Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in my neighborhood. Partly, I’m trying to drive less and walk more, but I also just like North Oakland and all that it offers.
The streets are really beautiful and filled with trees, gardens, and whimsical public art created by Rockridge and Temescal residents…
Every Sunday morning, I walk to the Temescal Farmer’s Market. When I go out to dinner, I walk to restaurants in Rockridge, like Flavors of India, Great Wall (the first Oakland restaurant I ever ate at, many years ago), Somerset, or, if I’m feeling lazy, I walk a few steps to Addis Ethiopian Cuisine. For an incredible chai and a relaxing place to read, I hang out at A Cuppa Tea. And if I want to grab a drink, I head down to the White Horse and never have to worry about who’s the designated driver.
On my many walks, I’ve realized that my definition of neighborhood is pretty expansive. Mine stretches from Shattuck to at least College, and from 50th to Ashby. Yes, my neighborhood even includes some of South Berkeley, mainly because of Whole Foods and Ici (mmm, local, organic ice cream). I’ve defined my neighborhood based on places I walk frequently. And it seems so huge to me because after eighteen years of living in LA, a part of me still thinks of neighborhoods based on how far I would walk when I was a teenager (I really used to drive to a friend’s house who lived four blocks from me!).
So what about you? How big is your neighborhood? Am I crazy for defining my neighborhood so largely? Or is this a completely normal part of Oakland living?