Oakland: A Walking Tour
I have always thought that the best way to discover where you call home is on foot. There is no better way to pick up the smallest details of your city streets. You will surely catch one out of every ten things from a car window but on foot you will notice the most intricate bits of information that your city has to offer.
I have made it abundantly clear that I love Oakland. I think my city houses some of the greater neighborhoods, bars, galleries, restaurants and people in the world. It was voted the number five place to visit in 2012 by the New York Times, after all. The tagline was ‘New Restaurants and Bars Beckon Amid the Grit’. And while grit we do have, we also have a lot of glimmer. And a hell of a lot more than new restaurants and bars.
I have set out on foot in Oakland and spent the entire day observing it’s streets, corners and paths. I have walked down Grand Ave. peering in the window of various coffee shops and restaurants, filled with people enjoying brunch, drinks and conversation. I have made my way down to Lake Merritt and ambled it’s 3.1 mile circumference, watching all manner of water fowl duck and dive, feed and sleep. I’ve passed the Lake Chalet (which, by the way, has an incredible happy hour) and watched as people soak up their fair share of sun while enjoying a cocktail on the expansive deck on the water.
I’ve crossed diagonal crosswalks in Chinatown where you can find the most incredible sticky pork buns and banh mi if you know which bakeries to hit. Passed through Old Oakland which, thanks to popuphood, has had a recent revitalization, bringing this beautiful neighborhood back to light.
And this is all relatively in the vicinity of downtown. I have only to begin talking about Temescal, Rockridge, and lesser known nooks and crannies that are nameless, but no less spectacular. Perhaps next week I’ll give you a glimpse…
Do not fear Oakland and all its ‘grit’. Bring you bike or simply your feet and spend a day here. You’ll see what I’m talking about.