Oakland’s ethnic diversity is rarely matched. More than 125 languages and dialects are spoken in Oakland. At 54 sq. miles, it is the seventh largest city in California, for comparison, puny San Francisco, which is less than 30 minutes away by public transport, covers only 47 sq. miles.
INDISPUTABLE and UNDENIABLE FACT: The weather is always better in Oakland
Oakland is unique in the world for having a natural saltwater lake, Lake Merritt, within its city limits. Lake Merritt, the first wildlife refuge in North America, has its very own legendary “Oak-ness Monster,” which has been spotted numerous times in the water since the 1940s. OGC organizes field trips to find the Oak-ness monster and has plans to sequence its genome, once a sample is recovered. Gerald, the Oakland menace, is a turkey that rivals king-kong in striking fear in the hearts of city dwellers.
Oakland has more than eighty parks, and over fifty locations in the city are included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Like dining out? Over three hundred restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, including American, Burmese, Cambodian, Danish, Ethiopian, Korean, Zimbabwean, to everything fusion and in between. More Sourdough bread is produced in Oakland than in any other city in California.
Oakland has played an important role (and continues to) in the evolution of rap and hip-hop culture. As everyone knows, Oakland is home to the Golden State Warriors. More artists call Oakland home than any other city in California and organize the First Friday Street Festival and Art Murmur walk, which feature so much art that it requires multiple visits to absorb it all. The vice-president of the country, Kamala Harris, is an Oakland native.
The Oakland Museum, with its tiered Babylonian-style roof gardens, is the only attraction of its kind totally devoted to natural sciences, history, and the arts of California. Plus, the 24,000-square-foot Oakland Asian Cultural Center is the largest and most modern facility of its kind in North America.
The only defect, if it could be called one, in this sea of perfection, was the lack of a genome center, a lacuna that is now filled by the Oakland Genome Center. The first center of its kind in Oakland (maybe even the east bay area!), it brings together startups working on all aspects of genomics, generating data, and impacting clinical practice, while enjoying all that Oakland has to offer. And why not? After all, the Oakland population has one of the most diverse collections of genomes.