Today I moved from the hills to another Berkeley neighborhood–the area east of what’s known as Gourmet Ghetto. I began at Live Oak Park, which is home to its own theater, a tot playground, picnic tables, and lots of green space, which provides multiple areas to throw down your blanket and read a book, eat your lunch in the sun or shade, or just get in some good people watching.
And in fact a woman was there training her dog, an older man was practicing some sort of yoga or meditation on a mat, and a guy was sitting atop a picnic table, leaning over listening to his headphones, showing way too much butt crack. I did not take a photo.
The map depicts the Berryman Path (#97) as basically a pedestrian continuation of Berryman Street, beginning on the north side of the building that houses the theater. But I saw no signage pointing the way, so I meandered a bit through the park on a path that was more winding than straight. Codornices Creek runs through the park, and one of the bridges spanning the creek was just asking me to cross it. So I complied.
The path continues beneath Walnut Street, where I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing a splendid mural of Sojourner Truth only somewhat spoiled by tags.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but despite living in the Bay Area since 1984, I never knew about the Berkeley Art Center, which I ran into while following Berryman Path. Apparently they conduct classes, have exhibitions, and sponsor family activities. I could learn how to create origami earrings, make a kite, or view artwork that uses tennis as a metaphor. (No, I don’t quite get it either.) It’s rather tucked away, so I probably never would have seen it had I not been walking. I am making a vow right now to investigate BAC more fully and take advantage of this heretofore unknown (to me) resource!
The last section of Berryman Path borders Congregation Beth El, where I think I heard the last throes of summer camp. Flat and grassy, it’s a leisurely walk that gives one a peek into the oddly shaped raised beds in the synagogue’s garden. The northern side of the path abuts a house currently undergoing major renovations. Two men stood on the roof, and several more were conversing in Spanish amid some loud machinery.
From there I walked a block of Spruce where one house was completely sealed off for pest extermination. When I hit the four-way stop on Rose Street, I turned left and headed east. The vibe on this particular walk is definitely more city than any of my walks up in the hills. After all, Peet’s (original) coffee shop is a mere block away, and the four-lane thoroughfare of Shattuck is only a block further. This was no hike in the country.
Rose Glen Alley (#99) doesn’t go all the way through, but what’s there is a wide, paved street that provides access to the garages of some houses and apartments. But it was quiet, and the only cars I saw were parked. Near the end is a basketball hoop, beyond which is a patch of grass and a short, steep drop to Glen Avenue, one that I didn’t feel compelled to scramble down.
My return route was slightly different and afforded me different photo opportunities, including this historical plaque marking the site of Hunrick’s Grocery Store, established in 1908 by German immigrant George Hunrick. It later became Rose Grocery, but it was in pretty bad shape when it closed in 1966. Now it’s been completely redone and it’s lovely, but it’s no longer a food outlet, even though it has a new paint job that declares it Rose Grocery. Huh.