In the shadow of the 2. North Oakland sits the Temescal, one of the city's oldest and most storied neighborhoods. In fact, it began as a separate village, a stop along the railway line that ran up Telegraph Avenue from downtown Oakland to Berkeley. Given the current conditions in Oakland, it's perhaps ironic that the village voted to become part of the city in 1. Over the course of its long existence, Temescal has boasted many landmarks.
There was the Lusk Cannery, one of the world's largest fruit and vegetable packers in the last half of the 1. The Lusk grounds included a blacksmith, stables and men's and women's dormitories for the hundreds of employees (today, the Department of Motor Vehicles on Claremont Avenue occupies the spot). A Little Italy thrived on Telegraph, and just up the street sat Idora Park, an amusement park of wooden roller coasters, a skating rinks and games. The arrival of the 2. Temescal, while Broadway continues to define the eastern limits of the neighborhood; 5. Street, more or less, provides the northern border, and 4. Street the southern ( see a map ).
Now, after decades of recovering from the construction of the freeway, Temescal is experiencing a revival of fortune. The main business corridor of Telegraph Avenue is bustling with shops and restaurants whose owners found an affordable neighborhood in which to hang their shingles. From the south, Oakland's Koreatown spills into this neighborhood, while the northern edge has several restaurants catering to the Eritrean diaspora that has rooted itself in the East Bay. Long- time residents mix it up with first- time home buyers and the overflow of employees from the nearby Children's Hospital. All of these communities come together to foment the activity the Temescal has today. For specific instructions on getting there by public transit, use the 5. Driving, take the 5.
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Street exit from 2. East. Turn right onto 5. Street and right on Telegraph Avenue.
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Folks in need of assistance with citizenship, housing, health care, domestic violence and many other issues can call or stop in. The focus is on seniors, youth, women and immigrants, but anyone with a problem can come in for help or a referral. Telegraph Ave., (5. Not sure how that happened, but Andrew Carnegie paid for it in the early 2. One wing caters to children, while the other offers fiction, nonfiction, audio books and videos.
Best of all, the basement has the much- used and much- loved Tool Lending Library. Need a pole pruner for a one- time tree job? Cement finishing tools? Drills, routers or sanders? You're in luck, but remember that you only have three days to use the tools, and the late fees are steep, at least by library standards.
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Telegraph Avenue, (5. Although the actual creek remains culverted and underground, the city pumps water into a recreated creek bed situated above the culvert ..
At Hardy Park on the Temescal- Rockridge border, the fun begins with a dog run underneath the 2. Freeway. If your dog has sunlight issues, this is the place for him. A big play set is fenced off for the little ones, with sand and dragons and slides to keep them busy. By following the creek greenbelt as it heads southwest, you'll cross a few streets, wander right through the DMV parking lot, and down Redondo Avenue. At the corner of Redondo and Clarke Street, the creek bubbles past Redondo Park. Here sits another play area, with a tiny Old West town, a tee- pee and a pirate ship, all perfectly placed in the shade of several redwood trees. Between Redondo and Hardy Streets, one block east of Claremont Avenue.
Currently, there appear to be more workshops than performances, but where else can you take a class in Japanese Butoh? Or Burlesque performance?
Yoga and dance classes are also offered. Check the schedule for performances and film nights. St., (5. 10) 9. 23- 1. Skills taught run from bookmaking to photography to yoga, and classes are all taught by working artists. Once home to an orphanage, the historic (1. The recently remodeled pool provides year- round adult lap swimming, youth swimming lessons and recreational swimming during the summer. Studio One: 3. 65 4.
St., (5. 10) 5. 97- 5. Web site ); Temescal Pool: 3. St., (5. 10) 5. 97- 5. Web site ). Sagrada Sacred Arts: Duck into this shop to soothe your soul with things spiritual. For over a decade, Sagrada has offered meditation bells, rosaries, vestments, candles and icons for a variety of religious and spiritual interests. The book selection is thorough and if there's one you want not in stock, the expert staff can track it down for you. There's also a well- stocked children's book section that introduces themes of belief and faith to the young ones.
Telegraph Avenue, (5. Held in mid- June, the event highlights neighborhood artists, restaurants and merchants. This year, a main stage and a children's stage kept everyone entertained with Korean drummers, belly dancers, martial arts and a juggler.
For now, the Temescal Street Fair is definitely mellower than most of its Bay Area counterparts, which makes it a great place to spend a summer afternoon. Telegraph Avenue between 5.
Streets. For a peek at Mexican cuisine, there are few places as good as Do. The homemade sauces and seasonings bring the mother country home in dishes such as enchiladas moles, carnitas and sopa albondigas. The corn pudding and greens side dishes have their own well- deserved reputations. The cuisine level of cooking, of course, means cuisine prices - - this is one Mexican dinner you might want to charge. Telegraph Ave., (5. The covered windows and low door, combined with an interior made snug by almost too many tables and subtle lighting, look much like the small sushi, tonkatsu and udon spots on Tokyo side streets and in suburban Japanese malls.
From just about every seat in the house, you can watch the friendly chefs at Koryo craft sashimi, teriyaki and tempura. All reminders of the loud, hot, rude world beyond the portals can easily be erased by ordering the five shots of sake for $1. Telegraph Ave., (5.
Koryo Wooden Charcoal BBQ: The first thing you notice hanging in the corner of the Koryo Village Center is a huge banner that politely reminds you not to leave your cell phone in your car (lest it be stolen). After securing your phone, walk under the banner and into one of the best places around to experience Korean barbecue.
The cooking apparatus is brought to your table, along with raw food, and you get to cook your meal just how you like it (and you can only blame yourself if the meal comes out wrong). The accompanying panchan, or side dishes, is praised as among the best in the Bay Area. This is a popular, if nondescript place to go with family or friends until the wee hours (though after midnight, the professional chefs usually do all the cooking). Telegraph Ave., (5.
The corn tortillas are fresh and dry- grilled, unless you go for broke with the house- specialty tacos made with crisp- fried tortillas and melted cheese. The pasilla- charged sopa de tortilla is a steamy, spicy winter hit. Wash it all down with beer and soju margaritas. Lanesplitter Pizza and Pub: You can buy a lot of pizza in the Temescal, but your best bets are either at Pizzaiolo or Lanesplitter.
The former (described below) is to pizza what romance is to dating. Lanesplitter, on the other hand, is the lusty side of the equation. Here, the crust is pliable, the cheese is tender, the sauce is thick, hot and ever so spicy.
Yes, it is getting hot in here! Order a couple of slices and a brew (there are even good vegan pizza options here), or be completely freaky and have a calzone. But please, no tongue! Telegraph Ave., (5. People come from near, far and further to pack the wooden booths and crowd the tables for blueberry or banana pancakes, french toast, omelette specials and egg dishes. This is the kind of place the great unwashed and just awoken come to slurp java and blush or brag over last night's adventures. The service is uneven, and often negligent, but then you don't come to Mama's for the service.
Broadway, (5. 10)5. Pizzaiolo: If you like your pizza closer to cuisine than takeout, try the thin- crust, wood- fired pies at Pizzaiolo, which was opened recently by veterans of Chez Panisse. The menu changes daily, but toppings include eggplant, mint, broccoli rabe, capers, rocket and speck. Also choose from a few lovely pasta dishes, antipasti and sides of polenta (especially good for tiding diners over when the pizza oven faces a backup).
The high ceiling/big window/wood furniture atmosphere is typical, but don't hold that against the pizza. Everything is made with sustainable ingredients, and desserts can be washed down with the much- beloved Blue Bottle Coffee. Note that they do not take reservations, but you can wait at the bar.
Telegraph Ave., (5. Near- boiling pots of soft tofu stew are brought to your table, containing some combination of dumplings, seafood, beef, pork or mushrooms. There are also several barbecue items on the menu, as well as a ginseng chicken soup that arrives as a whole chicken floating in broth. The heavy wooden tables and benches bring to mind a roadside inn. Telegraph Ave., (5. There are also, however, recipes with shrimp as the main ingredient, which isn't seen very often on such menus. Vegetarians have plenty of items to choose from as well.
The white tablecloths and wicker screens make this one of the nicer Horn of Africa restaurants in the neighborhood. Claremont Ave., (5. Snapper, calms, calamari, sole and catfish with or without its bones are all served hot with a crisp outer shell of batter. Each comes with a delicious side, and you can also order some of those seafood staples in the form of burgers.
The decor is minimalist, with a few barstools for those who insist on eating in. Telegraph Ave., (5. Sahn Maru Korean Barbecue: Sahn Maru stands out from the dizzying number of Korean eateries lining the avenue by introducing a touch of class to the experience. The barbecue is not cooked at your table, but brought by waiters outfitted in traditional Korean garb.