Location: Neighborhood bordering the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland & Piedmont, CA
Source: Oakland/Piedmont Way of Trees walk, from the book, Hidden Walks in the East Bay & Marin by Stephen Altschuler.
Features: Tree lined streets, Pleasant Valley Ct., hidden shortcuts and beautiful Dracaena Quarry Park.
This walk covers an area I often drive by while traveling to either Piedmont or Mountain View Cemetery. I didn’t realize the hidden gems of the area; especially Dracena Park, which is another stellar, well maintained park in the town of Piedmont.
Starting just below the entrance gate to Mountain View Cemetery, go through an old walkway by an old warehouse and you end up walking through Pleasant Valley Ct., which is an old development of small bungalows. The walk continues into Piedmont and beautiful Dracaena park which part of a flourishing rock quarry. Groves of beautiful trees surround the park and its lush lawns. Fancy kids play areas with a slide and climbing rock. The park has several access points to surrounding neighborhoods and has a great dog trail and bridge in it’s north end. I noticed that many Piedmont’s neighborhoods have rose colored sidewalks. Some have exposed aggregate where public works crews ground them down to a smooth bevel in order to maintain a smooth walking path.
I’m going to attempt the trek out to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada this weekend so I can watch Aeropac’s high power rocket launch. Aeropac has a launch waiver up to 100,000 ft. so there should be some exciting rocket flights!
As some of you know the playa is an interesting and challenging environment. This time of year there can be lakes, floods and lots of mud. Here is a recon video shot yesterday.
This afternoon I had a wonderful visit to the Alameda Government center to visit the office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector. In order to not be hit with a huge penalty for paying late, I thought I’d visit in person and get a stamped receipt as proof of paying in a timely manner. When you arrive at the Alameda Government center on Oak St., you are greeted by Sheriff Deputies and an airport style security arrangement where I had to remove my belt, keys and iPhone and run them through a metal detector. After passing security, I was free to stand in a long line to pay my taxes. After the line seemed to stop moving, an employee came out and told the taxpayers that the, “system had gone down”. Since I just needed to drop off a check and get a receipt stamp I waited another ten minutes to get my property taxes processed.
Happy that I had gotten this chore out of the way, I was walking down the halls of government when I noticed this amusing sign for the Treasurer & Tax Collector. The logo seems to symbolize some kind of Utopian world of money, houses, computers and people! I snapped a couple shots with my iPhone right in front of some of the Deputies when one asked me what I was doing. I told him I was taking a picture of the sign on the wall. He then told me that he thought it was against the law to do that. He then conferred with another deputy that said it was against the law. He then asked me if I could delete the picture. I told him that it was too late – it was already, “in the cloud”! He asked me what I was taking the picture for. I said it was for my blog and that I cover interesting events in the community. The deputy admonished me that this was no good and that I need to get permission to take pictures. He repeated I better delete the picture when I get home and that it was a misdemeanor. I shrugged then left.
I was wondering if this was going to happen in SF. A lot of Gaza protesters were riding BART to SF on Saturday morning. Seeing the two groups together would have been interesting. I was taking BART from Oakland to SF on this morning so Dru could pick me up at the Balboa station so we could get the heck out of town. Everyone had pants.
Macworld is starting tomorrow. I’ll be showing up to check out all the new stuff and more importantly to see and meet friends from near and far. I’ll be tweeting @davebryan for updates on my whereabouts.
Wednesday and Thursday nights will probably be the nights I stay out late.
Who knows what will come out since Apple is trying to downplay the event as a launching event for new products. There will probably be some updates or maybe something big – nice, now that our expectations are lowered!