Home Sweet Home

Uniquely Oakland

Oakland Lake Merritt girl playing photoIt’s undeniable that Oakland has a special charm, an authenticity that makes our city unlike any other. There are many things to do in Oakland that you can only experience here and a million reasons to call Oakland home (well, at least 35). First Fridays gives a unique mix of fine art, local crafts and food while magical places like Children’s Fairyland can make anyone feel like a kid again. Lake Merritt brings a splash of nature into our urban hub and the art and architecture showcases the best that history has to offer.


Downtown Oakland is uniquely positioned in the bustling urban center of the city, while still offering the amenities necessary for daily living. Schools, churches, grocery stores, and fitness centers are all conveniently located here, as are a wealth of farmer’s markets in Uptown, Old Oakland, and Jack London. If you are not sure where to go, stop an Ambassador and ask for directions, or a recommendation.

Check out the Residents page on the City of Oakland website to learn about jobs, housing, schools, utilities, accessibility services, and much more.

Find your home

Oakland resident photo If you want to live within walking distance to the best restaurants, entertainment, and shopping around then Downtown Oakland sounds like it should be your new home. Live in the heart of the Uptown Arts and Entertainment district with an apartment in the Uptown Apartments or the Grand, or close to the spectacular Jack London waterfront in a condo at the Ellington or Aqua Via. If a single family home is more to your liking, be sure to check out resources like, eastbay.craigslist.org and trulia.com, to find your perfect space. Information on affordable housing options is available through the City, the East Bay Housing Organization, and more. For some invaluable tips on home buying in the Bay Area be sure to check out these great house hunting tips for bay area homebuyers.

The Ambassador Program

Keeping Downtown Oakland Clean and Beautiful

Oakland Ambassadors

Part of what makes Downtown Oakland a great place to put down roots is the local Ambassador program. The Ambassadors keep the neighborhood clean and beautiful for local residents, visitors and businesses. These friendly and passionate men and women engage with folks on the street, ready and willing to direct you to the best sandwich spot in town or to provide a late-night escort to BART. They are always ready to help out.

The Safety and Hospitality Ambassadors tour the district during business hours Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. with additional coverage for special events within and around the district. These Ambassadors are skilled at resolving minor incidents and they keep an eye out for more serious issues, which they quickly report to local law enforcement. Working in concert with the safety team are the Maintenance Ambassadors who work diligently to create a clean and welcoming environment. Sidewalk pressure washing, sweeping, recycling and trash management, and graffiti removal are just some of the ways that Maintenance Ambassadors work to improve the district. All Ambassadors are trained in customer service skills and have the primary responsibility of getting to know property owners, employees and merchants. If you happen to see one, be sure to say hello – they’re hard to miss their bright green shirts!

The program was featured in an article by Rachel Trachten in Oakland Magazine. Trachten spent a day with two Ambassadors to see what a day in their shoes is like. Read the article here.

To learn more about the Ambassador programs, check out the Lake Merritt Uptown and Downtown Oakland websites.