Island locacted in the SF Bay. Part of the East Bay, and maybe 30 minutes commute(except during actual commuting hours) from San Fransisco.

Suprising the ambiance is that of a small town with lots of local stores and not many chain stores, friendly people, and not a lot of excitement. The navy base at the north end used to mean the town would get swamped with sailors on shore leave ever other month. This accounts for the large number of police on the island who now have nothing better to do than give speeding tickets.

"Poplar grove" (Spanish). Alameda is an island in the San Francisco Bay, with a population of about 80,000. It has less traffic than most other Bay Area cities, since it has no freeway. But it's just a short tunnel or bridge away from I-880, so it's easy commuting. Luckily, though, it doesn't seem to have turned into too much of a Silicon Valley bedroom community, retaining its gorgeous and ornate Victorian houses. Seriously, if you like the style, take a little drive through the city sometime. Some of the houses are truly magnificent, and they are among the only relics of the California coastal style that was largely destroyed during the Great Quake of 1906.

Points of interest to come as I find them. Local companies include: Manex Visual Effects and MicroProse.
I don't know why I know this but:

Alameda didn't used to be an island. It was a little peninsula until the construction of a canal severed it from the mainland in 1902.

The navy base is built on a chunk of the island that is actually LANDFILL. That's right. Quite a few Alamedans live not on land that is of any natural earthly origin, but on a large pile of compressed garbage and debris.

One more thing:
If you ever find yourself stranded in Alameda after attending a baby shower or some other function, Do Not Panic. Simply make your way north until you are in view of the tunnel that connects Alameda with the outside world. There is a road that leads into this tunnel. I believe it is called Webster Street, but I may possibly be wrong. Find this road. If you have no car, look for a bus stop and catch the 51 NORTH. It will bring you safely back through Oakland to Berkeley. If you are too lost to make it to any bus stops that say "51", I have no advice for you. I am sure there are other buses, but I do not know of them. There is another tunnel to Oakland someplace down there in the bowels of Alameda but I have never had the pleasure, and so cannot direct you to it. I offer you only the fruits of my own escape experience.

(Alameda is really not in the middle of nowhere. It just feels that way.)
It's true about the friendly people & pretty houses in some areas.
But I do not recommend pedestrial visits. :/
One thing worth mentioning is that Alameda is now the filming location for many mainstream movies. Many parts of The Phantom Menace were filmed and edited there, as well as The Matrix 2 and 3. Many people have mentioned seeing stars such as Keanu Reeves around town. This filming all takes place on the former navy base, which was closed several years ago due to government downsizing.

Also, "Weird Al" Yankovic used to live in Alameda.

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