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Most cities and towns have neighborhoods with distinctive and creative architecture, and an atmosphere that attracts attention and admiration.  Such is the case with Alameda's Gold Coast neighborhood. It's central artery is Grand Street, a comfortable tree lined street that begins simply at the Grand Street Launch Ramp on the Oakland Estuary, and works its way through to the San Francisco Bay front where a handsome beach allows for picnics, water sports and amazing views of San Francisco. (Once the location of the original site of the Encinal Yacht Club)

The homes here were built towards the latter half of the 19th century, and into the first part of the 20th century, often by wealthy businessmen who could take advantage of the ever growing…

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If you are looking for an interactive and informative family event in the East Bay, you may want to consider the many weekly activities offered by the East Bay Regional Park Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.  Located directly adjacent to San Francisco Bay, this wonderful center offers information about the aquatic and land based animals in and around the Bay.  

As an example, this Sunday, November 16th, from 11:00-11:30 p.m., there will be a STORYTIME AND NATURE FUN event.  Designed for all ages, they are offering opportunites to meet hermit crabs, live animals, and a variety of swimming fish, and live animals.  In addition to storytime (where they will be introduced to the Lorax and Swimmy the Fish), other activities include a scavenger hunt…

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While long term Alameda residents may know about the small little home at the corner of Broadway and Crist, it always provides a bit of humor when they learn about the history surrounding it.  

Most visitors or Alamedans will pass it a trip to South Shore Center, or on their way to work, and not even know that it is there.  But, if they take a look at it closely, they will no doubt smile with amusement because of it's odd shape and tiny lot.

It was built by Charles Froling at the turn of the 20th century as a classic Victorian, with all the appropriate architecture known at the time.  It  offered a handsome design, beautiful wood trim, lots of windows, and good quality workmanship.  It was soon known as the "Spite House".

It seems that…

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At one time, in the early part of the 20th Century, Alameda's Neptune Beach was a hugely popular venue for families from all over the SF Bay area.  Many would come to swim in the pools, enjoy the rides and games, or sit on the beach and watch others doing the same thing.  Located at the foot of Webster Street in Alameda, it was an exciting venue to visit.  Now gone, Alamedans still remember it's vital past, and now, for the 3rd year in a row, are celebrating it by holding the 3rd Annual Neptune Beach Community Celebration. 

Located just moments from the original site, the celebration will stay true to it's roots, and offers a ferris wheel, a fun slide,pony rides, climbing walls, and other activities to delight local families.  A stage will offer…

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One of the most popular annual events among Alameda residents is the Alameda Legacy HomeTour. It is being held this Sunday, September 22nd, and is a self-guided tour of six beautiful, and especially selected Victorian-era homes. Additionally, the Meyers House Architectural Exhibit will be open, and included there will be a Fashion and Accessory Exhibit.  The good news is that visitors can start at any of the six homes to begin their tour. The tours will include trips through the homes guided by friendly docents, many of whom will be dressed in Victorian period fashion.  Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

In case visitors get hungry, or want to take a pleasant break, refreshments will be available in the Meyers House Garden, along with vendors who…

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Sitting immediately adjacent to Alameda, California in San Francisco Bay, is tiny Alameda Bay Farm Island.  It was originally farm land, and known for producing two unique products for the nearby city restaurants--asparagus and oysters.  Originally known as Asparagus Island, it also supported large oyster beds,( along with other portions of the Alameda island coast) which produced what was then considered a great delicacy to Edwardian San Francisco. 

Although separated by an estuary in the 19th century from mainland Alameda, it is now connected to both Alameda and Oakland.  By extension, it is connected to the Oakland International Airport, which was opened by Charles Lindbergh in 1927. What was once a quiet agricultural area, now houses offices,…

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Still known to many as Dr. Boone's house, named for the Alameda fixture who owned it for years, 1000 Grand St. in Alameda's Gold Coast has come on the market for $1,385,000. The sprawling 4 bedroom 3 bath Colonial revival home sits on over a 1/4 acre with an abundance of original details that were retained over the years. The architech was C.H Russell who also designed the Joseph Leonard House at the foot of Union St. Theporte cochère that used to sit on the West side of the home has been turned into a sitting room, but portions of the wrap around porch are still used today. Alameda's Fourth of July parade passes right in front of this massive home. The carpets have recently been removed to reveal the quarter-sawn parquet oak flooring. The dining room's…

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I found some great vintage footage from the 20's that a real estate developer made of the Oakland area. It was trumpeting all of the great things about the Oakland in regards to shipping and transportation. Oakland had one of the largest train hubs and continues to have one of the largest shipping ports on the west coast. There are some great shots of Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon built in 1883, it looks the same today as it did back then. The name was based upon the fact that Alameda was a 'dry' town. If you were coming or going to Alameda on the ferry, Heinold's was your first and last chance to get a drink. There are also some great shots of the Tribune tower and downtown Oakland as well as the shipping ports that made Oakland famous. I will…

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While on my way to meet a friend at the new Alameda Theater I was reflecting on the diversity of retail opportunities on the 3 short blocks of the central Park Street shopping area.  After the movie, we wandered down to Tomatina for an early dinner.  As we walked, I began to take note of which businesses were on Park St. and I was pleasantly surprised.Starting at Lincoln and Park Street, and continuing down just 3 short blocks to Encinal, a shopper can find two antique stores, a large bookstore, four children’s stores selling toys and clothing, your standard Peet’s and Starbucks, a coin dealer, two bicycle shops, a store devoted to dogs, a large shoe store,  a handsome high end clothing store, and restaurants too numerous to list, but with food choices…

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When I first came to Alameda, I was charmed by its home town appeal unlike so many large cities in the Bay Area.  Much of it seemed to be part of an old movie set with tree lined streets, Victorian era homes situated around mossy green parks, and children playing games in the school yard.  While my arrival was more than 15 years ago, I am pleased to say, that the charm is still there–and more.It has rebuilt one of its most attractive Art Deco theaters–the Alameda Theater--into an award winning complex, and yet continues to support a tiny, but mighty, theater in the round at the other end the island-the Altarena Playhouse. It’s Fourth of July parade is one of the largest west of the Mississippi, and children and parents from Cub Scouts, churches, the Boys…

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