Tuesday, April 22, 2014

signs: Kelly Paper

The sign for Kelly Paper has been around for a while. Doubtless at some point there was a motor to rotate the sign, but now that happens when a passing breeze hits it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Day at Habitat

Kand I spent the day working on a home repair with Habitat for Humanity in Arroyo Viejo / Eastmont. While I have a lot more experience and comfort doing such things, K gamely joined me in working on installing a new roof for a lovely (but no nonsense) 80 year-old woman. I'd forgotten how much more tiring working on a roof is. Just standing takes more energy than it does on flat ground, and add in the extra heat, the bending and squatting, and I'll definitely be feeling this tomorrow. But it was hella fun, and it was great to be helping someone.
Kat on a hot tar roof

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

signs: Anderson

This sign on Broadway still exists, but probably not for much longer. For many years the location was the home of Anderson Carpet and Linoleum, a business that was started when Linoleum Sales of Berkeley bought the Anderson Carpet Company in 1973. A couple of years back they moved operations to West Grand, and now the site is due to become a new location for True Burger. I'm still looking into whether they were connected, but there was an Anderson's Carpet House that dates back 1891, founded by Severin Anderson and later run by his son Harry S. Anderson (who also served as a city commissioner).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oakland Urban Paths: Jingletown and the Estuary

On a foggy Saturday morning, 40 people (plus a record 7 dogs) turned out to explore Jingletown and the Estuary with Oakland Urban Paths. While we gathered at the former Cryer & Sons Boatyard at Union Point Park, we watched some whaleboat races in the channel near Coast Guard Island.

By the time we got underway, the sun was starting to break through the fog and it warmed up quickly. A short walk took us to the controversial Sigame sculpture, which features pieces of different notable women from Oakland's history. Chris Kidd also told us about the clever approach used to clean up the land for Union Point Park, encapsulating the soil into the spiral mound at the center instead of trucking it off for remediation. At the south end of the park, the Bay Trail leaves the waterfront because the ConAgra Mill still uses its waterfront access (in addition to railroad trains, which we saw evidence of later). That was a recurring theme of outbound walk—while access is getting better, there are still lots of gaps in the Bay Trail.

Along the way, we saw a new mural being painted by Ernest Doty and some other Oakland artists, the Fruitvale and High Street bridges opened to allow a sailboat through, the outflow of Sausal Creek into the estuary, and more. We went as far as High Street; to go further would mean another departure from the waterfront and a walk along a heavily industrial road.

Our return trip wandered through Jingletown to check out the various public works of art: murals, mosaics and sculptures. There are artworks around every corner, and even a few painted on the street. It's definitely worth visiting Jingletown when there are open studios or other events to see more. Thanks to everyone and everywoof who came out for the walk!

More pictures of the walk from Alan Forkosh can be seen on Alan's website.

More pictures from the walk:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oakland Earth Expo

Wednesday was the annual Oakland Earth Expo, held on Frank Ogawa Plaza. There was a nice turn out to check out ways to help make Oakland more sustainable, as well as dine at the collection of food trucks and area restaurants.

This is part of the lead up to Earth Day, which Oakland celebrates with cleanups and other events all over the city. Check the Oakland Earth Day website for details. This is a great, easy way to volunteer to make Oakland better. For most projects, the time commitments are short, and the results gratifying. You can also use it as an opportunity to get out an experience a different part of the city than you normally do, or do something to help a favorite Oakland park.

More pictures from the expo: