Last night was National Night Out (NNO). I don't know if it is a big deal other places but it is a huge deal in Oakland. There were over 500 NNO parties last night in the city of Oakland, which is awesome. NNO is when neighborhoods are encouraged to have block parties to get to know your neighbors and make it safe for you to spend a night outside in your neighborhood. A house up the street had our block party and it was a great time.
Our neighborhood has a few minor problems (occasional break-ins/robberies), but it was great talking to so many people who have lived in this neighborhood for over 20 years and hearing how much they love it. It made me realize what a cool place Oakland really is. I met neighbors who were musicians, chefs, professors, and everything in between. I also realized how important it is to get to know your neighbors and how they all seem to feel safer just because they know their neighbors.
We are currently considering looking for a new apartment, but it will be really hard to find anything that beats this neighborhood, and it might be a good enough reason for us to stay put (if only our building management was a little better)