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Oakland

Average rent: $1,857
Lifestyle perk: Legalized herb, sort of
Total days of sunshine: 261
Average yearly temperature: 67°

Located on the eastern end of the Bay Area, Oakland has a notoriously violent past that lingers throughout parts of the city still today. But there's also a vibrant, up-and-coming side to Oak Town that has drawn in younger people by the masses in recent years, as the city continues to flash its rich culture and acclaimed art scene—it's like Brooklyn, but without all the hipsters.

Oakland may not stack up to NYC in terms of cultural prestige per square mile, but the city has plenty of quaility diversions for those hungry for cultural enrichment. The Oakland Museum of California supplies a diverse offering of work centered on local art, history, and natural sciences, like Richard Misrach's 20th anniversary of the Berkeley Fire aftermath series.

Downtown's Lake Merritt will make the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir seem like an over-used track, while the low crime rate will remind you of your hometown (given that hometown is not NYC).

Oakland has plenty of charming neighborhoods, like the affluent hillside neighborhood of Montcair, Piedmont (a residential neighborhood filled with an eclectic mix of antique and vintage shops), and Fruitvale (yes, the same one from the movie), that won't break the bank, which is more than we can say for your $2,000/month NYC studio.

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Tags: oakland, bay_area
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