Central Station

The Bay Area's Newest Destination

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More on Brown Sugar Kitchen

In an unexpected yet highly trafficked location, The Brown Sugar Kitchen, recently mentioned on our blog and featured by NovoMetro, is gaining steam and recognition. Breakfast and lunch seem to be getting bigger and bigger crowds, and the food is filling and tasty.

The location is perfect for people heading to or from San Francisco as it sits less than a mile from the closest on and off ramp to the Bay Bridge, especially if you're in the mood for a good cup of coffee and some food for your daily commute. If you live local, even better to have this hot spot right nearby. With Brown Sugar Kitchen adding another unique option to the mix along with the established Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, good eats are all around.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

John Doe? Not for Long...

With interest rates at near record lows (and actually at record lows with our opportunities for 4.99% Forty Year Fixed, Assumable Financing), and rents rising 9.4% in the Bay Area, over 14% in San Francisco, and 16.3% from 4 years ago, maybe the time has come where it makes some serious sense to start investing in your home instead of your apartment.

Part of this jump in rents is attributed to the strong Bay Area economy, and part is is attributed to tough times for buyers getting financing...but with 4.99% Forty Year Fixed Financing secured, and hopefully a soon to come boost to the conforming loan limit of $417,000, that piece has the potential to become a whole lot easier and more attractive.

Say goodbye to John Doe - As the Pacific Cannery Founders are taking shape, real faces, real homeowners, real entrepreneurs, and real community are coming. They're investing in themselves and making the decision to start having their monthly payments work for them, not against them. Now is a good time to take a look at a rent vs. buy analysis.......here are some of ours.....and here is a chance for you to do your own.


Monday, January 28, 2008

My new favorite........onramp

It's not often that I would get too excited about a freeway onramp. I would, however, always tout how close the last onramp onto the Bay Bridge is to the Pacific Cannery Lofts (less than a mile, and it shoots you straight into a FasTrak lane). Since I make a decent number of trips over to San Francisco (and lived there for the past 4 years), this access point is about as good as it gets.

And I also knew that it was just as quick to get to Gilman Street (6 minutes) on 80 or 880 South for a Warrior's game.

But what I was completely missing in the process was the 580 onramp immediately adjacent to that Bay Bridge onramp. For someone like myself who requires the occaisonal visit for work and for family to Walnut Creek and/or the Rockridge & West Berkeley area, I was able to get to Walnut Creek in 15 minutes and onto Claremont Ave. in less than 6. Perhaps this was my favorite onramp because of the surprise, or perhaps because it completed the compass...I was literally 1 minute away from every major access point going North, South, West, and East. Not bad when the view outside your living room is palm trees and chirping birds.

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We're a geographical George Clinton, the "King of Funk."

Funky Brazilian shack offers up a taste of Rio ...

THE MORE TIME you spend in the Oakland area, you come to realize this is one funky scene. We're a geographical George Clinton, the "King of Funk."

Enjoy a libation at the Kingfish or Last Chance Saloon in Oakland or Croll's in Alameda, or grab a burger at The Smokehouse in Berkeley — it doesn't get any more funky.

But if you want funk, samba-style, there's only place: The Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe. Even the name sounds funky.

The cafe — it hardly resembles one — is one block from the University of California, Berkeley, campus at the corner of University and Walnut. Seeing it for the first time, your immediate thought will be: How did it ever get a building permit? For its architecture is impossible to describe — sort of a shack or a hut or a fort.

But Berkeley is strange, so the cafe fits the city perfectly.

However, if you want genuine Brazilian food, you don't have to go to Rio de Janeiro. Just drive over to Pedro Robin's funky food palace, with the American and Brazilian flags flying above the roof and place your order.

Figuring what to eat will be challenging. The cuisine is quite good and quite varied. Thus making a decision will be harder than doing the samba.
[more] Dave Newhouse's Good Neighbors, Oakland Tribune 01.28.08

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Friday, January 25, 2008

In Style

The Black Dot Artists, located almost immediately next door to the Pacific Cannery Lofts and lead by Marcel Diallo (pictured 3rd from the left), hosted a fundraiser event, "A Conversation with Don Cheadle." Cheadle is a longtime friend of Marcel and was excited to come up to support the Black Dot Artists.

Cheadle was remarkably humble and insightful as he spoke on everything from genocide in Darfur to his family & children to the writer's strike in Hollywood. Speaking of his work in the Darfur region, he said that after seeing some of the atrocities firsthand during the filming of Hotel Rwanda, he had no choice but to become involved.

Pictured in the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle from the event, Rick & Nancy Holliday are above to the right of Don Cheadle.

More shots from the event as pictured in the Chronicle:

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brown Sugar Kitchen

Tanya Holland is bringing her interpretation of soul food to West Oakland with the opening of Brown Sugar Kitchen at 2534 Mandela Parkway. Combining her African-American heritage with her formal training at La Vareene in France, Tanya cooks with soul. Delicious, healthy, fresh soul food, Blue Bottle Coffee, wines from California African-American Vintners and South of France, favorite microbrews and some mouth watering baked goods are some of the tempting items at BSK. Because "soul food" emerged at the same time as soul music, music will be an important part of the experience at Brown Sugar Kitchen. The outer cafe design is still in the works so the building is easy to miss but once inside the experience is warm, classy and rich with aromas that give your salivary glands a start. You can check out the BSK menu and take out menu at www.brownsugarkitchen.com. Go treat yourself!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Playing with Fire

Welding, Blacksmithing, woodworking, ceramics, fire performance, stone work, jewelry making........

A mile from the Pacific Cannery Lofts, students and artists will find The Crucible, a nonprofit that in their words is an "educational facility that fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials, and innovative design while serving as an accessible arts venue for the general public."

From Fire Arts Festivals to Open Houses, the Crucible is hard not to be drawn to. For the next two nights they are celebrating their 9th anniversary with a wide range of awing entertainment.

NovoMetro also posted a great article on some of their lesser known youth programs.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Time Trials 3 - Bay Street to Pacific Cannery Lofts

KB & Steph test the time to the Pacific Cannery Lofts after watching a movie at the AMC Theaters at Bay Street Emeryville. Can they make it back to the Cannery in the amount of time that it takes to leave the parking garage of the AMC Theaters at 1000 Van Ness in San Francisco?

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Pictures Are In...

...From our Founder's Holiday Party. As the holiday season so quickly came and went, the Pacific Cannery Lofts hosted a holiday celebration with the Founding Members that are looking to become the foundation of the Pacific Cannery Lofts community. Food, drink, raffles, and new insights on the Cannery abounded as we celebrated the holidays with our energetic and enthusiastic group of Founding Members.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Joy Rider Clothing

What a trip! I was at the Temescal Farmers Market this past Sunday and the first booth I saw had a young woman seated at an old fashioned foot powered sewing machine creating colorful clothing. Interested in photography, I bent down with my camera and took a picture of the brown boot working the pedal, (this image will appear on our photoblog 1/19-20) but eventually I grabbed a business card from the artist and saw the words COMMUTER BICYCLIST CLOTHING. How cool is that? Nan Eastep, a local Bay Area mother, clothing designer, textile artist and urban farmer created Joy Rider clothing as an attempt to support bicycle and pedestrian culture. You can get more information on Joy Rider at http://www.joyriderclothing.com/ or visit Nan at the Temescal Farmers Market at the Claremont DMV on Sundays 9am - 1pm. Or you can email Nan at info@joyriderclothing.com.

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Bottled Up

Continuing our thread on found historical treasures on the PCL site, we came across another interesting bottle that survived with the history of the Pacific Coast Canning Company. Although plain to the naked eye, the label found on the bottom of the bottle reveals some further insight into the daily life of those who inhabited the Cannery before us.

Founded in 1884, Puritas water was one of the first to introduce and deliver bottled distilled spring water to a consumer market. As the predecessor to today’s Arrowhead water company, Puritas’ history began in Los Angeles and was predominantly sold in that area. Puritas’ first cold-water spring was found in the San Bernardino Mountains where a giant arrowhead adorned the face of the mountain in which the original Hot Springs were found.

It was believed that the innate qualities of the water found in the Arrowhead Hot Springs were substantial enough to cure ailments. Hotels proliferated the surrounding area and travelers from all over the United States came to witness the natural wonder of the spring as well as the water. Coincidently, these hotels would serve as the first venue for the bottling of Arrowhead Spring Water.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Walking the Site

From windows to sheetrock to cabinetry, here are a few shots of what's happening onsite at the Cannery.

It's a bit quieter today with the weather, but every week great new additions are taking form.

The dog washing station (LaundroMutt) and Bike Maintanance room/lounge (Velo Lounge) are what I'm most anxiously awaiting.

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