You are still a few years out from there being organic grocery stores and it depends on if the plans to redevelop the Hunters Point/Bayview area are fully accepted. Basically, a big Miami developer was given initial approval to redevelop 770 acres of the Hunters Point shipyard. Of course, there is a lot of red tape to go through but if that happens then the area should blow up.
This is such a subjective question. I have several thoughts. The good news is that a home in the Bayview can be as much as $100,000 less than a comparable home in another neighborhood. I have heard that whereas the rest of the City is 2/3 tenants, two out of three Bayview residents are homeowners. I would check out Bayview Heights and listen to Jed's advice.
As for the bad news--or why in my opinion--I wouldn't want to live there: 1) It is so far away. I like living in a neighborhood where I can walk to restaurants, shops and services, 2) They have the highest percentage by zip code of pit bulls in the City (so I wouldn't feel safe for my kitties), 3) I'm single and like to feel safe either walking or taking the bus home and 4) Would you advise me to live in East Oakland (zip code 94621 for example)?
You really need to check it out and decide for yourself but there are other "gritty" neighborhoods that have a lot more to offer than Bayview. Even across the freeway in the Portola is lot nicer and still relatively affordable.
I also think that commuting from North Oakland via BART is easier than driving 101.
I don't think there are any decent organic grocery stores in the Bayview yet. The closest would probably be the Whole Foods on DeHaro on Potrero Hill.
There was an article in the Chron on the Bayview Community Garden that is growing organic veggies. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/31/
Safety is a very relative feeling. How to put this. It's going to depend on you. I met a tall blond young woman at the clean and green summit two weeks ago that was working on a community grant and she lives in the Bayview and there is the 70 year old Italian woman that is written about in the article.
The different parts of the neighborhood - - the west side of Third is a little older homes and closer to Silver Terrace is nice. East of third, lots of single family homes and good values. The whole area is changing with Candelstick Point and Hunters Point being built up.
You can check the police sites and you can also read the article but the only way you will know how you feel is to go there and take a look. There are housing projects in the area that are pretty dilapidated and hoefully will be rebuilt. There are many people that have moved intot he area in the past 10 years that would be just like you.
Let us know what you think.
Go to http://www.sfgov.org and go to the police link. You can check crime stats that way. Then do drive and walk around at different times of the day/night/weekend.