I realize that many of the steps and paths were created for strictly utilitarian use. But now that I’ve seen how lovely some of them are, it’s hard to settle for concrete steps and some railing. But, as they say, it’s all in the journey. And that was especially true of my walk to and from the Eunice Steps.
First of all, although the Eunice Steps are #19 on the list, they are nowhere near either #18 (the Barbara Path) or #20 (the Boynton Walk). In fact, in order to find them, I walked south on Ensenada through new territory, discovering many pleasant sites as I zigzagged my way along, walking a few blocks on busy Marin Avenue before cutting further south on Colusa.
Then I turned east briefly on Monterey Avenue before walking down Fresno until I hit Sonoma, which brought me to the intersection of Hopkins St. and the Alameda, right before it turns into Martin Luther King Jr. Way. There sits the lovely North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library. In front of it, cars idled at traffic lights, a gaggle of middle-school girls swapped stories, bicyclists whizzed by, and two preschoolers played in and under a large tree next to the library while Mom watched. But I had not yet reached my destination, so I forged on.
Continuing on Yolo Avenue put me behind the School of the Madeleine, a Catholic K-8, where children were enjoying the beautiful weather on the playground just on the other side of the chain-link fence.
There was no marker of any kind, but it was clear that I’d found the Eunice Steps, so I took the obligatory photo and dutifully climbed them.
I was delighted to find another Little Free Library, although I thought it somewhat odd that someone had placed inside it a program from a recent Shotgun Players’ production of Mousetrap. I suppose it was someone’s way of recommending the play?
On the way home, I encountered a gate without a fence, the second such gate on my walks. I wonder: Was there once a fence that had been removed, but the owner liked the gate too much to get rid of it? Or was there never a fence, but the resident thought the gate was a nice decorative touch? Or is it some sort of statement about private property and community? Your thoughts? And considering his line about good fences making good neighbors, what would Robert Frost think?