Old school Brooklynization from the New York Times (of course!!!) in 1906. [source] via @susie_cOn 2014-02-13 on KCBS radio, Phil Matier discussed the “Brooklynization of Oakland” … that Oakland is becoming a bedroom community to San Francisco due to the high cost of homes in the City, and the impact of artists and musicians being pushed out of San Francisco into Oakland is felt … just as Brooklyn is to Manhattan.

“Oakland::SF as Brooklyn::Manhattan” is a common media trope, found in several articles in the list of unpopular articles about Oakland.

One could also understand this notion as providing a handy shorthand to help people understand the big changes happening around the Bay relating to money, the places where people live, etc.

At this point it's become a cliche. In a tongue-in-cheek guide for out of town journalists writing hand-wringing thinkpieces about whether San Francisco is losing its soul, the SF Chronicle includes: "As you drive to San Francisco, glance to your right so you can make an obligatory Oakland-is-the-new-Brooklyn observation."

Finally, shouldn’t this entry really be called the re-Brooklynization of Oakland? There was a town of Brooklyn which annexed to Oakland in 1872.

Relatedly, a random reference to Seattle being the "Oakland of the North"?


  1. Phil Matier: Oakland’s Identity Changing Amid Tech Boom CBS San Francisco Bay Area
  2. “Is Oakland Really the New Brooklyn?” by Kim Florence, McGuire Real Estate
  3. “Oakland: The next Brooklyn?” by Scott Beyer, Better Cities & Towns
  4. “Oakland - A Bit of Brooklyn Out West” by John Sconzo, Docsconz Musings on Food & Life
  5. “Oakland=Brooklyn?” by Peter Lawrence Kane, Bold Italic
  6. 2013-04-13: "11 Reasons Why Oakland is the New Brooklyn." by VegNews. Even vegans are getting in on the meme.
  7. 2013-12-25: : "Oakland renaissance boosted by tech-industry spillover" Seattle Times "For better or worse, the growth has earned Oakland the designation “Brooklyn of the West,”"
  8. 2014-02-24 “Is San Francisco losing its soul?The Guardian - says that Jean Quan called Oakland Brooklyn?
  9. 2014-03-03: “The Other BoomtownsModern Luxury: Talks about Brooklyn Basin and says that “Williamsburg by the Bay doesn’t seem like such a stretch”
  10. 2014-03-10: "Travel: The top 5 things to do in California.": "The Brooklyn of California"
  11. 2014-05-02: "Oakland: Brooklyn by the BayNew York Times. Title says it all.

Links and References

  • (Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 674.ISBN 1-884995-14-4.)