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Old 02-18-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
garbribre
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General Landscapes of the Bay Area

Intended or not.

(I'm just shootin' off all over the place here.)

Reason?
Revelation time.
I have decided to leave the Bay Area for a while.

Requests for scenes, views, random objects of interest or otherwise can be accommodated only for a few more months, or weeks. Remaining time-frame depends on my impulse control. Heheh


Now, on to a topic--what defines California, in my generational mind anyway?
Highway-oriented development and the signage that accompanied it.

This is from just one small segment/block along a tiny stretch of the original north-south route that carried cars from Oakland to San Jose, before the interstate/highway system was developed, as we now know it.
















Smatterings of abandoned, derelict stretches, some not too far from where the tourist minions hold sway, exist all over the Bay Area. Not hard to find, then. If you have your own visions, by all means, post them. (Soon, because you know I'll change the topic to something else in a few days.)
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:23 AM   #2
czsz
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

It's easy to forget, glancing at its quaint city centres, how much the sprawling Bay Area really resembles its ballooning cousins to the south.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:41 AM   #3
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

If you have explored out here enough, consider University Avenue in Berkeley which runs west from downtown Berkeley to the Bay, or San Pablo Avenue which runs into downtown Oakland, on a similar axis as the roadway pictured in the first post above, from the North Bay at the entrance to the Delta. Both of those stretches are much like what is pictured above, though not as abandoned as this, well, in Berkeley anyway.

For all its urbanity, Berkeley has some horrible planning outside its three, maybe four, major neighborhood centers. Having I80 cut Berkeley off from the Bay and its resultant industrial zone along this corridor doesn't help that entire western part of the city much, either. Profoundly ugly gateway for most people who drive into Berkeley for the first time.

I guess most cities have this, though. Entering Boston from, oh, Everett along Route 99 is a good example for some of you to equate this to. Doesn't mean it should be acceptable though!

However, would you categorize it as good grit? Hmmmmm .... ?
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

I prefer this desolate type of grit for nostalgic reasons, I guess. Nothing is more painful to my eyes than a new lifestyle center sprouting up to 'reinvigorate' an area. Think of Rt 1 in Dedham (and it's ongoing transformation to blahness).

There are still vestiges of pre-Silicon San Jose left standing. Consider (from svmodern.com):



The new fancy-schmancy malls, etc. are just as autocentric, but infinitely more soulless. To an observer, San Jose is just Fresno with computer money. You'd think that would make a real, outward difference, but it doesn't (aside from the crappy light rail system).

How about a picture taken right off the nicest freeway this side of the PCH (by MumbleyJoe):



Sneaking up to that satellite dish (gated off by barbed wire, etc.) is a fun nighttime activity for us undergrads...

Finally, if you want a taste of the 'real' California, go to Zott's (a.k.a the Alpine Inn), pic taken by Rafa Assump:



It's literally a bike ride away from the Stanford campus (not that any normal person wouldn't drive) Mmmm...pitchers of beer, lounging around outside by a creek, with the occasional visit by passing equestrians...Sweet.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

There's always Route 1 north of Boston. I was on the Saugus Lynnfield stretch last year and that still has some classic ticky tacky. However, yes, much of the mid-century novelty is disappearing. Pity.

C'mon blade! Using others' pics! Shame. Get out onto El Camino Real and capture some really fine examples. Also, need better pics of that sand gnome house (priceless!) along I280--America's Most Scenic Highway, doncha know. (Now that we may have a few other forumers intrigued, you are shamed into going out and doing it.)

I love the old Century Cinemas! The insides, if not remodeled, are classic, too. I've been to the one in Pleasant Hill, between Concord and Walnut Creek, out in the East Bay hinterlands. It's been years since I drove that way to see if it was still intact/functioning.

BTW--I had tons of pics from up north--Oregon and Washington--where the desolate grit would make your head spin. Alas, most of those pics were lost in the great computer crashes of 2006 and 07. (Yes, twice in less than six months. I didn't learn. )

I've never been to the Alpine. Another must add to the to do list before I run away. The list is becoming too much to handle.


An Oakland Classic


Last edited by garbribre; 02-18-2009 at 06:29 PM. Reason: add pic
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

Quote:
Originally Posted by garbribre View Post
There's always Route 1 north of Boston. I was on the Saugus Lynnfield stretch last year and that still has some classic ticky tacky. However, yes, much of the mid-century novelty is disappearing. Pity.
You've got to make the scene at The Continental. It's still 1974 in their dining room. I was there for dinner two weeks ago -- still good, if a bit uninventive.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

Hah, for shame indeed. Unfortunately, I cannot take any of my own shots as I'm currently 'stuck' in Oxford for a short stint. Pulling all-nighters locked away in libraries half-a-millennium old has me pining for California (I'd be safe and warm, if I was in LA). But yeah, the abundance of establishments serving "real ale" more than makes up for the weather and whatever else.

So how long do you expect this 'break' to last?
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
garbribre
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

Oxford, MS?
Cool little college town.
Never took it for a pub town, though.


Wait.... You aren't anywhere near LA when you're here, so you'll never be warm, even on the Peninsula. What you should be thinking is be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Is there a song about the Peninsula? Probably not. Sad place, indeed. :p

BBrut--OMG! I know that place. We had functions there. Violent, spastic flashbacks to polyester shirts, leisure suits with wide pointy collars, and textured, plaid bell bottoms in colors not found in nature. Oh, the awkward teen years.

My fave along that road was always seeing Russo's Candy because we knew that when we saw the building and neon sign, we were almost at the Fellsway and those fab christmas lights of Saugus were just around the corner.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

Quote:
Is there a song about the Peninsula?
Do you know the way to San Jos?? I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jos
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:34 PM   #10
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

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Originally Posted by garbribre View Post
My fave along that road was always seeing Russo's Candy...
Russo's fell to Krispy Kreme in 2002. It folded in last year. The new building is being repurposed as a bank.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:20 PM   #11
garbribre
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Re: General Landscapes of the Bay Area

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Do you know the way to San Jos?? I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jos?.
Nope. San Jose is not the Peninsula.
(And who finds peace of mind in San Jose? What was that all about? Ha.)


The closest we can come is probably the Stanford fight song.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Beton Brut View Post
Russo's fell to Krispy Kreme in 2002. It folded in last year. The new building is being repurposed as a bank.

Nnnnnnooooooooooooo! *sniffling*

My expectation is destroyed.

I don't think I can come back now.
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