Oakland California’s Amazing Renaissance

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Kim Bardakian at Jack London Square
Kim Bardakian shares her insights about Oakland California.

Gertrude Stein grew up in Oakland California, but moved to Baltimore as a 17 year old. Following a return visit 45 years later, in 1935, she wrote about Oakland in her autobiography that included the oft quoted and frequently misinterpreted phrase, “There’s no there there”. Actually, Ms. Stein forever held a fond spot in her heart for Oakland, it was just that the small town of 40,000 residents she knew as a teenager back in 1891 had dramatically grown and transformed into a vibrant city of 300,000 by the mid-1930s. Today the city is in the midst of an amazing renaissance, and is fast becoming an alluring destination, not only for tourists from around the country and around the world, but a permanent destination for young techies, high tech corporations such as Pandora, and the soon to be completed headquarters for Sunset Magazine. The city is also a leader in the trend setting culinary scene, with Oakland recently proclaimed one of USA Today’s 2015 reader’s choice “Top Ten Best local Food Scenes”, beating out Napa and San Francisco. Join Tom Wilmer in the heart of Jack London Square for an illuminating conversation with Kim Bardakian, Director of PR and Community Relations for Visit Oakland.

Click here to listen to this episode! Listen to the interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a regularly featured NPR Podcast.

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On the Waterfront, Jack London Square
Waterfront Park, Jack London Square, Oakland CA. Photo Credit, Tom Wilmer
Jack London Square looking toward Downtown Oakland CA
Downtown Oakland California viewed from Jack London Square. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
FDR's Yacht, Potomac at Jack London Square, Oakland CA
FDR’s Yacht. Birthed at Jack London Square and available for Bay Cruises. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
On the Waterfront Oakland CA
On the Waterfront at Jack London Square, Oakland CA. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer