Oakland: Follow in the 36 Hours In… Footsteps

On Sunday, SMS and I headed into Oakland for some urban exploring.  We were mostly following recommendations from the “36 Hours In…” article although we planned to end at one of our favorite restaurants, Hopscotch.

Temescal Alley

First, we stopped in the Temescal neighborhood, where we explored the two pedestrian alleys filled with artists’ shops.  As the NYTimes implied, think real-life Etsy.  The shops were pretty cool.  We bought prints from a pop-up shop.  We listened to someone play an electric keyboard/synthesizer and throughout the entire time, we couldn’t quite get the point of the store or its economic viability.  We also went into a florist specializing in succulents.  We bought coffees and capped off our visit with walnut-pecan pie with Molasses Ginger Ice Cream from Curbside Creamery.  It was a pretty cool place and it was fun to check out.  I also talked to Ed on the phone for a bit, which was also great and I’m hoping that he’ll come out and visit at some point.  He also told me a hilarious story from childhood involving “Free Kicks” at soccer practice which, since I have no memory of it, I’m still not completely sure I believe.

Oh!  And an artist whose stuff I’d like to see more of is Meghan Shimek.  No need to write that down, just a note to myself!

Afterwards, we drove over to the Mountain View (holler!) Cemetery (sad trombone!) to check out the Frederick Law Olmsted designed park-like layout. Uh, ok 36 Hours, you go on ahead and recommend a cemetery, I guess.  It wouldn’t be on my list although it was kind of cool that the Chapel of the Chimes outside the gate was designed by Julia Morgan, also famous for designing Hearst Castle.

Near Middle Shoreline “Park”  Nope, nope, nope.

Next, we went to what I think is the worst recommendation on the list.  Granted, it was dark and the area pretty deserted which never makes me think that good things are about to happen, but who recommends a “park” in the middle of a super industrial area/shipyard?  So weird!  It wasn’t even that great a view of the Skyline (don’t worry, we stayed in the car and didn’t stay long just in case the sole person around happened to be Marvin the Mugger).  So, anyway, I dispute the recommendation for Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.  Also, for the hassle of getting there, especially for a carless tourist, there are way better viewpoints, at least in San Francisco, that would be worth traveling to.

Slightly creepy, but I guess sight-impaired accessible, Remember Them monument

After driving by the “park,” we went to Hopscotch for dinner where we shared the Holiday Goose Dinner for Two.  It was fun to try something so new.  The first course was a charcuterie board featuring goose pate and goose prosciutto.  The second course was sous vide goose leg and sous vide  then seared goose breast (yum).  It was delicious and even though I’m not scouring restaurants for my next fix of goose, it was exciting to have such a holiday-themed dinner.  I felt like Tiny Tim!

Hopscotch

After dinner, we headed home.  It was a fun Oakland day, even if “36 Hours” articles are sometimes a little weird (don’t get me started on the 36 Hours in San Luis Obispo when really, the article featured the entire Central Coast.  There are rules!  Or if not, there should be!).

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