17 January 2011

Oakland Marathon neighborhood tour - # 5 - Temescal

The heart of the Temescal neighboorhood business district runs along Telegraph Avenue from roughly 41st Avenue to 51st.

Telegraph Avenue, by the way, begins in downtown Oakland at Broadway and runs through Oakland and Berkeley to end at Bancroft Avenue on the south side of the University of California ("Cal") campus.  The last stretch of Telegraph south of the campus is what became notorious in the 1960s and 70s.

Southwest corner of Telegraph and 51st
Temescal is an area that has changed a lot in the twelve years since I left the East Bay, and pretty much all for the better.

But some may mourn the long gone Pussycat Theater, which once "graced" the northeast corner of Telegraph and 51st.  Since being torn down in the 90s, its site has remained a vacant lot.  Yes, the Pussycat Theater was a place that showed raunchy movies.

At the south end it remains a heavily Korean business district.  Maybe it's called Koreatown - I've never heard that - but establishments with Korean names predominate.

I've been to the Tofu House (pictured here).  You might expect it to be vegetarian with this name - it isn't.

Like so many areas of Oakland, diversity in eating is the name of the game here.  On a walk up and down Telegraph, in addition to Korean, I saw Spanish, Burmese, pizza, pizza/brewpub, Chinese, Mexican, Ethiopian/Eritrean, Moroccan, and more.
The route of the marathon runs north on Telegraph, then makes a right (east) turn on 51st.  Don't get too tempted by all of the dining choices as you're only 3 miles into the race at this point.

Oakland Marathon neighborhood tour - navigational links:
Backward to: Piedmont Avenue
Forward to: Rockridge south
Oakland Marathon website

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