I took a stroll down Shattuck Avenue the other week. I am an onsessive "city walker," and I've started bringing my camera along. Mostly buildings, this time. I've been nervous about focusing my camera on people!
The next set is a little more closely focused (Noe Valley and Glen Park in San Francisco).
But, anyway, some downtown Berkeley architecture.
[BHOPKINS STREET: ]Berkeley has fantastic street trees on many neighborhood boulevards. [/B]
THE GOURMET GHETTO
Kunstler would have a lot of fun ranting about this pastiche building, which does at least anchor the northern end of Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, a commercial stretch of Shattuck Avenue that is the home of famous restaurants like Chez Panisse-as well as The Cheese Board bakery collective and my favorite coffee shop.
Berkeley is really pushing "smart growth" infill-with large apartment buildings replacing the tired strip commercial remnants. This used to be a circa 1960s ugly prototypical big box store. Some of the buildings are more successful than others. This one's blander than most.
On the other hand, this building at the edge of downtown is quite successful!
Downtown Berkeley is an imperfect, though bustling place that has to compete with a variety of other regional shopping venues, including neighborhood strips like Solano Avenue and College Avenue, the Emeryville chain store paradise, and Berkeley's own Fourth Street, a wierd collection of upscale stores constructed in a former industrial zone. Chain retail has not done well in Berkeley-sometimes because the company itself is dying (Who shops at Eddie Bauer anymore).
Still, downtown Berkeley has great bookstores, movie theatres, fine arts, and proximity to the University-and great buildings.
Given the lack of parking, this may be a good way to arrive in Downtown Berkeley!
Finding your way made easy!
Including a good place to get a drink!
A classic landmark
And a goofier building!
You can live downtown now-Is this Art Deco or some wierd hybrid? (I like it)
And finally, the neighborhood corner store can be a landmark in itself: