One of Berkeley’s oldest neighborhoods, Westbrae offers the perfect blend of cultural diversity, tranquil gardens and parks, and affordability. Tree-lined streets are filled with Craftsman bungalows, Spanish-Revival cottages, and post-war modern homes plus a few remaining Victorians and farm houses. Wonderful Cedar-Rose Park boasts three acres comprising of a huge grassy area for picnicking, two enclosed playgrounds, and tennis courts. Ohlone Greenway slices through Westbrae offering a pleasant walking or biking shortcut to BART, plus Gilman Street offers easy freeway access. Local shops and restaurants include Berkeley Natural Grocery, Lalimes, Coffee Conscious, and my family’s very own, Reliance Antiques. If ever you need your Wedgewood or O’Keefe & Merritt stove repaired, or are searching for beautiful antique pine furniture, please pay my family’s business a visit! Located on the corner of Gilman and Sixth Streets, kitty corner from Lalimes’ sister restaurant, popular Jimmy Beans.
Craftsman bungalows and early 20th century architecture are abundant in the quaint community of Temescal. Primarily a single family neighborhood, many homes boast large flat backyards and beautiful gardens. The population here frequents the establishments of Telegraph Avenue, a hot spot during its annual street fair. Bakesale Bettys is all the rage for the best homemade pastries in town and the cultural diversity in the restaurant scene includes Burmese, Moroccan, Spanish, and Mexican dining. In high school, I’d go off campus for lunch and frequent the Giovanni’s authentic Italian deli. One of Oakland’s oldest neighborhoods, Temescal is a stone’s throw to the MacArthur BART station as well as bus lines and freeways.
Arguably the most coveted Oakland neighborhood, the Rockridge district offers residents a social atmosphere, ease of transportation, and a mix of mansions, cottages, and bungalows. College Avenue presents a mix of elegant dining with everyday eateries, quaint boutiques, and popular pubs. The nightlife on College Ave. buzzes with locals enjoying the amenities. My parents spoiled us with Zachary’s Pizza on most Sunday afternoons for the best stuffed deep dish pizza anywhere! BART and bus lines stream through the community with freeway access nearby. Vintage Arts and Crafts bungalows on established leafy streets are found throughout the flats; in upper Rockridge you’ll find modern mansions with premiere bay views. These fine ingredients make Rockridge an ideal locale.