?) What are the "borders" of South, North and West Berkeley?

- Finally - living in SF - there are a couple of options near BART stations in SF (ie Mission/Dolores, Embarcadero) - is it a pain/hassle to drive daily to Berk and back?

Thanks guys, and looking forward to meeting some of you in the summer :)
I'm not going to Berkeley but this past December I moved from SF to Lake Merritt. Best decision I ever made. It's cleaner, nicer, cheaper, prettier, and there are zero crackheads running amok. To put it in perspective, I had a decently nice but very, very small 2bd/1bath, with no parking, between Valencia/Guerrero and Duboce/14th and paid $2200/month. Now I have a GIANT 2bd/1bath, with my own garage, in a super cute old building right in Grand Lake and it's $1790. However, I live on the other side of the lake (closer to Piedmont) which isn't close to BART. I have to drive to BART or take the bus there. Oh I just thought of another bonus to East Bay life: Berkeley Bowl!!! Best grocery store on the planet, seriously it is insane to the point that I consider it a perk of living here.

Honestly, I think Oakland is perfectly safe as long as you aren't in the sketchier areas, and around 19th is fine.

Feel free to message me if you have questions about life in Oakland!
 

spumoni620

.:good girl down:.
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2003
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241
At the starting line
www.seekinghealthmd.blogspot.com
Status
Attending Physician
thank you! this is exactly the kind of expert input i was hoping to get :) I live near Western Addition right now and am in a tiny studio; the apartment I checked out at Oakland was truly beautiful. I loved the Lake Merritt area and the most amazing Whole Foods (i'm a total sucker for grocery stores, so this is seriously a plus for me). I may have to check out this famous Berkeley Bowl - is it far from Oakland? (btw, have you ever been to Rainbow Grocery? O.M.G.) I just wasn't sure about the culture and vibrancy of Oakland as a city compared to SF (one of the things I love) and how convenient it would be to Berkeley.

Again, thanks for your advice :)

I'm not going to Berkeley but this past December I moved from SF to Lake Merritt. Best decision I ever made. It's cleaner, nicer, cheaper, prettier, and there are zero crackheads running amok. To put it in perspective, I had a decently nice but very, very small 2bd/1bath, with no parking, between Valencia/Guerrero and Duboce/14th and paid $2200/month. Now I have a GIANT 2bd/1bath, with my own garage, in a super cute old building right in Grand Lake and it's $1790. However, I live on the other side of the lake (closer to Piedmont) which isn't close to BART. I have to drive to BART or take the bus there. Oh I just thought of another bonus to East Bay life: Berkeley Bowl!!! Best grocery store on the planet, seriously it is insane to the point that I consider it a perk of living here.

Honestly, I think Oakland is perfectly safe as long as you aren't in the sketchier areas, and around 19th is fine.

Feel free to message me if you have questions about life in Oakland!
 
Feb 23, 2010
46
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0
Status
thank you! this is exactly the kind of expert input i was hoping to get :) I live near Western Addition right now and am in a tiny studio; the apartment I checked out at Oakland was truly beautiful. I loved the Lake Merritt area and the most amazing Whole Foods (i'm a total sucker for grocery stores, so this is seriously a plus for me). I may have to check out this famous Berkeley Bowl - is it far from Oakland? (btw, have you ever been to Rainbow Grocery? O.M.G.) I just wasn't sure about the culture and vibrancy of Oakland as a city compared to SF (one of the things I love) and how convenient it would be to Berkeley.

Again, thanks for your advice :)
Yes that Whole Foods is pretty good! I go there a lot too. There are actually TWO Berkeley Bowls, an East and a West. The West is really new, and extremely nice and way better than the old one. It is between Shattuck/Adeline/Ashby. I used to shop at Rainbow a lot since I lived so close to it. It has a better bulk selection than BB, and I think their cheese selection is better too. But BB beats it in every other way and they also carry meat if you're carnivorous.

Culture wise, I think in the Lake Merritt area it's okay. It is kinda yuppiefied, which is good or bad depending on your POV. However it is in such close proximity to everything else it isn't really a big deal.

Good luck with the housing search!!!
 

EbolaZaire

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Apr 12, 2008
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Does anyone know how the grad student housing options are? From the website they sound convenient (1 block from campus), though not ideal ($930/month if you share w/ 5 others!). Also, how hard is it to secure housing a few weeks before school starts? I'm from the East coast and plan to move in late July and look for housing once I get there.
 
Feb 23, 2010
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Does anyone know how the grad student housing options are? From the website they sound convenient (1 block from campus), though not ideal ($930/month if you share w/ 5 others!). Also, how hard is it to secure housing a few weeks before school starts? I'm from the East coast and plan to move in late July and look for housing once I get there.
OMG $930 a month to share with 5 other people!?!?!? That is so crazy!!! You could get a studio or 1bd for that much or less. Craigslist is probably your best bet if you don't go with Berkeley housing. Apartments tend to go fast around here so if I were you, I would check craigslist for a few weeks prior to the move, and make appointments to see places right when you arrive.

Also, avoid Lapham Company if you can. They're a big property management company here and own a ton of apartment buildings...they are incredibly annoying and really difficult to deal with. However they often have good specials ($500 off the first months rent etc).