Central Station

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's Around PCL? A lot!

One of the things people like most about PCL is the great community of people here. That extends to west Oakland too, it’s a pretty cool community of artists and young first time home buyers mixed into a really active and historic working class neighborhood. As a result, there really is a lot going on here in West Oakland, from good public resources (parks, libraries and the like) to entrepreneurial and creative stuff (The Crucible, restaurants). This list just scratches the surface.

Here are some of the great amenities in the neighborhood:

  • Parks: The nearest park, Willow Park, is just a 3 block walk and is a quiet green place with nice lawns and trees to hang out. A few blocks further to Raimondi Park, there is a bigger more active park, including a baseball field.
  • Pool: If you swim, like me who uses public pools for exercise or to train for triathlons, deFremery Pool, at 18th and Adeline is less than 5 minutes by bike or driving and offers great outdoor lap swimming.
  • Community Center with Classes: deFremery rec center is in a beautiful 100-year old Victorian mansion. They offer cooking, sewing, math fun, tennis, swimming, camping, basketball, drama, arts & crafts, games, trips, shows, geography, jewelry making, gardening and so much more.
  • Library: Our west Oakland neighborhood branch library is less than a mile away and offers over 35,000 books and DVDs (plus you can request anything from the whole library system for pickup), family reading time a few evenings a month, a big community meeting room available for community use, chess classes and other special events.
  • The Crucible: One of the most unique resources we have, the Crucible offers classes in welding, woodworking, jewelry making, glass blowing, blacksmithing, and on and on. (I took a wood working class and build a cool bedside table!)

And the best local restaurants get a category of their own:

  • Brown Sugar Kitchen (2534 Mandela Parkway): If you haven’t waited in line for it, read about it in the local and national news, or even heard about it, go there now. The food is incredibly delicious and its great to support a really cool great local entrepreneur (Tanya lives in the neighborhood, but to be fair, she trained in France and worked in New York restaurants before coming out to West Oakland).
  • Pretty Lady Diner (1733 Peralta St): is a convenient and cheap little neighborhood diner. This place is classic. Big u-shaped counter, nothing for more than $10, and all kinds of combo items ordered by number, and a never-ever ending cup of coffee.
  • Revolution Café (1610 7th St): Cheap coffee, decent food, awesome ambiance, and budding revolution. This place is all about the activism and happens to serve some coffee and food too, which makes for a cool spot, though don’t have your hopes too high for food and drink.
  • Comalapa (1498 7th St): serves great Salvadorean food like pupusas and tamales and a menu of Mexican items too (though Salvadorean is what they are great at).

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