Alamedan Blogs

This week, let's go to Richmond!

Devil’s Punch Bowl was an old rock quarry we passed on the way up to Skyline Drive. We often hiked through the trees and brush, and would climb down inside, just for the adventure.

One of my neighbors gave me an old Dodge that didn’t run; maybe I can fix it, I thought. After a while I was bored with it, so the Shifters put their heads together and decided to tow it up to the Punch Bowl and shove it off a 500-foot drop (having seen one too many movies about cars crashing over cliffs).

We towed it through Castro Valley to the fire trail and up the backside of the hill to the cliff. With one giant push, we had our own movie spectacular.

We've been altering our east-west route across the city to drive on Central Avenue as often as possible this past week. This winter has been unusually mild, even for the Bay Area, and the trees that line Central have been emerging from their winter hibernation somewhat earlier than usual this year.

At first only a hint of light green was discernible on the trees, but then, day by day, the foliage began appearing in its inimitable magical way. By this time next week we fully expect to once more drive down the road beneath a green and shady bower.

The Restoration Advisory Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12 in Room 140 at City Hall West, 950 West Mall Parkway.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence headline review. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.

To celebrate one year of blogging for The Alamedan, and for my third installment of the "Great Places to Run in the East Bay" series, let's go to Redwood Regional Park. This is a huge park up in the Oakland hills that has, not surprisingly, lots of beautiful redwood trees. There are 38 miles of trails in the park, most of which I have run on at one time or another.

I watched the documentary “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory.” It was made in 2014.

A social worker by the name of Dan Cohen decided to try working with residents in nursing homes who have Alzheimer’s disease. He conducted a study introducing them to music that was a part of their history. He created an iPod for each person after he/she revealed types of music, musicians or specific pieces that had been significant. If the person was unable to communicate these preferences, they selected music that was popular during their life, and he also considered where they grew up.

We were in need of a new challenge. Someone remembered the old orange crate coasters we built as kids. Why didn’t we improve on that concept? Let’s take a piece of 2’x4’ and an old steel shoe skate, merge them, and try balancing.

Well it kind of worked, but there were no hills in Alameda, so off we went to the Oakland Hills. Instead of a gradual hill, of course we went straight to Joaquin Miller Park. Big mistake. Gravity does work but not always to one’s benefit, as flatlanders would soon find out. At that time in history, bloody, holey Levis were not in vogue.

Here's the thing. Aging imposes new rules on living, and one whole subset of rules governs eating: when, how much, how often and how bland. It also drives bedtime ever closer to getting-out-of-bed time.

Where once we happily played adult games all night and into the morning hours, we now eye the approach of 10 p.m. with a new version of "bedroom eyes" which ask the question, "Wanna go to bed?" where "bed" now means "sleep," unlike the days of youth when it meant no sleeping tonight, oh boy!

An Alameda Point open house is being held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 at Bladium Bar & Grill, 800 West Tower Avenue. The City Council and Planning Board will be in attendance.