Visited my daughter and Jesus with my dogs. We walked from their place to the nearby park, where to my surprise they have water skiing. It’s right next to the busy freeway and close to downtown Berkeley. What a juxtaposition. Our evening followed a visit to Peet’s Coffee on the newly renewed part of 4th Street, which reminds my daughter and me very much of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Later we had dinner at Herbivore, which I had gone to many times on Valencia Street in San Francisco, but never before at their Berkeley location.
My whole life I remember that strange cubic building on the hillside like the castle I used to see above us when we lived in rural Catalonia. I thought every town had a hill and a building atop it growing up. The couple of years I grew up in NYC it was of course the World Trade Center that I looked up to from Governor’s Island. It was strange then, to learn that not only did Warren Hall, a landmark I always used to find Hayward with from other parts of the Bay area, was not only in disuse, but it would actually be demolished for lack of seismic safety compliance. A few weeks ago my neighbor told me that inspectors had come to prepare his backup for the anticipated 2.2 Richter Scale shudder they were expecting right by the San Andreas fault. I was skeptical about what he was saying until I realized it was this actual planned collapse he was referring to. He was not from the East Bay so he didn’t know the symbolism that I’ve ascribed to this building, the name of which I didn’t even know until this month. How strange would it be if I was still living in New York and was only to discover of the building implosion upon one of my return visits. This, together with the “Bay Bridge-agedon” they are having this weekend is proof that things really do change in this somewhat sleepy, bedroom-ish community south of Oakland and twenty miles outside of San Francisco.