Thursday, July 31, 2014

Poetry at Mrs Dalloway's

Thursday night we headed over to Mrs Dalloway's for a poetry reading with Matthew Zapruder & Dean Young:
Matthew Zapruder reading

Dean Young

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Track to Excelsior

Tonight was a talk on SF streetcars with Rick Laubscher, author of On Track: A Field Guide to San Francisco's Historic Streetcars and Cable Cars.

The spouse was interested so we BART-ed in together to the Glen Park station and walked the 15 or so minutes to the Excelsior Branch of the SF Public Library.

Rick Laubscher about to give a talk on SF streetcars
Rick Laubscher about to give his talk.

The event was filmed so it should be posted to the SF Public Library's "You Tube" account some point in the next couple weeks.

**edit** here's a link to the video posted back in September..

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ohlone Greenway Walk!

One of the walks I've been wanting to do is the entire length of the Ohlone Greenway which runs along the BART tracks from north of El Cerrito/ Richmond south to Berkeley.. a few pocket and city parks lie along the way..

Along with the 'challenge' of doing it.. (it's entire length is less than 6miles despite traveling through 4 cities.. it's northern most point located in Richmond) I wanted to see what was to be seen along the way. I started my adventure Thursday morning by BART-ing to El Cerrito Del Norte, where the Safeway provided a clean pitstop & supply pick up (since moving I've not located my Brita water bottle.)
Ohlone Greenway from El Cerrito
For some of the path the North & South-bound trails are seperate.. but eventually it all becomes one big paved pathway with a small side trail for dogs to run along:

Opened in 2010, Bruce King Memorial Dog Park is named after an El Cerrito maintenance/engineer Manager who passed the year before the park opened.
Dog Park Along the Greenway (El Cerrito)

El Cerrito Community Garden is just one of the gardens I passed on my walk:
El Cerrito Community Garden

Codornices Creek "overpass" near the Albany border:
Codornices Creek is here!


Nice to know you can get "free air" in Berkeley:

I *heart* the West Berkeley cows that cross along the Greenway near the North Berkeley BART:

Something to be aware of before deciding to do a walk like this:
my timing was very good!

The Ohlone Greenway stops and starts on the opposite side of the North Berkeley BART:

near Delaware Street:

The walk brings you to Ohlone Park on Haste:

Here you'll find places to throw a frisbee, have a picnic, sit in a big sun patch, or have some fun with your dog:

I ended my walk after taking several pix of the Ohlone Park Mural.. which are in this set well as my Mural set..

My route & stats:
Ohlone Greenway Walk
about 5.5 miles..

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Richmond Ramblings

Today started super early.. I woke up long before I planned to for a small adventure to Shipyard #3 for the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Port Chicago Disaster.. The anniversary was actually the 17th, but the public event was held this morning in the shadow of the Red Oak Victory.. A lovely backdrop to remembering a horrible day in American history.. Rather than get into that I want to share the better part of my day.. the walk to and from the Shipyard from where the bus dropped me off in the historic part of Richmond.

To get to the beginning, I took the 7:20 AM BART to Richmond.. from there you take the 72M to the Richmond "Plunge" the big Municipal Pool out in the historic part of town:

Welcome to Historic Point Richmond
this is actually where they dropped me off.. by the Mechanics Bank.. Then you just walk up the street a ways, through the tunnel around the bend, around another bend.. oh wait..

THIS Tunnel:

and out the other side:

..which takes you to Keller Beach and the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline.. It was still early, the mist of fog and wind accompanied me as I walked along a very paved sidewalk past the hills, breezy shoreline, and grassy picnic areas..

All along the way I was tempted to stop to take in a view or the occasional information posted along the way:


other trails called people off the main path:
look at those steps!! Oh I have to be somewhere, but I would have ran up that hill too if I thought I had time!

mmmmm... rot and railroad tracks to nowhere..

I can see the City from my walk:

little cairn..

these seem more like little shrines..


eventually I did get to Shipyard 3.. and you can see that set (with the pix I took at the Port Chicago commemoration and the Red Oak Victory pix) HERE

but one of the treats was getting to see this lovely Osprey:

which lives in a huge nest built atop an old crane:

but on my way back I had an interesting moment where I was walking, accompanied a bit of distance away by a lady and her dogs.. We were walking in peaceable silence when I heard some sharp chittering cry.. like a Meerkat letting the gang know there was stuff to be aware of.. I stopped looked up.. and saw what looked at first like squirrels.. no chipmunks.. no gophers?? BIG gophers.. scampering through the hill.. the funny thing is, unless they moved, I couldn't actually see them..

gophers?? not sure..
you can see how they would blend in?? Everything is sort of brown..

I laughed along with the lady dog walker as she said, "They're yelling at us.." or some such... There were so many paths that I wanted to investigate, and the shoreline.. and more trails.. The entire winding walk was a bit over 4miles.. my cel got no service once I was at the Shipyard, so it wasn't recording the first mile of my walk back, which was.. frustrating.. but I know how much I did.. Along with my walk home from Downtown Berkeley BART, I am pretty sure to have managed at least 10 miles today (4.4 miles each way to/from the Shipyard.. plus about 1.3 miles home.) Not bad. ;)

I plan at some point to walk the Ohlone Greenway.. that is only about 6 miles.. totally do-able.. just not this weekend.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pete Najarian at the Berkeley Public Library

The Central Branch of the Berkeley Public Library held a reception for local author and painter Pete Najarian earlier this afternoon. Najarian has written several works which often featuring his portraiture (Daughters of Memory, The Artist and His Mother) or landscape paintings (The Great American Loneliness.)

Pete Najarian at the Berkeley Public Library
Najarian points out details of his Berkeley Marina painting.. He explained that along with painting near the Marina, he often heads to the 2nd Street area of West Berkeley on weekends when traffic is light to non-existent. He explained the big buildings aid as a wind break while he works. The painting on the left was created at Cedar and 2nd, looking south.

author and Painter Pete Najarian
Walking the attendees through the various works on exhibition, Najarian explained how he had taken a landscape painting class at Berkeley; he and his fellow painters would go to paint near the Berkeley Marina. Some of the paintings feature fellow painters or landscapes from across the Bay looking toward Albany.. or the Berkeley Hills.

The installation went up on the 7th of July in the first floor "Central Catelog Lobby." As you're heading toward the short stairs to the 2nd floor historic Central Lobby and Reference desk floor, be sure and stop and look around you. You can check out Mr Najarian's painting retrospective until the 3rd of August during regular library hours.

Berkeley Public Library (Central Branch)
2090 Kittredge

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Willard Park

Not far from bustling neighborhood of Elmwood in Berkeley is Willard Park. It was opened in the early 70s and named after Suffragate and Temperance leader Frances Willard.


Here in the background you can see the clubhouse (and bathroom on left side of structure) where the Berkeley Day Camp is ran from.. a neat water fountain is seen in the foreground.


Toddler Play Area seen across an open field of dead grass.. Tennis Courts are to the right of the play area.
toddler playground & tennis courts

tennis courts

Willard Park is really a family, neighborhood park.. and is located just around the corner from Willard Middle School, which also uses the park for activities.

What I don't show is the smattering of homeless folks there that were sleeping under the few random trees.. Along with the homeless were random sunbathers, napping folks, ladies having picnics and playing cards. Nearby a couple bicyclists had taken a break from their ride to rest by cooling off and playing a game of "hacky sack" (they were doing pretty good too!)

It was a busy park mid-afternoon and I was hard-pressed to find a spot where I wanted to sit and read. It wasn't peaceful, nor restful. The day was such that with a strong breeze, a shady tree wasn't what I was looking for, and the grass that extended outside in the sun was very dead. I ended up sitting and watching the hacky sack players for a bit and then contemplated the random piece of brown glass from a beer bottle laying weather-worn in the grass next to me. The day camp kids on the far side of the park were playing some kind of soccer I think, well away from the resting homeless. The thing about Berkeley though, is that you can have a wide range of people of various backgrounds and economic situations enjoying the same park. No one is bothering anyone.

That said, this isn't really my idea of a 'meditate under a tree' and read type of park. I'm sure it is for someone..

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Normandy Village Apts

On the enthusiastic advisement of an acquaintance of mine, I wandered over to the area just north of campus where Normandy Village Apartments still exist after almost 100 years.. Originally built in 1927, then expanded to encompass about 2 or 3 blocks on one side of the street.. the studio apartment 'homes' still look charming and inviting.. and even better in person, viewed from the street.

Please note.. people live here and I tried my best to be discreet about how I shot my photos (with my iPhone rather than the Nikon) and made a point to try and not have too much identifying information in the images other than architectural details and an address or two related to the street..





You can view my entire set (HERE) if you like (I took about a couple dozen images.)

You can learn about this area from the BAHA (Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assoc.) site

I'm very glad I took the time to wander and check the area out, and owe that good someone grateful thanks for the suggestion!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Temescal Street Fair

My enthusiasm for my first Berkeley 4th of July weekend in many years was moderately diminished by the fact I messed up my foot late Thursday night of the 3rd.. (I jammed my toe on the bed-frame and pretty much been having issue walking on my right foot for the past few days.)

I tried walking some on Sunday, down Telegraph to the Temescal Street Fair (we went last year and had a good time.) I admit I felt like I was cheating on Berkeley just a bit; our quick visit to Donut Dolly to fulfill a donut craving I'd had for the last two weeks did little to change that.. Then we came across this band performing between 44th & 45th Street (in front of the Jack in the Box no less.) Happiness and contentment were the prevailing moods as I forgot about worrying about what Berkeley was up to for the moment (although I did think about it briefly when we took the BART back one station.) I even forgot about my foot hurting me for a while..

The John Brothers Piano Company (Quintet) were playing.. Maybe they'd make you forget your minor troubles too??

My foot was hurting, so we BART'ed back to Ashby.. which is something I would NEVER do under normal circumstances I swear, but pretty sure I tore or strained something.. I'm still waiting for the swelling and bruising to abate, but I'm still walking.. just not as much for a couple more days.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Happy Caturday

How I spent my 4th of July.. (another feline intermission)
Happy #caturday How I spent my 4th of July.. #catsofinstagram

Hope you're enjoying your 4th of July weekend relaxing in whatever way you enjoy (this is how the cat does it) As for me, I've got this pile of books..