I wore out my feet walking around Berkeley and Richmond yesterday (in newish shoes) but went back out today to track down more places in Berkeley that I had been associated with.
The overall impression left from this walk – and most of my other walks – is a city in transition. While the disenfranchised leave messes everywhere, the forces of “progress” march on, replacing old buildings with new ones, or sometimes renovating.
There are still MANY buildings and houses that date from earlier than 1950, but there is also new construction everywhere.
I don’t consider most of my photos from this walk particularly aesthetic, but here are a few. The one above is of Strawberry Creek Park. It is a small flatlands park that has been there for some time. However, while I was living here I had no reason to ever go over to the area that park is in, so don’t remember it. Many of the old places I visited today I don’t remember. I had never visited them when I lived here, I guess.
I include a photo of Ashkenaz here, as it was an important place for me. I learned social dancing there, and met my friend Susan there. In 1996 the club’s founder and proprietor David Nadel, was shot dead by a drunk he had earlier ejected from the club. A wall of ceramic tiles (visible above the car) was erected in his memory. David was always around when the place was open at night; I remember him well.
I went over to see the place where Susan used to live. At the end of the street (cut off by the BART when it was built) is a neighborhood garden, pictured below.
On the route back to Berkeley, along a walk/jog/bike path made when the BART was put in, is Cedar Rose Park. Again, this is a simple neighborhood park with grass and a children’s play area.
Though these parks are nice for travelers, and important to the community, in Berkeley I did not need them as much as I needed parks in other cities. Berkeley is full of little food stores and cafés; I never had a problem finding a place to sit or getting something to drink. Some cities have financial or office districts which are like cultural deserts, or sprawling industrial or business areas where the pedestrian seems to be left out of the picture. Not Berkeley.