Oakland is the place to see in The Bay

Seriously.

Don’t be scared by the protesters.

They aren’t occupying all the new restaurants and renovated attractions. Like Jack London Square.

The NYT released a list called “The Top 45 Places to Go in 2012,” and to the surprise of nearly everyone, Oakland was No. 5 on the list. Only Panama, Helsinki, Myanmar and London came in ahead of Oak-town.

The Times cited the “revitalized night-life scene” as the main reason to plan a vacation to the other city by the Bay. The Fox Theater opened its doors in 2009 and has quickly become a fan-favorite.

Oakland is even starting to draw chefs from across the Bay. Daniel Patterson opened three establishments in the last year, including Plum and Haven.

So while images of riots and tent cities linger, there is a movement to transform Oakland into the place to be on a Friday night.