Watching the summer sunset behind Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin is the perfect setting for a dinner picnic. This weekend is Memorial Day: the unofficial start of summer in much of the United States and the perfect time (i.e. time off) for picnics and barbecuing. Though this picture came from another big barbecuing holiday (Independence Day), the scene is likely to be replicated this weekend.
From the graffitied logs of Berkeley’s Grizzly Peak, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco make for an incredible view—when they’re visible. The dramatic high clouds of winter are replaced by an all-shrouding marine layer in the summer that often turns the peak into a cloud bank. On the lucky nights when the marine layer is delayed, the bridge and city lights have a moment to shine before the blanket falls.
Given the extraordinary nature of the Normandy Village, “regular” cars seem oddly out of place. Perhaps that in part because the average car has grown so significantly in size since the little bays of the village were built.
The foreground of an image from the Berkeley Hills is usually a dark network of trees and trails, but the conveniently timed headlights of a car at Lawrence Hall of Science lit up the dry grasses of midsummer. Their oranges matched the sunset.
I never thought much of Berkeley’s Cedar Street during my time in graduate school, but returning for sabbatical brought me a very different connection with it. Cedar functioned as the main connection from my apartment on Spruce to Shattuck’s Gourmet Ghetto, and so I traveled it for every purpose from getting coffee and groceries to an extravagant dinner at Chez Panisse.