Lots of excitement here over the past few days. First of all, the traffic light is now functioning at University Ave. end of the newly paved section of the Santa Fe Right-of-Way. I happened to be there during the morning commute and school drop-off time, when University (a major thoroughfare) was busy and it was raining a bit. I pushed the button, and sure enough the light turned and traffic stopped. I was anticipating some surprise due to the newness of the light and its placement between intersections, but no cars came skidding to a stop. And if this wasn’t exciting enough, a few days ago I finally saw someone using the Parcourse along the Ohlone Greenway. I refrained from asking the man questions about whether this was a regular routine, how he dealt with the broken exercise stations, etc., because he looked intent on exercising. This reminded me that I had a couple of other things I wanted to point out recreation-wise in Berkeley.
Photo by Joe Reifer
Recreation facilities in Berkeley include the typical soccer fields, basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds, as well as skateboard parks, Frisbee golf, and a lawn bowling green. I have seen other lawn bowling greens in the Bay Area and elsewhere, but I particularly like the one in Berkeley. I was looking for a website for the lawn bowling club, which I did not find. However, I did turn up an interesting page on the club from an activist website. It seems that a bit of controversy surrounded the green in the 1970s regarding the use of some of the bowling green land for construction of a tot lot. Quite a few references were made to clashes between the rich “hill people” who used the greens and the lower and moderate income “flatlanders” in the neighborhood of the bowling green. I haven’t heard of any issues with the greens these days.
A couple of months ago I was cutting through the old Berkeley Adult School campus and heard some music off in the distance. Turning the corner, I found a water aerobics class in session! It looked like a lot of fun, and I was all ready to sign up right there until I found out that it was for seniors only. Berkeley has a few pools and aquatics programs, and offers lessons, lap swimming, and programs for disabled swimmers. And speaking of disabilities, I spent some time recently looking at Ann Sieck’s wonderful website for wheelchair accessible trails in the Bay Area. Her website includes listings for Berkeley, describing wheelchair accessibility at UC Botanical Garden, Cesar Chavez Park, and Tilden Park. A very useful resource!