East and West

If it was Tuesday, it was East Oakland, my old neighbourhood of Fruitvale.  It’s been partially transformed by the new BART plaza, International School and the continuing build out of Clinica de la raza. And much of it remains brilliantly unchanged: the Aloha bar was being repainted, and La Mexicana (best home made tortillas in town–25 years ago) was closed, but the jeweler-cum-record shop was as always, as were the twin blue spires of Saint Elizabeth.

We found a stupendous garden, high with corn, ribboned with chayote and guarded by nopales.  For lunch, there was a sope, a chile relleno, a quesadilla and an enchilada suissa. My former dwelling place has been gated but the building doesn’t seem to have gone much downhill.

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And then, when it was Wednesday, we went west–first to SF and then to West Oakland, where the Victorians still line the streets–and some even get fresh paint. We stumbled onto an artists colony, an urban farm, and the memorial to Loma Prieta’s removal of the Cypress structure.  Those pictures tomorrow.

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