My husband and I have been searching all over the entire Bay Area for a place where we can buy a moderately priced home with a yard in a decent neighborhood. Having looked at everything, we are considering Livermore because my husband works there, and we could afford a house there. I am a little scared to move so far into the subarbs (we live in Oakland now)-any advice? Does anyone have any experience with Livermore? Is there anything out there? We have a new baby on the way as well. Any help would be much appreciated, Oaklander
I grew up in Livermore, my father, like many parents, was a ''labbie.'' I'm now early 30's and live in Oakland. My parents are still in Livermore so I'm out to visit often.
What I liked about growing up there:
I could ride my bike anywhere - to soccer practice, to school, to play in the creek, etc.
Diverse, but not in the way we mean in Berk/Oak. Livermore is an agricultural center as well as an intellectual draw with the Lab (and now many other high-tech). The schools and community supported this range of interests well with e.g., after-school gifted programs, Opera Society, and strong FFA and 4H. The ethnic diversity is not as much as here, but I ''white'' had many hispanic and asian playmates.
At least in our circle, there was lots of ''involvement'' in the community - meaning you didn't just drop your kid at the summer science classes, you were involved in making sure the classes were going to happen.
lots of nearby open parks or field to run and play in. I was either reading a book from the 15 or so I'd check out from the library every week or was outside playing at something.
What I didn't like then:
Mom wanted me to ride my bike to school :), I wanted a ride.
As a teenager most friends said ''it's boring here'' but I gather teens say that EVERYWHERE! I personally wasn't so bored with Livermore but have friends who've sworn it off.
What about now:
Livermore has a lot more strip stores now (target, Mervyns, walmart) which is a plus and minus. There are fewer open field for wildflowers to grow, but you don't have to drive to Pton/Dublin either. It used to be the chinese food and pizza capital (Round Table Pizza in Livermore was the highest grossing in Northern CA), eating out meant going to Pton. There are now nice Italian, Thai, mexican, wineries restaurants. If you golf there's now courses beyond the two municipal ones. I don't know how the schools are now, lots from my classes were Ivy league and UC bound. There's good parks for a stroll or a hike. It gets HOT in summer and foggy in winter, you will scrape frost from the windshield some mornings. BART is now in Pton, you can more easily get to Berk/SF for culture you can't find in Livermore.
I didn't move from Livermore because I disliked it, just following the job growth and ended up here. My husband surprised me recently by saying he would want to move to the TriValley before our kids enter school. Why? I know many on this list have debated the ''moving over the hills'' choices - my husband feels that there is a quieter pace of life in Tri-Valley, thngs were easier to get to/use. And what he's read about the schools in either area made him strongly in favor of suburbia. But I was happy to hear this. I loved being able to play outside, either in our yard or at parks. Education was good and the cultural options, while not the same as here, certainly enriched my world.
There are many over-educated (?) folks in the TriValley - first from the Lab and now for all the other high tech and whenever you get some good brains together, they'll develop good programs to keep the brains active!