In an offensive ranking piece, Conde Nast Traveler, a tourism publication, penned an ostensibly fun but ultimately frustrating "unfriendliest cities in the world” list that ranked Oakland as the third most unfriendly city in the world. In the world.
"Some parts of the [Northern California] city are scary," says one reader bluntly. But more readers thought that "Oakland is starting to renew itself. New eateries are popping up everywhere...most are local finds at this stage." Temescal Alley is still extra-hip, and the weekend markets are where you'll find the best of the city.
As SFGate points out, the list is “based on a readers' choice awards survey for the year 2015,” so it’s not entirely fair to blame the Conde Nast Traveler edit masthead. But still, an editorial filter could have come in handy when it came to clunkers like, “Oakland is starting to renew itself.” Which is a nice way of championing gentrification, among other issues.
Granted, Oakland has its share of problems, like most major cities do, but slamming its approximately 400,000 residents as unfriendly is both unfair and inaccurate.
Other metropolises ranked worst include cities in African and South American countries, and other areas with high poverty rates.
By comparison, the allegedly friendliest cities included Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Nashville, Tennessee. All in the U.S. south.
- The 2016 Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the World [Conde Nast Traveler]
- Conde Nast Traveler names Oakland third 'unfriendliest' city in the world, again [SFGate]
- Oakland Now [Curbed SF]