Telegraph connects Oakland and Berkeley (and is a pretty good Michael Chabon book, too.)
University Avenue connects downtown Berkeley with the Interstate. The growth of the city hasn’t been matched by the growth of the road; every year, the avenue transitions further to its (possible) future as a glowing vein of gridlock across the East Bay.
The intersection of Hearst and Euclid was an everyday sight (and site for lunch) during graduate school. Just as daytime settings become otherworldly by night, chronological distance from those days have made the setting alien and exciting. How could this place ever have seemed normal?
A mid-winter shot down Telegraph Ave. to the heart of Oakland (from the top of Berkeley’s Campanile) is more nostalgia-tinged now than when I took it. And I do appreciate the way that this shot captures the Bay and the hills ringing it, the silvan suburbia of the East Bay, and even the oddly broad California streets.
Ultimately, even with the benefit of nostalgia, I still have mixed feelings about Oakland. In some ways, the existence of Oakland allows San Francisco to be an “unbalanced chemical equation,” pushing off many of its problems across the bay. Everything can still look peaceful from a distance.
I’ll sneak in one more unscheduled weekend post with this photograph from St. Lawrence University’s Avenue of the Elms. Some fall afternoons are so perfect that they must be shared.