Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vive la...Oakland?

La Farine Bakery

Inoticed yesterday we were getting dangerously low on coffee, so today I rode down to Peet's for a resupply. But because I wanted a bit more exercise, and I've been wanting to check out La Farine, I rode down to the Dimond district. Our closest bakery, Montclair Baking, is more into cakes and pastries, whereas La Farine is big on bread. (Farine is French for flour; the ingredients in a traditional baguette are flour, water, salt and yeast.)

So I zipped down to the Dimond -- it's almost all downhill getting there, so it's a fun ride. I bought a pound of beans at Peet's, and sipped my iced coffee (it's hot today, though not as hot as it was over the weekend) and headed over to La Farine. It didn't disappoint. Lots of breads, and they all look beautiful. So I pondered which to buy while I worked on my coffee.

spiffy solar-powered
trash compactor

Afterward I sat and people-watched for a while. It's a great spot to watch from, and various businesses including Peet's and La Farine have provided benches to make it even better. It was mostly a nice experience, except for the mentally ill guy on the next bench who was babbling racist things to the Asian guy sitting there. I did some quick grocery shopping at Farmer Joe's, and kept an eye on the situation across the street in case it escalated.

As I was about to hop on the bike and head for home, a young woman asked if I knew of an ice cream place nearby that her friend had mentioned. I told her I didn't live nearby so I didn't know the area well, but was pretty sure there was one nearby (she was on foot, so I didn't think she meant Loard's down MacArthur near Fruitvale Presbyterian, and to be honest I didn't remember it at the time.) She said she'd keep asking around. I checked on the Google G1 phone, and saw Tango Gelato on the other side of MacArthur. I told her about it, and we agreed it was a great day for it. I pedaled off for home, and saw the storefront for Tango...papered over. So I road back and told her before she walked all the way up. I wish I'd remembered Loard's, as it's only about 1/2 mile away, albeit in a different direction. Sigh.

France? No, Oakland

So finally heading for home, I road up Fruitvale and through Oakmore. I stopped to take a picture of this interesting apartment building, which looks like it would be more at home in France. Having just been up the street from Fruitvale Presbyterian, I immediately thought of Monte of the monteskewed blog. Until recently he was the pastor at FVPC, but he and his family moved to France for him to take a call at a church there. An exciting opportunity, but it sounds like settling in there has had its ups and downs.

Oakmore Highlands

I was also reminded of my post a while back, what's in a name? I'd always thought of the area I was riding in as Glenview, but Google and Yahoo maps showed me that it was actually Oakmore. But a sign down the street stated it was Oakmore Highlands. Huh? Not as mysterious as the Village Market website saying it's in Montclair, but I'd never heard of Oakmore Highlands before.


Colburn said...

Oakmore Highlands seems to be the name the developer chose when he developed that hill in the early C20. The developer, Walter Leimert, developed several of neighborhoods around here and down around LA as well, I believe. He's honored here with Leimert Blvd and the wonderful Leimert Bridge that soars over Sausal Creek (I posted a picture of it in this post in April.

For some reason I rarely seem to make it over to the Dimond District, even though I live pretty close and go to farther neighborhoods like Fruitvale all the time. I should remedy that...

Unknown said...

Excellent! Thanks for the info. And great info in your post about Sausal Creek. I was thinking of you today, because I got a new sign pic, with a bird in it. A real bird, not part of the sign, but still... :-)

artemis said...

Also, I think several of the Oakmore neighborhoods (including maybe this one?) still have active HOAs that date back to the original developments in the 1920s, which reinforces the otherwise-obscure neighborhood names to some degree.

In other exciting news, Oakland is about to get its third La Farine on Piedmont Avenue (though sadly it won't help you out!) So you never know---maybe Montclair Village is next!

Unknown said...

We are in love with La Farine's Morning Buns and often stand in agony trying to decide between the sweet or the savory.

And the baristas at that Peet's making the best foam in the East Bay, hands down.

Unknown said...

With the electric bike, Piedmont Ave. or the Dimond aren't too far away. Not that I'll be getting up and buying morning buns before K goes to work :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Gene, you were over in my neck of the woods. I think the woman was probably thinking about Loard's. I get people who stop and ask me all the time where it is. They have pulled off the interstate ramp. Farmer Joe's also sells their ice cream.

Andrew Alden, Oakland Geology blog said...

"Oakmore Highlands" fits the pattern in Oakland in which all neighborhoods with "Heights" or "Highlands" in their names consist of bedrock rather than the firm alluvium of lower sites. It sits between Crocker Highlands and Lincoln Highlands, after all.

Anonymous said...

There's some France in Berkeley, too -

Monte said...

thanks for the shout out! i love that house....have seen it before and dig that neighborhood. wishing we could connect for a latte at peet's...

Unknown said...

@andrew - Interesting. Seems like the highlands (i.e., bedrock) would be more stable in an earthquake, too. Is that the case?

@georgia - I remember some of those -- I used to live on Virginia, so Poulet was a frequent sight when I went down to Shattuck.

@monte - There's a Peet's latte (and several beers at a location TBD) with your name on them :-)

The question for monte is not: how much France is there in Oakland (or Berkeley), but how Oakland is there in your part of France?