Starting Anew

After more than a week away from Berkeley, I am back and ready for more walking. Most of my time away was spent in the California desert — Anza Borrego, Palm Springs area, Mojave — which is huge and spread out and not particularly suited to walking (especially in the summer when it gets up to and over 100 degrees F). The town of Palm Springs, however, seems to be a great place for walking — lots of interesting mid-century desert modern architecture, old signs, and much more. In any case, I am finding that after being away for awhile in a different environment I am seeing new things. On my first very short walk to get groceries after returning home, I took two photos along a street I have walked down two or three times a week for the past few years.

In mid-December I spotted this apartment building on one of my walks:

I remembered at one point passing an apartment building with a star, but this one looked different. Was it built at the same time as the other one? Well, when I went back to my photos, I found that it was the same building; it was just painted a different color when I took the picture during the summer:

Also, the plants were blooming in December but not during the summer, and the building had now been “staged” with patio furniture because one of the units was up for sale (interestingly, a TIC — tenancy-in-common — the first of this type I have seen in Berkeley).

My last walk of the year was an eventful one, primarily because I had the pleasure of walking with fellow every-streeter Gary Jarvis of Runs Brooklyn. As he does with his accounts of running every street in Brooklyn, Gary did a great write-up of the walk we took while he was in the area for the holidays. Gary’s blog is very enjoyable to read, with detailed and interesting accounts of Brooklyn neighborhoods infused with his great sense of humor, and it was fun to finally meet him in person and share our experiences as “urban completists” (a brilliant term for these projects — thanks Gary!). A great way to end to end a year of walking Berkeley!

You may be wondering where I am at in terms of completing the walk of every street. I am estimating that distance-wise I am about 3/4 of the way there. However, many of the streets I have left to walk are in the hilly areas of town, which will take much longer than the flat grids of the western part of Berkeley. I also have quite a bit of the Elmwood/Claremont neighborhoods to walk, as well as the Berkeley campus and streets here and there throughout town, so you can expect to hear about all of those areas over the next few months.

Happy walking in 2007!



  1. antitext said

    glad to see that you’re back in action and that your goal is getting closer to completion. it might be a ways of at this point, but are you planning on having the media/friends/family meet you as you complete your journey? and have you chosen where you’ll end your walk yet? just cuious, as i’d love to been there to see you complete your walk. oh, and that building looked way better when it was painted green!

  2. Spike said

    Happy New Year Jen.

    Yep, it’s way better green.

  3. antitext — no, i’m not quite sure how I will be ending the walk yet. I am figuring that I will have a better idea once I get closer to the end (I’m imagining it will be this summer), though I don’t think I’ll be attracting much media attention 🙂

    Spike — Happy new year to you, too!

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