Tag Archives: neighborhood

Learning about my new neighborhood

24 Jun

My fiance and I must be a bit crazy, because in the midst of wedding planning, tons of other work, and just after an epic office move, we decided it would be a great time to move out of the apartment we’ve lived in for the past four and a half years. We absolutely love our apartment, but over the past year, it’s seemed to shrink. And as wedding gifts came in, we started to wonder where the hell we’d fit all this new stuff, especially since our kitchen is full well beyond capacity (yes, we already have pots and pans hanging from the walls).

So we started casually apartment hunting, checking Craigslist and going to see a place or two every weekend. We weren’t in a huge rush to move so we were willing to wait until we found the perfect home. And this past Saturday, we did. It’s an incredible bottom unit of a duplex.

I’ll borrow the description from Craiglist to give you an idea of why we fell in love immediately:

As you enter through a large private gate, the garden oasis greets you. As you cross a tree shaded foot bridge, you slowly escape reality, and lifes daily stresses. You may decide to stop on the foot bridge and gander at the year round flowing creek below. Then as you enter the home, you are immediately welcomed by the large living with lovely coved ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. Your eyes are immediately drawn to your wonderful surroundings. On a chilly night you might decide to light a warm and cozy fire in the living room fireplace, cuddle up with a nice book, or watch the latest movie. On a warm night you may decide to enjoy the weather on the deck, which overlooks the creek, with a nice glass of wine, or iced tea. This home is truly beautiful, a must see. Anyone would be happy to call this magical place home.

We jumped on it and found out Monday evening that it would soon be ours, but at the time, knew very little about our new neighborhood. That didn’t last for long though, since in response to a Facebook post about our move, my friends gave me a crash course education about our new neighborhood, Glen Echo. Here’s some of what I learned:

  • Glen Echo Creek used to be called Cemetery Creek, and I think it’s pretty obvious why they renamed it. Good thing I won’t be moving to the “Cemetery” neighborhood.
  • I can get around using bus lines 51, 1/1R, and 57.
  • There are tons of stairways in the neighborhood, one of which I noticed when we checked the place out last weekend. I can’t wait to explore them since there are no stairways in our current neighborhood.
  • There’s an active neighborhood listserve.
  • The neighborhood participates in National Night Out.
  • Several of my Facebook friends live there, nearby, or lived there in the past.
  • Everyone seems to think it’s a wonderful neighborhood, which I had a hunch about, but I’m happy to have confirmed.

And then, I learned a TON more on City Homestead yesterday, through an excellent post on the author’s neighborhood, which is right next to our new neighborhood.

Now I’m even more excited about our move and about learning more about our neighborhood. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more here as I learn in the coming weeks.

Living in My Neighborhood

10 Sep

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…


bike.jpg North Oakland Garage Mural

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?