Central Station

The Bay Area's Newest Destination

Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekend Events Oct. 31-Nov.1


Do you have crime concerns?

Are concerns regarding public safety causing some hesitation or doubt?

On Monday, November 2nd; 6:30 p.m. at Prescott Elementary School, located at 920 Campbell street (in the Prescott Oakland Point neighborhood) Mayor Dellums introduces Oakland’s New Police Chief Anthony Batts.

Check out the POPna site for more information and directions.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Tomorrow night is the Central Station Block Party, a celebration of the Central Station Community! Please gather where the three developments, Ironhorse Apartments, Pacific Cannery Lofts and Zephyr Gate, meet, eat, drink and then wander through the beautiful, well planned community. Models will be open at Pacific Cannery Loft and Zephyr Gate. You can also wander up onto the beautiful Ironhorse podium and into their community room. In the corner Pacific Cannery Gallery at 12th and Pine there is a photography exhibit featuring a beautiful interior shot of the Train Station by award winning Katherine Westerhout. In addition there are photos by Jason Mehrtens for our first Artist in Residence program.
Food, drinks and music will be provided by
local merchants including:

Jonathan Smothers DJ will provide the music.
Linden Street Brewery will provide the beer.
Brown Sugar Kitchen will be providing tasty food.
Namie's Kitchen will provide more tasty food and snacks.
Urban Legend Winery will have a barrel tasting of their wines.
Galatea Cafe will provide coffee, tea and pastry.
Scream Sorbet will provide dessert.

Don't miss it! Come meet your neighbors from all three developments and from the rest of the community. Bring friends and neighbors and enjoy!!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

WHO LIVES HERE? Tara Viriyapunt

I was greeted at Tara's grove loft not only by Tara's radiant warmth but also by her dog Cocoa, who had a stuffed giraffe in her mouth and a tail that wouldn't be still. I was already laughing! We just couldn't decide where to sit first, as inside and outside were both beckoning us. We decided to stay inside as I started asking about the eclectic art collection on the wall, including a piece painted by an elephant in Thailand (yes, a real elephant). Tara collects art from around the world and displays her colorful collection on her spacious loft walls. A world traveler and native of Thailand, her family moved to the US for educational opportunities when she was 16 years old, settling in Hawaii. Tara knew no English upon her arrival and when I asked her what the transition was like, she said it was like being thrown into deep water....."you just have to learn to swim!" Spending four hours a day in ESL classes she excelled in the classes that are more universal like mathematics and art. She went on to major in Math in college....because it was the "easiest choice".....I was laughing again....holy cow! Tara now works in Burlingame as a software engineer and is thankful for the quick access to the freeways. Although it may have made more sense for Tara to purchase a home on the Peninsula, she much prefers "urban living and a more colorful community". Tara discovered PCL when a friend who was loft living in Emeryville sent her the link to the Cannery website. Like many of you, she loved the building although a bit wary of the neighborhood, but after spending time walking and driving the streets of West Oakland she was convinced that West Oakland was the place she wanted to be. And of course the dog washing station and close access to Point Isabel dog park clinched the deal. About this time in the conversation I was offered some hot Thai tea and we moved outside to her patio on the Grove. Lush with plants and red geraniums, inspired by her travels to Europe, we continues our exchange with Cocoa at our feet. Gardening has been a passion of Tara's since her childhood in the tropics so having direct access to the gardens and the sun was a must for both Tara and Cocoa. The Grove was a perfect spot for the two of them. It was so lovely sitting outside, chatting and waving to the neighbors as they returned from their busy day. It seems that the new residents living on the grove have all gotten to know each other and their pets and there is talk of shared dinners and cooking. Tara's speciality is Thai cooking and she usually shops at Oakland's Chinatown for the special ingredients she needs. We want to welcome both you and Cocoa to the Central Station Community. Thanks for the tea!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Brats & Beer

Saturday, October 17th, 12pm - 5pm
Linden St. Brewery, #8 Linden St. @ 3rd St.
Family Friendly, No Entry Fee
For events this weekend, click here

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

20 Years after Loma Prieta, How Prepared Are We?

Pondering this question, I checked the "Retrofit Projects Completed since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake" website, I found the following:

“This large urban infill project in Oakland had four separate components: a 90,000 sq. ft. covered garage embedded behind new façade lofts, a 95,000 sq. ft. warehouse that was converted and seismically upgraded into warehouse lofts, and two freestanding residential wood-frame courtyard lofts. The existing structures had been used primarily as industrial warehouses …
For the seismic system, Tipping Mar implemented concrete shear walls in the interior and a series of vertical and battered micropiles for the foundation to compensate for site variation.”

For Loma Prieta commemoration and training related events, check out POPna

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who Lives Here? DeAnna Mercier

I rang the doorbell at DeAnna Mercier's grove loft and heard not only footsteps coming to the door but paws, sliding and snorting. The door opened and I was greated by DeAnna and her four year old French bulldog/Boston Terrier mix, Hugo, who DeAnna describes as a "piece of work". DeAnna, who grew up in Vermont, has been living at PCL since April after almost giving up on her search for a home to purchase. Targeting West Oakland because of opportunity, she came upon the filming of the HBO series, "Gangland", and decided that she either needed more money or a bigger dog! But after further research and an introduction to the Cannery she made a comfortable decision to make West Oakland her home. It has everything she was looking for including proximity to the freeways, a ground floor access and porch for Hugo, safety, and a sense of community. DeAnna graduated from UVM with a degree in ecological studies so the Green Point Rating at PCL was also a draw.

After college, DeAnna spent several years traveling and answered a newspaper ad while living in Hawaii about caring for a young autistic child and the found her passion. Returning to Vermont she earned a masters degree in education and applied behavioral analysis from Johnson. She went on to earn a Board Certification in Behavior Analysis and moved to California to continue he work with children. Now a member of the STE Consultants group, she supervises teams of people who work with young children with autism and their families in the bay area. Her consulting work provides the perfect balance between working in the field and at home in her new loft.

DeAnna has found her grove neighbors and their pets to be an extremely friendly and cohesive group. I asked if she had used the dog washing station for Hugo and she told me that when Hugo goes out for walks at the off leash park he comes back "looking like he spent the night partying in Las Vegas" and into the tub he goes. She has also used a Backroads bike this summer to go to the baseball game in SF. She hopped on BART and used the valet bike parking at the ballpark...no traffic, no hassle , a snap!

DeAnna and Hugo....you crack me up! Welcome!

Left: Hugo is not a morning person!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Pacific Cannery Loft "Artist in Residence" Showing

As I interview and meet more and more PCL residents I am not surprised to find that many are very artistically talented. Either as hobbies or careers, the creativity includes photography, welding and furniture design, painting, graphics, web design and more. Since I have really only begn the residents blog, I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg and thought it would be great to start an Artist in Residence Program in the Gallery Space.

Our first participant is Jason Mehrtens whose photog
raphs will be on display in the PCL Gallery starting late October through the end of the year. Jason whose images range from urban art to portraiture particularly enjoys shooting long exposures and macro images. You can contact Jason directly to set up a time to view his work.

If you are interested in having a showing in our new Artist in Residence program please contact Nancy Holliday.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Screening continues today until Wednesday, Oct. 14th, ending with the short film titled “Country Rose” starring local country western star Miko Marks and directed by Prescott Oakland Point resident Edward Rosenblum.

For more information on this and other events, go to the POPna site

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Question of the Night at the PCL BBQ

Ribs, burgers, veggie burgers and munchies were cooked and served up by Holliday Development in appreciation and celebrated of the new residents at Pacific Cannery Lofts. What a great night it was to see everyone so happy and eager to be part of the new community. For those of us at HD who are not based onsite, it was a great pleasure to meet the personalities we have heard about in so many staff meetings. No wonder Amy, Brian and Gail are always so excited about what they do. Rick and I are always thrilled when we see the lights finally go on in a project we have worked on for years but this night was particularly exciting for us because of the history, political battle, neighborhood, staff effort and perseverance of the people now living in their homes and building a great community!

Personally I also loved meeting all the dogs (and so did my dog Jones), Inque and her new sister Vanilla Bean, Cocoa and many more appeared in the PCL pet parade. I am so pleased to hear how much use you are all getting out of the dog washing station.

And finally....the question of the night was, "so where do you live?" Thus the images below. Lots of pointing and smiling going on!

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Events starting Oct. 10th

Loft owners at Pacific Cannery Lofts should have a panorama view of the Bay Bridge and Air Show festivals of Fleet Week this weekend without the hassle of going to San Francisco. From their own vistas, they can enjoy Saturday and Sunday the Air Show which runs from 12:30pm-3pm and the Blue Angels from 3pm-4pm. For those who are not current owners, I am sure the Sales folks can find you a upper level vantage point to watch the areobatic maneuvers.

Also notable, THE CANNERY bikers no longer have to travel outside the neighborhood for bike accessories, apparel, bike care products, car racks, eyewear, nutrition, packs & bags, protective gear, shoes, skuut and more. RideSFO just a few blocks away, recently held their Grand Opening Party at 1724 Mandela Parkway Suite #2 on Oct 3rd, 2009. For those wanting to place online orders, they can access RideSFO catalog by clicking here. For more information contact Junnel “JRock” Milleza at jrock@ridesfo.com or call 510-832-2800.

For more information regarding upcoming events, click on the image above to access the POPna site.


Monday, October 5, 2009

WHO LIVES HERE? Dennis Hanshew

Sunday morning I had coffee and homemade mango pie with Dennis Hanshew, his cat, Domino and his previous neighbors from SF in his new loft. He took us on a tour of his home/painter's studio and treated us to the stories behind his wonderful large paintings that hang from the expansive walls in his classic signature loft. Dennis, who grew up in California, was the son of a state park service employee, and moved from park to park including Mt.Diablo and Big Sur. He moved to Hawaii for college where he earned his degree in painting and a teaching credential and stayed for over 30 years. Back in the bay area as a renter his interest in buying a home was stirred by the opportunities stemming from the financial meltdown. His search took him up and down the west coast including Portland and Seattle. His interest in art, style and architecture brought him across the bay to PCL but initially he felt that the neighborhood was a deal breaker and that he would be too close to the freeway. But PCL stayed in his mind and he came back many times and finally made the purchase. Ironically he now looks out on the freeway and the lit cranes at the Port of Oakland, a view he once described as bizarre, but now finds very pleasing. He has also been pleasantly surprised by the sense of community in the neighborhood. Working as a paralegal in SF, Dennis walks to and from BART daily and has made friends along the way. He has been asked to join the domino games played in the local park on Wood Street and hopes to get to know more of the people who have lived in this area all their lives. He has befriended other PCL residents and finds the mix of people both on site and in the nieghborhood exciting. Dennis decided to make his upstairs loft his work area, where he paints and creates, setting up his bedroom in the alcove downstairs. Often mixing a wax medium iwht his oil paints, his works have a sense of depth from varied translucency and a luster on the paint surface. Besides his great work space Dennis was drawn to the angled walls, the light and expressed that the column was what did it for him. Welcome ot the PCL community Dennis, and thanks for the pie....delicious!

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Allensworth, CA The Town that Refused to Die

As a follow up to my interview with PCL resident Charles Allensworth, her eis some background information on his great great great uncle, Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth and the historic town of Allensworth Ca that he established.

Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth (7 April 1842 – 14 September 1914) was an American soldier in the United States Army. He was the highest ranking African American commissioned officer in the United States military at his retirement in 1906, and is remembered as the founder of the all-black township of Allensworth, California, now Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Born into slavery in Louisville, Kentucky, Allensworth educated himself illegally; he ran off and joined the army, eventually becoming one of the Army's first Black chaplains. He obtained a teacher's certificate, and was stationed at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
Upon leaving military service, Allensworth and his family settled in Los Angeles. It was there that he was inspired with the idea of establishing a self-sufficient, all-black California community where African Americans could live their lives free of the racial discrimination.

In August 1908 Colonel Allen Allensworth and four other settlers established a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Their dream of developing an abundant and thriving community stemmed directly from a strong belief in programs that allowed blacks to help themselves create better lives. By 1910 Allensworth’s success was the focus of many national newspaper articles praising the town and its inhabitants.

An unavoidable set of circumstances(drought, arsenic in the water) made it impossible for the residents of this tiny town located 30 miles north of Bakersfield to achieve their founders’ dreams over the long term. But the town did remain home to a handful of families and individuals throughout the 20th century, and true to the courage and resolve of its founders, the town has survived and persevered, earning the well-deserved title “The town that refused to die.”

In 1974 California State Parks purchased land within the historical townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today a collection of lovingly restored and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library—once again dots this flat farm country, giving new life to the dreams of these visionary pioneers.

With continuing restoration and special events(attended annually by Charles), the town is coming back to life as a state historic park. The park’s visitor center features a film about the site. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers. Allensworth is the only California community to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.

Text is from California State Parks website on Colonel Allensworth State Park and Wikipedia

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Who Lives Here? Charles Allensworth

Charles birthday is October 18th and he is celebrating by having friends and family over to his new courtyard loft, but he is also celebrating a pretty amazing life. Charles’ childhood was not easy, the second oldest of 7 kids being cared for by a single welfare mom in Indiana. Charles beat the odds and worked his way through college and graduate school becoming a teacher in the Bayview Hunters Point area of San Francisco. Concurrently he worked at Rainbow grocery and continues working there now in his 23rd year, as a buyer of health products, owner/employee and customer service person. He is also a Viet Nam veteran. Although his teaching career ended due to budget cuts he continues to mentor kids throughout Alameda County. He is the proud papa of two grown daughters, Andreshell and Ariana, who has just this spring graduated from Fordhem University in urban studies. Charles also beams when he speaks of his two granddaughters who come to visit him in his loft. Charles not only loves people but animals as well. We talked about dogs for quite a while as his dog Kona, a sweet purpled tongued chow, listened intently and cocked his head. As I was getting up to leave I noticed a framed flyer of a soldier on the kitchen table that bore Charles last name, Allensworth, and asked what the connection was. Amazingly, through a fateful question from a college registrar, Charles discovered the fact that his great great great uncle (that is his grandfather’s uncle) was Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth, the highest ranking African American commissioned officer in the US military and the founder of the all black township of Allensworth, California near Bakersfield. Charles goes to Allensworth on a regular basis dressed in his Buffalo Soldier uniform to help educate those who visit this now historic park. Of course this leads to a new blog on Lt. Allensworth and the state park….stay tuned.
Charles…wishing you a very happy birthday and thank you for hanging in with us long enough to becoming part of the PCL community. Charles was our first interested buyer and hung in with us longer than anyone. Hats off!

Friday, October 2, 2009

For Upcoming Events, Click on Picture


Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Sunday, October 4th

Blessing of the Animals Events
Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009

Christians everywhere celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi by having their pets blessed in the spirit of this patron saint of animals and ecology.

Starting at 10 a.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church located at 1658 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, CA will feature their Blessing of the Animals event.

Bring your pets and animal companions to this special service celebrating the Feast of St. Francis.

Animals should be either in crates or on leash. If your pet is not good around other animals feel free to bring a photo to be blessed. Stuffed animals are welcome!

There will also be a memorial altar for photos of pets that have passed away.

* In case of rain the blessing service will take place in the church basement.

For more information call 510-530-6333

Also, the Skyline Community Church, 12540 Skyline Blvd., Oakland Hills. will start their Blessing of the Animals beginning with registration at 2:45 p.m.

Special ceremony to honor animal companions starts at 3:00 p.m. Bring a pet or picture of a pet.

Refreshments provided for pets. Afterward, walk pets through the unique labyrinth.

For more information call 510-531-8212 or email office@skylineucc.org.
For more events this weekend, CHECK OUT POPNA!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who Lives Here??.......Jason Mehrtens and Al Andrade

Jason and Al lived in San Francisco where they both work and intended to purchase their first home there, but after looking a what they described as “outrageously expensive cookie cutter condos” in the city they turned their attention to the east bay. Jason found one of our PCL craigslist ads, called Brian in sales and came over to see the lofts that day. “Loved it right away” was his comment. Al, who was much less anxious to move out of the city, agreed after visiting PCL that it was the right move for the couple. They have now lived in their loft over looking the main courtyard for almost two months and have not gone back to the city except for work They have already had numerous dinner parties for friends and new PCL acquaintances. Jason works in public health and Al is a chef at Foreign Cinema Restaurant where his culinary skills turn out French fusion dishes inspired by Moroccan, Asian an Indian influences. Jason, who loves photography shared some if his images with me…..really great stuff. He will be the first resident to present his work in the PCL gallery where we hope to share other artist/residents work with the community.
men take Bart to the work and were drawn to the central, transit based location of PCL. In their free time they often wander over to Alameda, a new experience for both of them. Al noted that he was pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of culinary choices near by……Great ice cream in Alameda, The Revolutionary Café and of course Brown Sugar Kitchen. They expressed that they feel like pioneers in this new budding neighborhood. They are also social pioneers as they are one of the few California same sex couples who is legally married. When closing on their unit the escrow officer asked them their wives names not realizing that they were married…. to each other! Also living with Jason and Al is their chihuahau/terrier mix, Inque (pronounced INK) who is about to get a little sister pup, possibly named Vanilla Bean. Needless to say, the have made great use of the dog washing station.

Jason, Al and Inque…..it is a pleasure having you here at PCL!