This was our Oakland

Sara and I packed up our home in late December, and watched everything disappear methodically into the back of a U-Haul, then into neat-ish towers in my parents’ home in San Francisco at the end of the month. As we set out on a new journey, I find myself thinking of the chapter we’ve just concluded.

We moved in to “the Hut,” as we call it, at the end of June 2016, after making the decision to live together during a particularly spectacular evening in Stockholm in May. Here’s a photo of us in the empty apartment:

Note Indian food on the bare floor.

And here’s a photo of all our stuff in the U-Haul, two and a half years later:

With Teddy and Laurie.

There’s a great deal I’ll miss about our former home:

  • The beautiful neighborhood full of trees and craftsman bungalows.
  • The equidistant commercial corridors of College Ave and Telegraph Ave.
  • Soi 4; Pizzaiolo; Cholita Linda; the Golden Squirrel. Berkeley Bowl, farther off.
  • The Temescal farmer’s market at the DMV, with Roy keeping the path swept clean.
  • Our neighbors with the homemade chalk and newborn daughter.
  • Our house plants, especially the exuberant money plant.
  • Morning bike rides into the Oakland Hills.

And a few things I won’t:

  • No porch or patio.
  • No dishwasher (but at least we had a washer/dryer, so important).
  • No pets allowed!
  • That odd micro-room that was never useful for anything and just became a room full of crap for two years.

But I’ll really miss all the times we spent there. We got engaged and married while we lived in the Hut; we had friends over countless times; we suffered through lots of bullshit there; it was a good place.

I know Rockridge isn’t particularly typical of Oakland, nor what most folks have in mind when they think of Oakland or the East Bay, but this was our Oakland, and I loved it.

One Reply to “This was our Oakland”

  1. My family moved to Oakland in 1953. We lived on Thomas Avenue, parallel to Broadway between Broadway Terrace and Monroe Avenue, not far from you. I went to sixth grade at Rockridge elementary school which was, i think, of the other side of Broadway Terrace at the end of Thomas Avenue, but seems not to be there now. Then Claremont Junior High (now Middle) and Tech High.

    Good luck on your amazing journey! Stay safe, the world is full of perils! I admire your courage and something I don’t know the word for.

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