Once upon a time we used to own a loft in Oakland's Jack London Square. It was 1600+ square feet of reclaimed industrial space and it was a beauty. Then a terrible remodeling neighbor moved in next door, wreaking havoc on our lives and the building (he started a fire that engaged the sprinklers and flooded our unit). Then the HOA board went crooked and thought it was a perfectly fine thing to ask us to pay for other people's $$$ window replacements because we had a bigger unit than they did. Right.
When we first purchased the unit we were told that a market hall similar to San Francisco's Ferry Building had been approved and construction would start at any minute. It never did. What construction did start was several other multi-unit condo complexes and our lives became even more disrupted by the constant barrage of trucks and their crews at sun up, the sound of jackhammers and bulldozers until sunset. We got out as quickly as we could.
That was 4+ years ago, and Jack London Square is finally coming together, albeit much more slowly than any of the developers would have you believe. While there are several fancy new condo complexes, none are at capacity. While the market hall building finally went up, it stands as a vacant shell of a reminder of the economy, or lack thereof. The Barnes & Noble packed up and headed out.
What stands today are several good restaurants and a beautiful location for a Sunday Farmer's Market.
It being a warm one yesterday - 75 degrees in November?!? - we decided to head down to JLS, check out progress in the area and buy some fresh produce for last night's dinner. Probably because it's mid-November and no one expected these global warming temps, but the market seemed much smaller than I remembered it being in the past. Rather than fruit & vegetable stalls as far as the eye could see - not to mention artists and musicians - the market was made up of about 100 yards worth of vendors, most of them selling the exact same produce - onions, squash, persimmons, greens.
In addition to some extremely awesome baja fish tacos from Cholita Linda's, we grabbed some honey, leeks, persimmons and grass fed organic tri-tip to throw on the grill. When we got home we realized the beef had been packaged and frozen way back in July. Oops.
No matter, it was a beautiful day down by the water and it was fun to reminisce about the good - and bad - times we had while living in JLS. While I miss the urban lifestyle a bit sometimes, including having the coolest place of anyone we know, I have to say I don't miss fighting for parking.