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:
Where the wisteria will grow
A row of red bud
Red bud up close, the Uptown in the distance
I kind of dropped the ball on lilac season here in Rockridge (everyone seems to have harvested all of their lilac) so I wanted to make sure to get to the dogwood before the season is over. Just look at this glorious dogwood tree around the corner from my house:
I was spotted by the resident while snapping pictures. Apparently, there is a trip line just in front of where I was standing, put there to catch dogwood poachers(!) Apparently several have been caught. In spite of the apprehension of perpetrators the woman said that she had almost stopped being able to enjoy the tree over the years because of the constant poaching. Isn’t that awful? On the other hand I don’t know why I was so surprised. I’ll never forget my first month in Rockridge with all my roses flourishing only to go outside one day to find them all chopped off the top of the bush. So sad.
Here are two more beautiful examples of dogwood I found in Rockridge:
My mother reminded me of the legend of dogwood, which is particularly appropriate for the coming week. According to legend, the cross of the Crucifixion was made of dogwood. Ever after, dogwood trees had blossoms in the shape of a cross, two long petals and two short. The outer edge of the petals are indented and brown due to nail prints and rust, and the center is made to represent a crown of thorns.
For more pictures of dogwood,