The Yay Area

Cushioned in the nook with which I have been thoughtfully been provided by my Berkeley associate, whom we’ll call ‘K’ for internet reasons, I can hear the mournful call of the huge trains sidling up and down the Amtrack line which runs up the East coast of the Bay. It’s weird that I can hear them, because they’re a really, really long way away, a fact I know because I walked there today – infinite blocks of an infinite grid, how anyone finds anywhere is beyond me – and managed to get a very mild sun tan in the process (January! California!).

Flanked on one side by the railway, and on the other by the freeway, the discretely-hidden Aquatic Park is a haven for frisbee golf (no idea) and large pelicans (hilarious). The campus of an extremely large¬†pharmaceutical company, spanning several blocks, made finding the entrance impossible for staunch ally ‘J.’ (internet reasons) and I, and a route to the nearby marina – with beautiful views across to San Fransisco – was also¬†counter-intuitive. America was not built for pedestrians. But in the pelicans, which also did a victory flyby for the ferry I took across the Bay yesterday; in the oranges and avocados and sushi I’ve lately been guzzling; in the antiquated aesthetic of the urban transit systems; in the good-natured contentment of every resident I’ve so far met – in all these and more, there is much to admire about this place. I’ve done a lot of sidling down Berkeley’s famous Telegraph Avenue (went into the place that claimed to have invented the latte; had a root beer float). Yesterday I covered several miles of San Fransisco’s mission district, its Nob Hill (actually), Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, Fort Mason. I saw trolley buses and Sea Lions. I also nearly died getting lost in the scummier end of the West Oakland docks – my pigeon-like instinctive attraction towards terrifying industrial environments may one day be my undoing – but survived, intact if sore of foot, ready to stroll another day. There’s been a lot of strolling, in short, and despite occasionally resisting it, this landscape has come over very well. LA and the Bay Area are supposed to be opposites, but I find myself bewitched by both, and hope I get an excuse to return one day.

This entry was posted in Diary Entry. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *