SEARCH: Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California
By Sumiko Saulson

CITY SPOTLIGHT BERKELEYBerkeley is a progressive college town, well known for its commitment to arts, culture, and the ecology. It’s the first US city to create accessible spaces and curbside cutouts for the mobility impaired back in the seventies.

Farmer’s markets, pro-cyclist events like Sunday Streets Berkeley, plentiful bicycle lanes, and automobile-free zones, community gardens, composting, recycling centers, urban farming, and parks dedicated to preserving native wildlife are part of how Berkeley works towards a greener planet.

University of California Berkeley is home to a beautifully manicured thirty-four acre botanical garden featuring foot bridges, relaxing streams, lush flora, and aromatic flowers from around the globe. It’s Student Organic Garden at the corner of Walnut and Virginia Streets, encourages urban farmers to grow healthy, earth-friendly fresh foods…continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

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SEARCH: Rodeo, California

Rodeo, California
By Leslie Light

RodeoRodeo, California was not my first choice to live in. It’s a small town on the north-western edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. It isn’t tony, or upscale, or even hipster. What it is, however, is easy. Easy to get to and out of. Easy to stay in and make a quiet home. We’ve been here five years and will probably stay five more.

Rodeo is bisected by the I-80 freeway. The built up part of town can be divided into three areas: Old, Mid-Century, and New. Most of the Rodeo town limits is open space where cows graze, and there is rumored to be an old military installation somewhere. Regardless of where you are, you can see a field of grass.

In the “old” part of town are cute three and four bedroom houses built before WWII. Sitting porches with views of rose bushes are the primary look and feel. Many have back decks have a view of San Pablo Bay. Most of the Mid-Century houses were built for…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Galindo House, Concord

Galindo House, Concord
By Emerian Rich

Galindo.jpgMost Concord residents never knew the Galindo house existed until a few years ago when the Concord Historical Society took charge of the estate and cleaned up the trees and greenery in front of it.

Located at 1721 Amador Avenue, Galindo House was built in 1856 for one of Concord’s founders, Don Francisco Galindo and his wife Maria Dolores Manuella Pacheco. The six-room farmhouse sat on the then seventeen-thousand acres of land granted to Galindo after the Mesoamerican War. The names Galindo and Pacheco will sound familiar to residents because many of our streets and buildings are named after the founding fathers. Don Salvio Pacheo’s Adobe at 1870 Abode Street—belonging to Maria’s father—is another notable building still standing from that time period, but Galindo House was the first wooden house built in town. …continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: El Sobrante

El Sobrante
By Emerian Rich

EL SOBRANTE_Rancho El Sobrante used to be the home of the Huichin, an Ohlone Tribe. Spanish missionaries took over the land around 1795, and after Mexico independence from Spain, it was deeded to Juan Jose and Victor Castro. El Sobrante is Spanish for “remaining land” and it’s fitting, given the three odd -shaped pieces of land it covers in-between Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo.

El Sobrante used to have the reputation of being wild but in recent years has become a more family oriented with many parks in the area. Kennedy Grove, for example, is a great place to have picnics or toss around a football. They also have hiking trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities. For water sports, San Pablo Reservoir offers fishing, boat rentals, kayaking, and canoeing. Water birds abound at the reservoir including white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Along the trails, you can see wild turkey, quail, and dove, as well as predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. You might even spy a deer or a bobcat.

The annual El Sobrante Stroll is an event…continue reading in the Fall issue for 2017.

SEARCH: BAY AREA, Maritime Museums

BAY AREA, Maritime Museums
By Sumiko Saulson

As a world-renowned seaport, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to several maritime museums. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is home to two maritime history museums: the J. Porter Shaw Library of Maritime History and the Maritime Museum across from Ghirardelli Square.

Aquatic Park Cove, is an encased area with swimming between Hyde Street Pier and Aquatic Park Pier. There are several historical vessels one can visit along Hyde Street Pier. The oldest, the 1886 squarerigger Balclutha, looks like a pirate ship Vallejo’s Mare Island Strait is home to a haunting series of partially deconstructed naval vessels called the Razorblade Fleet. The Mare Island Museum gives a glimpse into the island’s history with tours of maritime vessels and officer’s quarters. The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum showcases the city’s long history as a naval port. …continue reading in the Summer issue for 2017.

SEARCH: BAY AREA, The Palace of Fine Arts

BAY AREA, The Palace of Fine Arts
By Emerian Rich

pofa8Walking under the grand arches of the Palace of Fine Arts is so breathtaking, I find it hard to compare it to anything in the Bay Area. Sure maybe if you visited the Pyramids of Giza or the Pantheon in Rome, you would feel the same inspiring experience, but this is in our own backyard.

For those of you unaware of the palace’s history, it was constructed in 1915 for the Panama Pacific Exposition. Its purpose was to exhibit art and was to be torn down directly after the event. As one of the only surviving structures of the fair, it’s amazing to note it’s still in the same spot as originally built. Designed by Bernard Maybeck, an arts and crafts movement architect and instructor at UC Berkeley, the structure was inspired by Roman and Greek architecture. While most of the exhibition structures were torn down or relocated after the event, the palace had a friend in Pheobe Apperson Hearst (Mother of William Randolph Hearst). Phoebe, always the activist, founded the Palace Preservation League even while the exhibition was still running. However, while Phoebe had saved the structure, it wasn’t stable…continue reading.

SEARCH: City Spotlight, Vallejo

In the Summer Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
City Spotlight: Vallejo
By Sumiko Saulson

vallejo

“The City of Vallejo is one of the Bay Area’s hidden treasures, an undiscovered summer arts destination located at the northeast corner of the San Pablo Bay. Vallejo was California’s original state capital. Although the title now belongs to Sacramento, Vallejo remains the largest city in Solano County and tenth largest in the Bay Area. Hit hard by the recession, the city made the papers when it was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2008. In the intervening years, it has made a comeback. Vallejo’s Downtown, Marina, and Heritage District have long been the heart of its art scene. The local art scene has expanded in the years since the recession. Increasingly, creative artists and musicians are moving to Vallejo to escape the inflated rents and real estate costs in the rest of the Bay Area. Downtown Vallejo currently features a monthly art walk with live music, an art theater, a dance club, three live music venues, a Saturday farmer’s market with entertainment, several small galleries, and a bookstore…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.