Upping the Ante in Oakland–but No One’s Calling

This week’s East Bay Express contains an examination of some of the “new Oakland;” the real estate development known as the Uptown.  Unfortunately for lawmakers and current residents, the Uptown isn’t drawing new blood to Oakland in spite of LEED certification, “a 24-hour concierge, a state-of-the-art gym, access to Zipcar service, a game room, pool and spa, an on-site Oakland Police Department office, a chef’s kitchen, and a private screening room, all available with a lease.”  Click here to read the full article and reader’s comments.  

I happened to visit the Uptown myself recently.  The lack of rentals certainly isn’t for lack of landscaping.  The Uptown’s “town square” features red bud (cercis canadensis) and tons of wisteria.  The wisteria is young still and will take forever to mature, but I love the effort.  Check it out:

landscapeWhere the wisteria will grow

wisteriayoung wisteria

red-budA row of red bud

red-bud-closeRed bud up close, the Uptown in the distance


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2 responses to “Upping the Ante in Oakland–but No One’s Calling

  1. ‘shoos:

    Thanks for drawing attention to this report. Indeed, Oakland is popping, redolent with wisteria.

    Wisteredolent, if you will.

    A question for the author: why is red bud called red bud, when the buds are passing pink/purple? Would appreciate a post on this confounding issue.

  2. saddleshoos

    The best explanation I could find was here: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/dmna/cercis.html

    …that the buds appear red when they first come out.

    There is also legend that George Washington gave the red bud its name.


    “Redbuds are sometimes called the “Judas” tree because Judas, who betrayed Jesus, supposedly hanged himself from the branch of one (a mid east relative of our indigenous Redbud). Legend has it that the tree blushed with shame, and has continued blushing ever since (even though there are white Redbuds in existence). Redbud flowers are edible and taste something like nutty raw green beans. They are high in Vitamin C and make nice salad and pastry garnishes. Young seed pods are also tasty and can be boiled and served with butter.”

    from http://www.gardensablaze.com/TreesRedbud.htm

    “It is believed by some that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had a hand in naming this tree. Legend has it that it was this tree upon which Judas Iscariot hanged himself. Each year in remorse it weeps tears of blood-like blossoms at Easter time. Blossom time coincides with that of serviceberry and wild plum. In most years it blooms slightly before dogwood.”
    from http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/plantpage/flora/motrees/p44.htm

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