In our recent neighborhood exploration of 코리아타운 Koreatown, we discuss the growing Korean influence on Telegraph Avenue from downtown Oakland to Temescal. Today, we continue highlighting the area just north on Telegraph Avenue in one of Oakland’s hip, up-and-coming neighborhoods, Temescal.
Temescal is a North Oakland neighborhood bordered by Route-24 to the west, 55th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, and 40th Street to the south. Temescal is one of the city’s oldest and most storied neighborhoods. It began as a separate village — a stop along the railway line that ran up Telegraph Avenue from downtown Oakland to Berkeley. The village voted to become part of the city of Oakland in 1897, in part, to achieve better access to police protection and public schools.
Its historical beauty lies especially within its residential neighborhoods with its plentiful stock of early 20th century California bungalows and Victorians – full-on with a mixture of period and modern decor. In 2009, This Old House compiled a list of their 51 favorite ‘Old House Neighborhoods’ (Guideline: one neighborhood from each state in the U.S. plus one in Canada). It’s California neighborhood selection for best Old Houses? Temescal; Oakland, CA. In addition, Temescal was named as an Editor’s Top-10 Pick in the same magazine article.
Temescal isn’t just about period homes, though. In fact, what draws most visitors to the neighborhood is its continuing commercial growth up and down Telegraph Avenue, which now bustles with shops and restaurants whose owners found an affordable neighborhood in which to operate.
Between 51st Street and 40th Street, Temescal’s commercial hub, part of which is known colloquially as The Gourmet Ghetto, showcases cuisines from all around the world – Burma, China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Spain. Upon your first visit to Temescal, rain or shine, you’re likely to witness a line of people rounding the corner of 51st and Telegraph — no worries, it’s probably the faithful followers of Bakesale Betty’s, a must-try for anyone visiting the neighborhood.
My favorite fare (in no particular order): Red Sea (Eritrean/Ethiopian), Asmara (Ethiopian), Lanesplitter (Pizza), Koryo (Korean BBQ), and Barlata (Tapas). In addition, one of the single best teas (green pear) I’ve ever had in my life I enjoyed at The Mixing Bowl.
The arts are a key component to the neighborhood, which boasts a handful of art galleries. In addition, at the corner of 46th and Telegraph, The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse dedicates its 501(c)3 to helping eliminate waste by carrying used arts & craft materials, educational supplies, vintage furniture, fabric, and art. Looking for a random treasure? This is definitely the place. Doing a makeover on your home? The Temescal Branch Library at 51st and Telegraph features one of the country’s only tool-lending libraries.
Temescal Street Fair
Each June, the neighborhood hosts an annual street fair on Telegraph between 48th and 51st streets. It’s a terrific opportunity for visitors to come experience Temescal’s diverse fare, culture and storied history; music, food, and crafts highlight the day. This year , the 8th Annual Fair will be held on Sunday, July 10 due to the early June rain that we’ve received.
Temescal is no doubt a unique neighborhood that’s worth a second glance. If you’re new to the area, come to the street fair in July and take in the sights and scenes of a neighborhood truly on the upswing. Getting to Temescal is easy: it’s an 8-block walk to the MacArthur BART station and a 10-block walk to the Rockridge BART station. Via Route-24, exit to 51st Street and turn right to 51st and another right to Telegraph.
If you’re interested in a tour, a viewing, or simply additional charts and graphs of the market in and around Temescal, please contact me at 510-637-8016 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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