Oakland is in the middle of a renaissance and, in the past five years, has quickly become a melting pot for hipsters, techies and aspiring artists escaping the San Francisco fog. But at its heart is the families that have called this city home for decades, giving it a rare sense of community that's dying in other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. This can be experienced first-hand every month at Oakland First Fridays, where local bands and artists converge to put on the ultimate block party. Or the Grand Lake Farmer's Market every Saturday provides another canvas for cultural and ethnic diversity. It only takes about 10 minutes at one of these city-wide events to see how Oakland, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party and other social justice organizations, is the definition of civic pride, welcoming any and all who visit to feel at home.