Palm trees, sandy beaches, sailboats, the wind and fog, the graceful arch of the bridges that serve as our links to the mainland—these are some of the things that make Island living so special. But there are other reasons, too. Read on.
The Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade is one of the longest parades in Northern California—no wonder it’s most everyone’s favorite event of the year. Check it out next summer along the familiar route: Park Street to Otis Drive to Grand Street to Encinal Avenue to Central Avenue to Webster Street. Pick your slice of curb carefully and wear sunscreen. Remember,running into the street for candy is dangerous, but cheering for your family and friends is definitely encouraged. STAFF PICK: We love summer, art and wine, so why not enjoy more sun ’n’ fun at the annual Art and Wine Faire on Park Street.
Favorite Charity/ Social Event
The Alameda Family Service League
Home for the Holidays Tour is a big hit with Alamedans. It’s a nice way to get ready for the holidays, with homes decorated for Christmas or Hanukkah. Plus, it’s a fun way to sneak a peek into some lovely houses that you always wanted to see inside but were afraid to ask. Funds from this worthwhile event go to Alameda Family Services, a program of Xanthos Inc., providing counseling and other services for children and families. STAFF PICK: The Boys and Girls Club Auction is a big favorite, with celebrity auctioneers, a huge silent auction, delightful entertainment and a delicious meal, all for a good cause.
Most Kid-Friendly Park
What makes a park kid-friendly, anyway? How aboutlots of soft green grass,an awesome play structure, basketball courts, trees for shade and climbing, benches for resting, tables for picnicking,a clean sandbox and a drinking fountain—all within easy walking distance from home. Franklin Park meets all these criteria and more; parents get the added benefit of enjoying the Gold Coast architecture and quiet streets, and the students at Franklin School get to use it for PE and outdoor play. Best of all, it’s free and very close to home.STAFF PICK: We’re partial to the West End’s Washington Park,with its softball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, and proximity to the beach and dog parks.
Best Company to Work for in Alameda
This category was, believe it or not,a three-way tie. While many,many people wrote to tell us that their company was tops to work for, and why,we couldn’t hold back the enthusiasm of the employees of Harbor Bay Realty,Wind River and Richard Tabor, D.D.S.
Best Street to Live On
Grand Street is wide and smooth, lined with stately homes and heritage trees. It traverses the breadth of the Island and travels through Island history, from our heritage as a fishing and canning port, through the middle of town and homes small and large. It passes by the Victorian manses of the well-to-do and makes a quick crossing over the lagoons, Alameda’s former coastline and the Post-modern architecture of South Shore. At each end, this street touches water and is just 1.39 miles long. It’s part of the annual parade route and a landmark, cinching the city between East and West. In every sense of the word, this street is Grand.
STAFF PICK: We just love the golden arch of ginko trees across Gibbons Drive in the fall, how the street curves gracefully through some of Alameda’s loveliest neighborhoods and makes a nice shortcut from downtown to the High Street Bridge.
Best View in Alameda
The competition was stiff in this category, because almost every way you look, the view is gorgeous. Whether you’re standing out at Alameda Point, walking on the Harbor Bay shoreline,waiting for the ferry at either landing, or crossing the Bay Farm bridge, the view of San Francisco and the Bay are spectacular, night and day. The Estuary views are pretty breathtaking, too, especially when the Coast Guard cutter is cruising by. However, our readers were clear: their favorite view is from the beach on Shore Line Drive, looking out at the dazzling water and the sparkling city beyond.
STAFF PICK: We couldn’t agree more. Simply lovely, that.
Best Reason to Live in Alameda
Why live here? Obviously—the small-town feel. That reason was followed closely by the weather and the great people who live here. The fact that we’re an island and have beaches and waterfront views in every direction doesn’t hurt.
STAFF PICK: Ditto, all of the above.