Moving to the East Bay - Lamorinda? San Ramon? Berkeley?
We are moving to the East Bay this summer and are trying to figure out where to go! My husband went to Miramonte (20 years ago) and I went to college in the East Bay. Neither of us have been around the areas much, except for quick visits. In our heads, we want to live in Berkeley. But, with three kids, ages 2, 5 and 7, and for the long term, we are finally ready to settle down, well, mostly.
For the past 5 months, we've been going between the East Bay and Portland. Before that, we lived in a small town in The South (for 2 years); before that Denver (2 years) and NYC/Brooklyn for 8 years. Brooklyn is our favorite, but after spending this past winter schlepping kids around in the wet snow and ice, we don't think it's for us. After being home bound in Portland because of the rain, the East Bay is it. We are in a position where we are a few years into launching our own businesses. Commuting to and from an office will not be part of our day (for now, at least). Then comes the "starting business" part; I know we aren't going to save money by living in the East Bay. We want to rent for two years (I know, I know...probably more expensive than purchasing). Ultimately, we want to end up in Lamorinda. But rentals are scant and on par with NYC.
1. Is Lamorinda still as great as it used to be (I used to work at OCC during my summers and throughout the school year and the families were awesome)? A mix of personalities? Interests? Family and people-oriented?
2. In the five years I've lived there, I set foot in San Ramon two times and Pleasanton once. I hardly remember either but friends keep recommending them. Are they worth checking out? Our kids have been attending Waldorf schools (we know this may no longer be a reality) but we are very big supporters of public education.
Any direction or insight would be so helpful. We really thought Brooklyn was it, but I think the outdoors and education are our top priorities.