Living in the East Bay
Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley is nestled in the city of Berkeley, on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. The East Bay is a vibrant metropolitan area, home to major cities such as Oakland, Emeryville, Piedmont, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito, Richmond, Alameda and Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda), all within driving distance from the school. With Berkeley at its epicenter, this part of the Bay is a hub for arts and culture, and a favorite for food lovers. It has a long history of being the counter-culture center of the 60s and for evolving into a culinary and cultural destination with a green soul.
Proximity to the Outdoors
The East Bay has many wonderful parks that offer amazing views of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline and bridges. Hikers, bikers, horseback riders, runners or even kayakers will find a good fit among the many outdoor spaces. People in the East Bay share a common passion for nature and can enjoy 65 parks in over 120,000 acres, including the expansive Tilden Regional Park, Redwoods Regional Park, or Lake Merritt, to name a few.
A Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Berkeley is home to the oldest and most distinguished campus in the University of California system, the University of California Berkeley. UC Berkeley is consistently ranked by US News and World Reports as the top public university in the United States and attracts both students and professors from around the world. As a result, Berkeley and its neighboring cities are filled with cultural and ethnic diversity from which EB students, faculty and staff benefit.
The East Bay is also a center of innovation and a vibrant economic region. Several multinational companies are headquartered or have offices there, such as AT&T, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Chevron Corp., Safeway, Bank of America, PG&E, Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Dreyer’s and Pixar Animation Studios. Start-ups and new ventures have recently moved to the East Bay, specifically in Oakland, making it a quickly- growing tech scene in the Bay Area. Ask.com, Pandora, and Sungevity have their headquarters there, and soon Uber will have a major presence downtown.
A Nexus of Gastronomy and Culture
Vibrant cultural and culinary possibilities abound in Berkeley, Oakland and the East Bay. Cal Performances brings world famous music, theatre, and dance to Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Local orchestras with international reputations include Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. The Chilean-American La Peña Cultural Center celebrates traditions through artists and musical performances.
Many local restaurants specialize in local and sustainable food. Chez Panisse, credited with being the birthplace of California cuisine, for example, was founded by EB alumni parent Alice Waters. It was Alice Waters who originally started EB’s garden program, in addition to Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard. Oakland is considered by many as the new hotbed of food culture in the Bay Area. With the cost of opening a restaurant in San Francisco skyrocketing, chefs have looked to less expensive locations for their innovative ventures, and they’ve found the perfect climate across the bay in Oakland. Here, they have access to the same locally-grown ingredients available in the city and they can draw inspiration from Oakland’s culturally rich community, among the most diverse in the country.
A More Affordable Real Estate
More and more people are moving from San Francisco and the South Bay to the more reasonably-priced East Bay. Renters and buyers can expect to pay less in the East Bay, while enjoying the temperate climate, varied architecture and hidden treasures of the region.
There are many options to get around in the East Bay, either by train, car, bike or ferry. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) connects the East Bay directly to San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area by train (20 minutes to Oakland or Berkeley). Many commuters also cross the Bay by ferry, or drive using the many freeways available.
There are numerous bike-friendly routes, called “bicycle boulevards,” in many parts of the East Bay, making biking around easy and safe and the preferred option for many commuters. For long-distance travelers, Oakland and Emeryville are home to Amtrak train stations that connect the area to major cities along the Pacific coast. Finally, the Oakland International Airport is easily accessible and offers many international flight options.
Beyond the Bowl, Oakland Magazine (May 2017)