Living in Clinton Neighborhood (Oakland)
– Jan 17, 2021(3 replies)
My family (we have a four year old daughter) is hoping to move from our sweet Lakeshore apartment to a larger space in the Clinton neighborhood. I was curious what experiences folks have living in this neighborhood and if there are any other BPN families living nearby.
DaphnaJan 17, 2021
I live in the Clinton neighborhood. I really enjoy the block I live on, 9th & Int'l. We throw a block party every August, with a potluck, bounce house, and pinata. There are tons of kids on the block and I have always enjoyed making friends with them, helping with homework, or teaching them to cook. I know a fair few of my neighbors by name, and others by sight - we wave to say hello. We have a big mix of racial backgrounds here too.
I walk my dog and baby around the neighborhood twice a day. I think my least favorite thing about Clinton is the trash. There's so much illegal dumping on all the streets, and overfull trash bins from apartment buildings sometimes means trash gets blown onto the streets. I also notice people don't pick up their dog waste around Franklin school, this bothers me! The final thing I don't tend to like is that drivers speed quite a lot and even go through red lights. Or maybe that's just general Bay Area drivers?!
We do have sex workers on International. There are also unhoused folks in Clinton Park, which unfortunately adds to the trash and debris (but like I said, it's a general neighborhood problem too!).
Overall I love this neighborhood. It's a little rough around the edges, but folks are very friendly and there's a lot of beautiful historic houses here. I also like that it's close to the lake, and not far from downtown.
I hope this parent's opinion is useful in some way!
I have lived in the Clinton neighborhood for 24 years (only real estate agents call it Clinton). Like a lot of Oakland, the neighborhood improves as you go uphill, with the E 24th end being "better" than the E 15th end. It's zoned medium density residential, so we have a mix of single family homes (some with in-law units or cottages), duplexes, and multifamily up to 8 units per lot, depending on the size of the lot. I think that has kept the neighborhood from really gentrifying. We have some trouble with drug dealing, and with neighborhood 20-something driving too fast and doing donuts in the intersection nearby. I occasionally see prostitutes in the lower parts of the neighborhood (only occasionally). We had a spate of car break-ins a couple years ago where everyone I knew had their care broken into, but no one had anything taken because we're not dumb enough to keep anything in our cars. Few houses have garages, and if they do only for 1 car, so most people park on the street.
On the plus side, the neighborhood is relatively quiet (we're near the E 24th end of the neighborhood). My neighbors (other than the punks with the cars) are considerate. It's very convenient. We have some really good restaurants (Champa Garden, Philomena). It's safe to walk in. There are parks nearby (Bella Vista and F.M. Smith).
My daughter is in high school now at Oakland Tech, which I think all of Clinton is zoned for. It doesn't look that good on paper, but that mostly reflects demographics. She's been happy there, and her teachers and curriculum seem good and engaging. She attended Edna Brewer, the neighborhood middle school, which is excellent. I think elementary zoning is split between Franklin and Bella Vista, but my daughter got into Cleveland with OUSD's lottery, so no personal experience with either. I don't think Franklin or Bella Vista are bad, but the demographics skew low income and non-English-speaking, and at least when we were trying to make enrolment decisions it was hard to get any first-hand info on the schools.
We lived close to the lake until about 10 years ago when we moved abut 8 blocks to E. 19th and 11th Ave close to the Buddha of Oakland. We love our corner of the neighborhood. As one of the other posters said it's an interesting mix of building types and there's a correspondingly interesting mix of people. Things change from block to block - for instance there's very little illegal dumping here although I've seen the dumping the other poster references. Although there are rough spots fairly nearby, our neighbors look out for each other. It's been great to have these very local friendships during the pandemic. We have a teenage daughter and there are kids nearby of varying ages - some younger than your daughter. All ages get together sometimes for scooting, skateboarding, bike riding, etc. The older kids know to look out for the younger. In past years we've had a Valentine's Day pancake picnic breakfast out on the street. If we can come up with something safe this year we'll do it.
My daughter went to Bella Vista for 2 years (although I think we were zoned for Franklin). I don't know about academics - that wasn't our focus - but her teachers there were good people and kind. She went to Edna Brewer, which is a good school. It was a little easier to get in to EB at the time but now I think you'd need to be up the hill to be assured of a place.
I was surprised at the poster that said that only real estate agents call the neighborhood Clinton. I think up the hill people call the neighborhood Bella Vista, but down here Clinton seems like as good a name any.... Feel free to get in touch if you have other questions.