A Hot Commodity

Lauded by Redfin, Bushrod beckons with intriguing diversions.


Published:

Martyn Andreas Bonaventura browses at Clars.

Photo by Lori Eanes

Real estate giant Redfin named Oakland’s Bushrod area America’s hottest neighborhood of 2017. Citing soaring demand caused by (relative) affordability, this designation had some people asking, “Where is Bushrod?” Not quite Berkeley and not quite Temescal, Bushrod begins near UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and extends north to Alcatraz Avenue between Telegraph Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Why not walk, bike, or BART there to see what it’s about?

 

Play

Any visit should begin with a stroll through Bushrod Park and Community Garden, a sprawling space that includes fields for baseball and soccer, basketball and tennis courts, a play structure, the Bushrod Recreation Center, and a community garden. Many local sports legends honed their skills on its grounds including Don Budge, the first to win a tennis Grand Slam; former Athletics and Yankees manager Billy Martin; and A’s Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. 560 59th St., 510-238-7275.

Whether you’re a rabid collector, a casual buyer, or just a looky-loo, a visit to Clars Auction Gallery is a great way to spend a morning. Clars holds a vast collection of fine art, antiques, pottery, jewelry, furniture, rare clocks—even antique cars—and items are auctioned monthly. Clars specializes in Asian art, Western decorative art, sterling silver, and more, and experts are happy to walk prospective buyers through the auction process. Bring a sense of adventure and packing materials. 5644 Telegraph Ave., 510-428-0100, Clars.com.

If you find yourself quoting Leon Trotsky and Che Guevara during debates, you may enjoy a visit to the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library. Named for Karl Niebyl, a Marxist economist and scholar, and Roscoe Proctor, a longtime Oakland resident, union organizer, and community leader, this library/archive/community space offers a vast collection of literature, free (of course), to the public. While library materials do not circulate, the public is encouraged to read on-site, attend lectures, and participate in the ongoing struggle against discrimination. 6501 Telegraph Ave., 510-595-7417, MarxistLibr.org.

 

Shop

If your reading list contains more Mallarmé than Marx, consider stopping in European Books & Media, a boutique bookstore specializing in foreign-language books primarily in French, with some offerings in Spanish, German, and Italian. European Books & Media carries a wide variety of French children’s books and beginning readers, as well as textbooks and language instruction materials. For those who are already fluent, the store has comics, audiobooks, literature, mysteries, and magazines, including Charlie Hebdo, tout en français. 6600 Shattuck Ave., 510-922-9157, EuropeanBook.com.

Long Weekend is a highly curated retail and gallery space featuring home goods, fine art supplies, and all the comforts a person would need for a long weekend. With keen eyes and razor-sharp style, owners Courtney Cerruti and Chrisina Diaz have filled their store with an eclectic but connected inventory that includes haute stationery, vintage textiles, art books, handmade Spanish sandals, Oakland-made jewelry and fragrances, and more. Long Weekend is only open on weekends. 5636 Shattuck Ave., 510-858-7111, LongWeekend.virb.com.

Photo by Lori Eanes

Gnat Feleke shops at Brundo.

Is your cooking tasting uninspired? Why not jazz up your dishes with something from Brundo Ethiopian Spices? Brundo carries everything you need to create an Ethiopian feast including berbere, a chili pepper blend; besobela, Ethiopian basil; and tikur azmud, black cumin seeds. Brundo also sells lentils, warm, fresh injera, and ready-made niter kibbeh, a spiced, clarified butter similar to ghee. 6419 Telegraph Ave., 510-601-7999, Brundo.com.

 

Eat

You can let the professionals make the messer wot and ye’abesha gomen at Addis Restaurant. Ethiopian food is served family style, and diners eat with their hands by tearing off pieces of injera and using it as scoops. Dishes can get spicy, though many are mild, and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options, making Addis an ideal spot for a group. The vegetarian sampler is a popular dish, as are the shrimp tibs. Order a glass of honey wine or Harar Lager to complement your meal. 6100 Telegraph Ave., 510-653-3456, AddisEthiopian.com.

The founder of Nick’s Pizza was born and raised blocks from where his restaurant now stands and his “Oakland-style pizza” touts a sourdough crust and fresh, quality, local ingredients on a constantly changing menu. Some meats and cheeses are made in-house. And let’s not forget the desserts: owner Nick Yapor-Cox trained as a pastry chef and offers his customers decadent delights. 6211 Shattuck Ave., 510-658-3903, OaklandStylePizza.com.

Where can you listen to the latest K-pop, snack on Korean-style fried chicken, and sip an ice-cold OB Golden Lager? OB Town, of course. The menu featues familiar Korean favorites, emphasizin barbecued dishes and large party favorites like hot wings. OB Town is perfect for happy hour and excellent for large groups. 6101 Telegraph Ave., 510-595-5338, OBTown.com.

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