|Population: 399,000 people|
Oakland, the seat of Alameda County, was founded in 1850 and was incorporated as a city just four years after. Having population of almost 400,000 it is the 8th largest city in California, with 2.3 million people living in its metropolitan area. The two metropolitan areas, Oakland and San Francisco, taken together, make one of the biggest metropolitan areas in U.S. Though they are located across the bay from each other, they are connected by the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and the famous two-level San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, 8.25 miles long.
Oakland is one of the largest industrial and commercial centers on the entire Pacific Coast (manufacture of chemicals, paints, communication equipment, food, ships, metalwork etc.). Headquarters of many U.S. companies are located in Oakland. Owing to its strategic geographic location Oakland is one of the key transportation junction in the West of the U.S. Huge trade port is located here and three Pacific railroads, Western, Central and Southern, start here and go East, North and South. Oakland itself and its outskirts are home to several military and naval bases, including Alameda Coast Guard Base.
Oakland is not only a city of business, industrials and military but also an important center of culture and science. Not far from Oakland there is University of California, Berkeley, one of the most prestigious in U.S. In Oakland there are an observatory, Medical Center of Kaiser Foundation, Pacific Center of the Environment Preservation, symphony orchestra, several theatres, museums and galleries, many parks and gardens. The city is known for its painter community, second by size in U.S. after the New York one. The legendary USS Potomac yacht, that was built in 1934 and served as presidential yacht to one of the most famous politicians of 20th century, the nation’s 32nd president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, lies up in Oakland port.
Of course, speaking of Oakland, we can not fail to mention the Jack London Square, named in honor of the prominent American writer, the author of 200 short stories, 400 articles, 20 novels and 3 plays. Though he was born in San Francisco, most of his life he lived in Oakland, where in 1905 he even balloted for major. His monument has been erected on the square, and the log cabin, in which he lived in his youth when he wanted to become gold prospector, was brought from Canada here in the middle of 1970th. The Jack London Square is a worthy tribute from the successors to the writer and the fellow-countryman whose name is renown all over the World.