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What Your BART Station Says About You (OAKLAND EDITION)

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The Bay Area is a big place with a lot of cities, and every city in the Bay can be a little different.  But one thing that is synonymous with the Bay Area experience, is BART.  The Bay Area Rapid Transit, with its loud trains, lateness, general sketchiness and insanity is a rite of passage for anyone who has lived in the 9 counties that hug the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.But not every BART station is built the same. If someone gets on a train in Pittsburg, is the experience the same as someone who gets on the train in San Jose? The answer is a resounding ‘fuck no’, and that’s why I made this list. What your BART station says about YOU. 

Rockridge BART Station mural, painted in 1980 by a group from Vista College.



If Rockridge is your station, you don’t actually live in Oakland, you live in fucking Piedmont with potholes. The worst part is that you drop the fact you live in Oakland in casual conversation to seem woke. You probably have a black lives matter sign, but you still call the cops and secretly are happy when affordable housing measures fail because you want to keep the character of your neighborhood or some other weird rich person verbiage to justify neo-segregation. 


Now we’re getting into real Oakland. MacArthur BART is fucking madness. It’s the type of place where all walks of life have to awkwardly stand next to each other and hope not to get stabbed. It’s the quintessential Oakland experience. You have dudes with dreadlocks turf dancing next to techies doing Python courses on their Macbooks all while an aging punk with a purple mohawk angrily stares at the San Francisco skyline from the platform in disgust before vomiting up the remnants of last night’s 40 oz beer onto the tracks. It’s the type of place that puts hair on your chest. Gotta love it. If this is your stop, you’re an Oaklander. Never change. 

19TH ST. 

This is an interesting stop. The area is mostly commercial. It’s where you’re reminded that Oakland does in fact have an economy and a white collar business class that exists outside the realm of San Francisco’s influence. They just look more nervous because, you know, it’s Oakland. This is also the stop where you get off for First Friday, so if you ever want to impress your girlfriend from Walnut Creek with your super slick street smarts, this is the stop for you… to get robbed at. 

12TH ST.

Welcome to the heart of downtown Oakland. If this is your stop, you’ve probably seen so many people loot that you’re not even phased by it anymore. “Oh, someone smashed a car into the Subaru dealership to steal a different car? Subaru knew what they were getting into when they opened there.” You also probably have mixed feelings on gentrification because you like art and culture, but you also like coffee shops and walls without bullet holes in them and for some reason you’re too stupid to realize you can have both. 


If Lake Merritt is your stop you’re probably a yuppie who is into health and complains about gentrification even though you are gentrification. Your instagram is filled with selfies in front Grand Lake theatre and other entry level Oakland shit no one cares about.  But you constantly gush over to prove how “Oakland” you are. You also own a Dope Era shirt, but you won’t wear it outside because you don’t want people to make fun of you. 


Welcome to Fruitvale: Oakland’s arguably better version of the Mission District. If this is your station, you probably refer to the shopping center in Fruitvale as downtown Fruitvale because everyone in Fruitvale acts like it’s its own city or some shit. And just like the people in the Mission, you have an opinion on the best taqueria because you know, you’re an expert or something, but it’s probably not a taqueria, it’s a taco truck because Oakland. Also it’s cheaper than SF, because, once again, Oakland. But not that much cheaper, because, ya know… Fuck.


If this is your station… You’re probably mad as fuck… No explanation needed. 

West Oakland

If this is your station you’re either hella from Oakland or you’re hella not from Oakland. West Oakland Bart is probably the weirdest station in Oakland. You liable see someone fucking on the platform as you are to see a white dude from Missouri riding a pink unicycle. I actually saw a guy on a pink unicycle at West Oakland Bart. I didn’t even know if he was from Missouri, but he clearly wasn’t from fucking Oakland.

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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground will be available early 2022.


  1. Ashley
    December 10, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I’m dying for you to do the East Bay (I’m in Dublin) lol

  2. Rhombus McQueen
    December 10, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Rockridge: “Piedmont with potholes,” except without the good schools and with more litter, crime and visible homelessness.

    But remember, if things appear even remotely satisfactory, you are not in “real” Oakland.

  3. Ashanti
    January 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Do San Francisco stations

  4. hue janis
    January 15, 2021 at 3:38 am

    the dude who wrote this looks like a fuckboi but the coliseum n lake merritt bit were pretty accurate.