Friday, July 30, 2010

Skywatch Friday: elevated seats

This photo was taken at the zoo a few days ago.  But trust me, the sky is the exact same color today as we speak.  What the picture doesn't convey is that except for a few days this month, the weather has been cold and overcast until about noon or 1 p.m.  Finally the "marine layer" (local weather-speak for high fog) burns off, and we have clear skies until it begins to return again at 6 or so.  So while most of the country is withering in heat, we're shivering until noon.  Weird, huh?  For more sky photos from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a quiet corner

Here is a quiet corner in a mausoleum/columbarium in the Mt. View Cemetery.  The building remains open to anyone interested in visiting as long as the cemetery gates are open.  Chairs are dotted throughout the building for visiting, contemplation, and I imagine for reading if you want.  This particular building dates from the deco era although they've recently opened a new wing. 
There's a lovely wooden ceiling chapel for services, a garden room with a skylight, and endless corridors to wander.  This is only one of several such buildings on the vast grounds.  In case you were wondering, the most expensive niches are those that are at eye level and can run up to $18,000.  Better to enjoy the cemetery while you're alive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ABC Wednesday: B is for bee mural

Here's another fascinating mural by Desi in West Oakland on Mandela Parkway.  I think it's official name is Connected Worlds.  He's also responsible for the one that is around the corner from this bee.  For more "B" photos from around the world, visit ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

it's all happening at the zoo

Yesterday at the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park.  The afternoon was warm and the parking lot was full.  The carousel is outside the main gate and is a favorite spot for parents to take pictures of their children.
Here's the formal entrance setting the scene for the African themed presentation.  The zoo was relocated to the hills in about 1950 and has been noted for its realistic environments for the animals. This is for LD in Monterey, whose grandparents took her to the zoo when she was a little girl.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend Reflections: you looking at me?

Down the street from the mural with the abandoned mattress, I was stopped dead in my tracks trying to figure out what I was seeing.  Or what was seeing me.  After a moment of disequilibrium, it finally dawned on me that I was seeing a reflection of a mural that was out of view.  See what I mean?  Unfortunately, I failed to note the name of the business that wears this mural.  To see more reflections from around the world, visit James' meme Weekend Reflections.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ABC Wednesday: A is for African-American Museum

The African-American Museum is housed downtown in what was Oakland's original main Library from 1902-1951.  It is a beautiful Beaux-Arts building with a frieze inscribed with the names of the most celebrated writers of Western Civilization.  The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and experiences of African-Americans in the Bay Area and Northern California.  It contains an extensive archival collection of such artifacts as diaries, correspondence, photos, and periodicals and is well worth a visit.  For more "A" photos from around the world, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

construction at the Caldecott Tunnel

The Caldecott Tunnel bores through the Oakland hills to connect the East Bay with Contra Costa County.  It's a heavily traveled route which results in intense traffic snarls during commute hours.  So now a fourth bore is being drilled to the tune of $420 million.  During construction these imposing sound walls have been built to protect the housing development that faces the freeway from construction noise.  Every time I see them I can't help but think of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Just last week, fossils were uncovered by the dig!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Bridge Series: Oakland Bay Bridge

This is the suspension side of the bridge which runs from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco.  This shot was taken from Treasure Island.  TI was built from the soil dredged for the construction of the Bay Bridge.  The Island was the site for the 1939 World's Fair.  As you can imagine, it offers killer views of the City and the East Bay.  Now that the island has been demilitarized, the debate about how best to use the land rages on.  For more bridge views from around the world, visit «Louis La Vache's» Sunday Bridge Series.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Reflections: paint and concrete

This mural of Lake Merritt is located on 27th Street at Broadway.  It is painted on the side of what used to be a car dealership.  Now the building contains a popular restaurant.  The first thing I noticed about this mural was that it includes a reflection.   I immediately thought, "Ah ha, perfect for James' meme."  And so here it is.  For more reflection photos from around the globe, visit Weekend Reflections.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Cathedral Building

The Cathedral Building was constructed in 1913 and sits on the triangle corner where Telegraph Avenue ends at Broadway.  And where this fountain stands.  The building was recently renovated and offers a variety of retail, office, and condo spaces.  I've read there is a very chic penthouse on the top floor.  Given the current economy, I wouldn't lay any odds on when all the spaces will finally be rented or sold.  In the meantime you can see that in the past few days we've been enjoying fine weather with a minimum of fog (hallelujah).  For more Skywatch views from around the world, click here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

mural with mattress

I was in the neighborhood to see a photography show of old Oakland business signs at Woody's Cafe on Park Blvd.  This mural was spotted behind Woody's Laundromat which is next to the cafe.  The mural was sponsored by the Lake Merritt Business Association, presumably to spruce up the parking lot and the street it faces.  I don't think the mattress was part of the original artistic vision. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ABC Wednesday: Z is for zebra

Oakland has a multitude of public murals, only some of which have been shown on ODP.  For this particular ABC Wednesday, what could be more fitting than the zebra mural under highway 580 on Broadway?  Actually, several zebras graze on this freeway support pier, with this as an exemplar.  This mural was done many years ago by muralist Dan Fontes, who also did this giraffe posted last fall.   For more "Z" photos from around the world, visit ABC Wednesday.  Next week we start the alphabet all over again.  Yippee!  Why not join us?

Monday, July 12, 2010

laundry day

Here's one way to get all your stuff to the neighborhood laundromat.  Spotted at International and 45th Ave.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sunday Bridge Series: near the Bridgeview trail head

Only a few feet from the Warren freeway, which runs the length of the Oakland hills, is a trail head that leads through Dimond Canyon to Dimond Park.  I followed it for a bit and found this little bridge crossing what I think is Sausal Creek.  The trail descends steeply and cuts through redwood stands, wild berry brambles, and fern groves.  Oakland has a number of these natural preserves that survive in the midst of a decidedly urban setting.  I assume the bridge in "Bridgeview" is not the little footpath seen here.  Another day I'll follow the trail to its end and get a shot of the bridge it refers to.  For an array of bridges from around the world, visit «Louis'» Sunday Bridges Series.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Fleetline chrome

A vintage car reflects the scene around it one week ago.  For more reflections from around the world, visit James' meme Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

feet in the air

Don't know what this ride is called.  But it looks like fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ABC Wednesday: Y is for yesteryear

Here's another vintage car seen in the 1/4 lb Giant Burger parking lot last Friday night.  Studebakers , with that distinctive bullet nose, are hard to miss.  (Except «Louis» tells me this is a Ford.  Also with a bullet nose.  My bad).  Like all vintage cars, they are portals to the past.  Although I don't pine for the 50s, it's kind of fun to visit now and then.  Car restoration also represents incredible skill and artistry that has endured across the generations.  This little beauty probably never looked this good when it rolled off the assembly line.  For more expressions of "Y" visit this week's participants in ABC Wednesday.

Monday, July 5, 2010

blast from the past

Vintage cars and burger joints just seem to have a natural affinity for one another.  On the first Friday of every month vintage car owners from around the Bay gather at the 1/4 lb. Giant Burger in Uptown.   Last Friday was a warm night, the sound of early rock 'n' roll filled the air, and the vibe was welcoming.  The car owners were incredibly nice and more than happy to talk about their rides.  It was a very festive evening with people eating, dancing, laughing, and swapping stories. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Bridge Series: Oakland Bay Bridge

Here's a shot of the Bay Bridge looking east toward Oakland.  I took it today from Yerba Buena Island where the eastern and western sections are anchored.  This side is slated for demolition once the new eastern span is finally completed.  You can see part of the new span just beyond the original.  It's only taken 20 years and zillions of dollars more than initially anticipated (since the 1989 earthquake damage) to get this far.  The actual construction process has been interesting to follow and the new bridge will ultimately have some engineering and design innovations.  For every detail you could possibly want to know about the new construction, click here.  For more bridges from around the world visit «Louis'» Sunday Bridge Series.  Have a happy 4th.