i took another walk and would you like to see the pictures? no one is forcing you either way. the internet is about freedom. freedom and web addresses.

 
     
   
     
  i took a walk with my mom on a sunday. we started out in montclair, which is a cutesy little neighborhood with a tight, tight anus. just look at that clock. it's up in the hills and there are a lot of coffee shops and places for old ladies to buy colorful, cheaply-made accessories.  
     
   
     
  which is exactly what my mom did.  
     
   
     
  already you lose interest, but note that this is a subaru XT, a profoundly cool and misunderstood car from the 80's.  
     
 
 
     
  this is what the steering wheel of this car looks like. now can you see that i am serious?  
     
   
     
 

walking home via a deliberately unfamiliar route down monterey boulevard, we notice that the area becomes increasingly wooded, with the dwindling houses shrouded in the cloak of gaia, one might say were one fruity.

soon, there appeared a place to enter the woods, a TRAILHEAD if you will, and we found ourselves on this forest path that led up and down and around.

 
     
   
     
 

faded graffiti makes drainlike structure instantly cool.

oakland is an unusual place, a mixture of urbanity and a hidden wilderness, all of it bordering on decay. mind you, i think decay is a singularly beautiful thing.

 
     
   
     
 

so this was dimond canyon park apparently. also, G#2, for all those keeping score at home.

 
     
 
 
     
 

last time i walked home from montclair, i simply went down park boulevard. back then i found three golf balls on the ground, which was the highlight of my day at the time, the acquisition of free items being my ardent ongoing desire as a jew. verily i knew well the impressive dimond canyon, across which there was indeed foresty parkland, but i assumed it was all private parcels owned by grubby people, what with their moneybaggery. turns out it was this park, as you see.

so anyway, according to this map we had entered at the monterey blvd TRAILHEAD (this map is where i learned that word, also map appears courtesy Friends of Sausal Creek). we were following the double-dotted line. the part where it's only a single-dotted line? that's where jesus carried me.

 
     
   
     
  sure enough, the path soon opened into sunlight and began running southerlyways, parallel to the canyon. across it you can see park blvd if you choose to look at the picture at all. that aqueduct-like bridge structure is pretty cool ... underneath the arches is one of those densely-littered areas in which kids have clearly been hanging out for decades, sniffing helium and drinking rich, sweet pop.  
     
   
     
  zooming far in from the canyon ledge, we find the source of my free golf balls: ballwhacking douchebags with unreliable aim.  
     
   
     
  after a while the canyon shallows up, and gradually meets ground level. detail of sign, foreground:  
     
   
     
  "keep oakland clean and beautiful". not pictured: effortless irony.  
     
   
     
  the path begins to thin out, opening onto a clearing with increasing signs of homeownership.  
     
   
     
  i don't know what your opinion is on the matter, but if you ask me that is a perfectly normal way to want to build stairs.  
     
   
     
  and so after about an hour since we entered the TRAILHEAD the park abruptly ends, and leads onto a normal street. this is looking back wherefrom we emerged. no parking any time. no parking any time.  
     
   
     
  the street it leads onto -- bridgeview drive -- is just like the rest of the oakland i've experienced: a complex juxtaposition of the beautiful and the weirdly old. for example, this expansive house at 4382 bridgeview is really pretty (and offered for sale, please go here for details) ...  
     
   
     
  ... but then this house right next to it looks like a rejected design from a 1978 playmobil set, yellowing in its dejected designer's musky closet. it becomes hard to imagine the mindset of the architect beyond just "i'm gonna build something long and queer with some windows".  
     
   
     
  and parked in front of it is this intensely weird, old BMW. that is some strange aftermarket roof business that i simply do not understand. i'm not saying it's bad looking, i'm just saying i do not feel good when i view it.  
     
   
     
  then moving right along, another gorgeous mediterranean house with really tasteful and intricate iron latticework. i digg++ the old-school tv antenna, that really brings back memories ... of BAD RECEPTION!  
     
   
     
  lol memories  
     
   
     
  this house looks like it will be haunted in like 20 years or so, right? it has a ton of roof surface area, and a charming cupola. also, i know what a cupola is. (yes yes you've seen the cupola in florence, A+++ would do business again)  
     
   
     
  stencilled drain sign courtesy Friends of Sausal Creek.  
     
   
     
  houses built on hills always look really, really big on one side, an interesting phenomenon which i'm sure tim knows much about and could educate us, if only he were coherent. this cool triangular-porched behemoth probably looks quite humble from the street.  
     
   
     
  this homeowner has improved the appearance of his garage by inserting a stone face and applying a blue flame effect inexpertly.  
     
   
     
  this homeowner's garage is similarly augmented by the excellent idea we see here.  
     
   
     
  this was awesome whether you're a boy or a girl: here we have a totally radical ford falcon 4-door wagon from the early 60's -- don't see these too often at all ...  
     
   
     
  ... and then, the very next car up, a falcon 2-door coupe -- with futura trim! when i saw this second falcon i fulminated noisily.  
     
   
     
  and then, as though a lively and good-humored aperitif, this snappy little firebird with powder blue sunbursts. what do you think about the appearance of this automobile?  
     
   
     
  as we got closer to home, a view of the lonely laurel street palm.  
     
   
     
  she's really very nice once you get to know her.  
     
   
     
  one of my favorite styles of architecture is this quintessentially 50's aesthetic, which is everywhere in oakland. there can't be many ideas more charming than the past's idea of the future; check that row of windows up top, how cool must that room look on the inside?  
     
   
     
  and its neighbor, with a roof like the fins of a '57 chevy. and again the corny old antenna!  
     
   
     
  i've included this picture of a rare moto guzzi motorcycle only because i had to stand there for about 30 seconds pretending to do something else until the woman who lived there went inside. by that point, i was no longer interested in the bike, but felt compelled to take a quick picture, as the woman, clearly suspicious, peered at me from the front window.  
     
   
     
  this generation of honda civic -- once utterly ubiquitous on the east coast -- has now essentially vanished from the tri-state area. they simply no longer exist there, let alone in such creamy raspberry delectitude as this. i include it here as monument to its memory, also i wish to touch it inappropriately.  
     
   
     
 

our walk ended the same way all walks here seem to end: within the phallic embrace of the mormon spaceship. what could be more normal!

 
     
 
 
     
  and so another sojourn had ended, with sights seen, and memories made. thank you for sharing them with me, now go do something else please.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
     
  ps i did some teaching at a music school south of oakland ... amongst the stickers and toys for the children to enjoy, there was the above eraser. that can't be appropriate, can it?