Stockton, California

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What's it like to live in Stockton

What is it like to live in Stockton, CA?

I am a 3rd generation Stocktonian, and I live in a lovely, safe part of town between Lincoln High and Lincoln Elementary, both of which I attended. As with many places, there are some nice things here, and some not-so-nice things here.

Nice:

We have some really yummy ethnic restaurants (Tandoori Nights, Nena’s Mexican Rest., and Tsing Tao are 3 of our favorites).
We have the waters of the San Joaquin delta to waterski and boat on, and to cool us down at night. Yay for the Delta Breezes!
Most of our mature neighborhoods have lovely tall and shady trees.
We have a GREAT junior college, San Joaquin Delta College.
We have a very nice regional museum, called the Haggin after its founder.
In the summer, we have a lot of outdoor live music (sans Covid).
You can get any farm fresh fruit when it’s in season, because almost EVERYTHING grows here!
From anywhere in town, it only takes less than 20 minutes to drive out into the farms and fields of the San Joaquin Valley that earn California more than $120 billion/year.
Not-so-nice:

The average income of a Stockton resident is low at $19,927/year vs. the US average is $28,555/year. We have a large percentage of folks living in poverty. When we talk about folks in the midrange, we are a still a bit low, but it is not quite as disparate—the median household income of a Stockton resident is $45,347/year vs. the US average is $53,482 a year.
Like much of California, especially after Covid, we do have a large number of folks who have been pushed into homelessness by the high price of living in this state.
Cars parked outside are constantly getting opened and stolen from if you forget to lock them, or getting window smashed if you leave something interesting in view.
We have a high per-capita murder rate, but mostly violence is limited to the gang neighborhoods. I went to school in a gang-infested neighborhood for 6th grade and I never witnessed, nor heard of, any violence near the school. The kids were much nicer there than in my usual suburban neighborhood schools.
Neither nice, nor not-so-nice:

It seems weird to say, but there is an apathy here that is almost welcoming—no one here really gives a shit who your romantic partners are (LGBTQI+, multiracial, etc) what your personal life is like, and our gangs are multi-racial unlike elsewhere in the state.

Living in Stockton

I lived on Alpine between Dwight and Kensington for a number of years. It's a nice neighborhood. Mix of old folks and families with some students living in rentals here and there. It gets a lot of foot traffic, so it's a fairly safe area if you keep your doors locked (high foot traffic areas tend to attract burglars, though it wasn't a huge problem in that area when I lived there.) That was the one house that I've had that was broken in to, but that was mostly my stupidity. East of UOP is pretty much the same. West varies street by street. Some streets are nice, others not so much. You have to play it by ear.

Areas to avoid are tricky and often it plays out block by block, but I can give you the basics. I think most Stocktonians would have these areas on their "avoid" list, though I'd love to get some feedback:

South Stockton (anything South of Hwy 4)

East Stockton (South of March Lane, east of West Lane/Airport Way)

Weston Ranch

Kelley Drive area (area around Kelley Drive, from Waudman down to south of Hammer Lane)

Hammer and West Lane area

I'm sure others will have other recommendations. Lots of people don't like Downtown, for example, but given the recent work a local developer is doing down there that area is improving greatly. The thing is though, generalized areas like these are horribly inaccurate. I have a friends who live in a few of these areas in various pockets that are just your average neighborhood. So take these large areas for what they are worth, and understand that you really have to scope things out because it changes from block to block.

What is it like to live in Stockton, CA?

That's a good question. Living in Stockton seem to be pretty simple ordinary. It's not too quiet or busy. There are great scenery out here you just got to know where to look. I live here my whole life and never thought about moving. Some say there's not much to do here. For me, there's lots to explore. So many delicious food to try out. We may not provide as much entertainment/night life but we do provide lots of events and program. Many places to chill, relax, and have fun. From experience throughout my life, everyone as a community or some sort of group try to make this city a good environment. Even when at school, there's someone there to help make it safe as possible. There may be negative side, but there's more positive side to this city than you think or know. I guess it depends on ones that around you. Stockton got many talented people among us. I had explore out of city and state before but I like to call Stockton home. This is what makes it so exciting. Mainly, it also have to do with the people you come to contact with or around. I mean you can do things on your own to have some “me time” even if it is just at home.

Advice Needed- Relocating to Stockton

Don't move to Stockton. It's got all the problems of a big city (homelessness, crime, drugs), but none of the perks (jobs, entertainment, culture). I've lived here for over a year and plan on moving at my first opportunity.

If you're job's in Lodi, then I'd recommend moving to somewhere north of that, like Galt. That way you'll be further from all the terribleness of Stockton, and closer to Sacramento/Sacramento County, which is actually a nice place.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Stockton CA