By Nicole Jones

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Golden State Warriors NBA crown is breathing life into a city that has more frequently made national headlines for police brutality protests, high crime rates and blight.

But Oakland has radically changed over the last decade, many saying for the better.

Warriors Parade Live: Watch The Full Celebration In Downtown Oakland

The city’s complicated rebirth, often interchanged with gentrification, celebrates a nexus of diverse cultures living side-by-side to form a new generation of creators, innovators, advocates and good neighbors.

Though still rough on the edges with serious work left to be done, the Warriors win is giving this East Bay city a chance to shine a light that’s been burning bright for some time now.

Here are 5 ways Oakland is making that happen:

1. Booming business, especially the tech industry
Oakland is home to Blue Bottle coffee, Pandora, Ask and a handful of tech startups that appear to be more diverse than predominately white male tech workers across the Bay and in Silicon Valley.  SleekGeek, for example, was started by a Latina, and XEO Designs by a woman. Then there’s the software group Next Thing, responsible for creating the world’s first $9 computer.

2. Beer, beer, beer
The micro-brew industry is blowing up in every metropolis, and Oakland is well ahead of the game with an exceptional choice of local craftmanship. Linden Street Brewery, Ale Industries, The Trappist and Beer Revolution have all popped up over the last decade, many of which take over abandoned spaces and transform them community destinations.

3. Social enterprises and community action
Oakland has long embraced its social justice roots with radical movements ranging from the Black Panthers to Occupy Oakland. These days, it feels like there are more ways than ever to work for your community.

City Slicker Farms and People’s Grocery are two great examples of urban gardening programs with a focus on food justice for low-income communities. While community centers like Youth UpRising and civil rights organizations like Ella Baker Center fight tirelessly for equality and opportunity for people in and outside of Oakland

4. Art everywhere

Art Murmur has been a fantastic display of art, music and community since 2006. Every first Friday, the streets of downtown Oakland are filled with food trucks and musicians as the public is invited into galleries to meet the artists.

This cultural renaissance has extended into other parts of Oakland, from the renovated Fox Theater which hosts top headlining musical acts to metal forging classes at The Crucible in West Oakland.

5. Urban nature, and lots of it

Take a stroll along Lake Merritt and head to the massive weekend Farmer’s Market, hike among towering redwood trees in Redwood Regional park or pack a picnic for some sunbathing at Lake Temescal. These well-maintained destinations are a stone’s throw away and a great slice of the diverse scene in Oakland.

So get out there and bask in the glory as the spotlight shines on Oakland. The Warriors parade will start at Broadway and 11th Street at Warriors headquarters, before heading north along Broadway to West Grand Avenue. You can also watch the live stream online and on TV.

 

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