Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Of homes and blogs.. and Berkeley.
We've been officially house hunting since late January. We were looking in Emeryville (there's no homes for sale in Emeryville for our price range), all over Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond Annex, and Berkeley. We came close to finding a place on San Pablo a couple times (in North Oakland and Albany respectively), as well a lovely condo in Temescal. We even saw a most amazing craftsman beyond Eastmont (that's in Oakland) with original 'keyhole' archways and built-ins that I fell in love with, but the neighborhood and commute was something I'd rather not think about.. but my mind always turns to Berkeley.
When we originally lived in Berkeley I used to imagine my happiness as a "big" house in North Berkeley, with a well-worn & loved porch to read the paper on Sundays, drinking coffee and nibbling a day old bagel from Saul's, relaxing with my shoes off (because that's what I do) and hearing the birds singing in the trees and the occasional car driving up the street. Then we moved to SoCal and while I absolutely LOVED living in the Historic Core (4th & Main DTLA) and everything that I had there, it wasn't Berkeley.
I can't tell you what I love about Berkeley. I can tell you what I tried to verbalize with my brother-in-law once a few years ago before we came back home, but even then I couldn't say what it was I loved about Berkeley. It was a feeling. A sense of being..
When I got off work I would stand outside on Shattuck and I feel the fog misting through the air. It wasn't Ketchikan rain, it was like someone was spraying your face from 10 miles away with some sort of Evian mist.. It was cool and clean and fresh.. and the wind would come up and blow the hair from your face. When the sun shone, it glittered like firelight off the buildings and glass. When the leaves fell, it was like Autumn in Indiana.. one of the few things I miss about living in Indiana. The sidewalks outside our apartment on Grant would be scattered with pine needles and and leaves and the crunch of Fall. I lived in my sandals. If I wore shoes at all it would be my worn out (hole worn in the soles) docksiders. Sweaters. You have to love a place where you can wear sweaters in the summer. I love sweaters.. It's like you're wearing a hug all day. I guess that's what I feel about Berkeley.. and still do. Some un-imaginable happiness is wrapping itself around my heart, it greets me when I step closer to downtown, and stays with me, like a fading light as I make my way back to Oakland.
Don't get me wrong, there are things I love about Oakland.. I love my local cafe and the galleries and the love and heart that my neighbors are putting into their community. I love that I am close to so many good things, despite not being so close to school and things and people I care about. I like that our loft is huge and airy and full of history despite a general lack of appreciation of old buildings here in Emeryville. I love many of my great neighbors who embody the sorts of things that I appreciated and miss so much from my time living in Downtown L.A. The connections and the support I had in LA are so missed here, so when we were able to find a place with history and community of people that look out for each other.. Not the same as Old Bank District at all, but close.. and very OK!
Finding a place in Berkeley should have been impossible, as we'd sized ourselves out of our price-point, (our place at OBD was 1400sq ft. and our current place is about 1200sq.) We even considered finding a small place to rent for a year while we scrounged up enough extra for a down-payment on a place that was be-fitting our size issue.. but after looking at a few apartments and realizing we'd still have to down-size, (and store all our excess furniture) I actually looked at what was out there that was under our size minimum, and managed to find a few places to check out!
As of right now, we do have a place. It'll be a long wait (for me) before we move into it, but when it happens I imagine all sorts of new experiences and new adventures will be awaiting me.. and I imagine I won't be blogging all that much about Emeryville, (if I did all that much anyway). I don't expect it would be all about Berkeley though either.. although the focus would change, of course.
As every time we move, I need to come up with a new name for this blog. I hate that the default url is my name.. but this is my main blog. One day we will no longer be on "the edge of E*ville"and instead will be living within proper distance of the city limits of a place I love very much, and the reason my heart was aching to return back to the Bay Area. I don't know what I should call this blog at that point... "Meeko on Main" worked when I was in the OBD, but I won't be moving to any Main Street... and "Meeko's Crumbs"(ramblings and meanderings) worked when we lived in Anaheim and South Park area of DTLA because I was constantly walking and meandering all over DTLA.. and finding my blogging feet.
School and things have kept me busy all this semester and I don't expect things will slow down all that much especially as I'm trying to find a niche regarding my love of history,community, architecture, books, writing, food, and a tad of photography. Unlike DTLA, I haven't found the magical blogging fairy that compelled me to attend a blogger meetup at an online friend's 100th Rate-A-Restaurant.. the day I decided I thought blogging was the neatest freaking idea ever.
I sometimes wonder (and think) that blogging is over, as is newsprint, then I see that other people are doing it still, and doing it well. Magic doesn't happen in the same ways every time, so I leave myself open to possibilities and the positive, good-natured beauty that is out there in the universe. I will be changing the name of the blog eventually.. to what, I don't know, and how often I'll post.. I don't know.. or what I'll write about, again, I don't know.. but if you're adventurous.. it could be anything. or nothing at all. Hopefully it won't really be about me, though. These personal posts are draining..
..And, I have a paper due tomorrow so I need to clear my head and focus. Oh, it's written.. it's just got too much of me in it. ;)