Earlier this year, I listed and sold, 3915 Laguna Avenue in the Dimond district of Oakland. (www.TheLagunaCottage.com) This house was/is such a special house! It sold with seven offers earlier this Spring, much in part to the gorgeous kitchen. Richard and Christina, the former owners, hiredlocal architect Angela Klein to help with the lay-out. They then hired, Oakland contractor, Rebecca of Paragon Kitchen and Bath Remodel. After all of the love, thought and heart poured into this renovation, I was curious to see what this room looked like before the transformation. I am always intrigued by a home's history, so I had to find out more. Unfortunately we could not find any before pictures, so I contacted the Realtors who listed the house when Christina and Richard purchased the house some years back...and I was in luck! They still had a few snapshots of the kitchen. Look at the metamorphosis below:
Oakland is full of life, savor what this city has to offer. Below are just a few events in the coming weeks.
O Zone at OMCA: Incredible! | Friday October 8th, 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Learn about the making of the film with behind-the-scenes stories from Pixar artists who helped make it! For more information click here.
Oaktoberfest! Saturday October 9th, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. Come enjoy beer, music and food in the Dimond district of Oakland. Red Oak Realty is a proud sponsor and will have a booth! I will be there from 12:00-2:30 pm to answer any real estate questions you might have. Come and say hello! For more information click here!
Sundays in the Redwoods, Sunday October 10th, 2 pm at the Woodminister Amphitheatre. George Duke, Stabe Wilson and Ray McCoy will close out this annual 4 Sunday series. For more information click here!
15th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival on Sunday October 24, 2010 from 10:00 am to 5:00 am. The festival will be held between 33rd Ave. and 37th Ave. on East 12th St., as well as in the Fruitvale Village. For more information click here!
Celebrate Redwood Heights and the art work of Pam Consear! Wednesday October 25th from 6-8 pm at 3595 Monterey Blvd in Redwood Heights. (art gala, open house and refreshments.)
Boo at the Zoo! Saturday October 30th from 10 am - 3 pm. Come celebrate halloween with the children in your life at Oakland's zoo. Click here for more information.
Bay Area Dine Out! Tuesday November 9th dine out for Meals on Wheels. 80 local restaurants are participating in this event. For more information click here!
When Jeff and Kersti first got together, they contemplated selling the Redwood Heights home and buying a house together. After doing a little house hunting they realized Redwood Heights was a perfect place to stay. They expanded their home, by adding a master bedroom suite and enlarged the kitchen \ Last year I met Jeff and Kersti at an open house and it turned out they live around the corner from me. October was nearing, and after a nice chat, they were kind enough to invite me to their Octoberfest, featuring Jeff's home brew made with their homegrown hops. Jeff has a passion for beer, so much so, he installed a brew room when they remodeled their home. A year later, Jeff's hops were ready to harvest and I was invited over to see the buds that gives beer it's bitter edge. I am always inspired by homes that people create. It is more than just the remodeled kitchens or furnishings, it's about the way people transform their properties to fit their lifestyle and give them maximum enjoyment.
Speaking of beer, save the date for Oaktoberfest! October 9th, 11am- 6pm @Fruitvale and MacArthur. Red Oak is proud to be a sponsor of this neighborhood festival. Come down to the Red Oak booth and visit me, I would love to meet you and answer any real estate questions you might have.
Thanks Kersti and Jeff for showing me your gorgeous home and allowing me to have a glimpse of your life.
It is really cool that we have a lake in the middle of our city! Year-round Lake Merritt is Oakland's most popular gym. (I say this with no statistical data!) Recently, I have been a major exercise slacker! So I am posting this to self motivate.
Have you driven or walked by the corners of 11th and Broadway and 41st and Piedmont in Oakland and remarked about the murals that depict the Key System Stations that operated streetcars and bus lines throughout the East Bay (and a commuter rail and ferry to San Francisco) from 1903 until 1948 and wondered who this talented artist is in our midst? His name is Rocky Rische-Baird and this native of Northern California who splits his time between the Bay Area and the village of Putney, Vermont. Rische-Baird self describes his art as representative of the unity between nature, self and the idea that the human mind retains past memories. However it is interpreted, his art has an other-worldly quality that is mesmerizing and gives us a peek into Oakland’s unique history. Love them!
Oakland is the home of amazing people, both past and present, and James and Henrietta Latham were no exception. James, a Wells Fargo representative and his wife Henrietta, had three children, Charles, Milton and Edith and were dedicated to the value of all living things, including the way children were educated. His brother Milton, a prominent California senator, was the 6th governor of California. James died in 1876 and Henrietta remarried a Mr. Dwight, continuing her passion for “the speechless ones” through watercolor painting, and by writing one of the first vegetarian cookbooks, published in 1898, called The Golden Age Cook-Book. The gorgeous bronze sculpture located at Telegraph and Broadway in Oakland was a gift from their children as a tribute to their humanity. Created by Raphael Charles Peyre, a French sculptor, it depicts several scenes including a cherub restraining a man from beating a donkey, and the bowls surrounding the base were intended as horse water troughs. Henrietta Latham Dwight died in Paris in 1909 and was buried in Oakland in 1910.
Every first Friday of the month, with the next screening on June 4th, the Great Wall of Oakland presents a curated screening of video art and films from artists in Europe, Canada and the United States. A series of 100-foot by 100-foot moving images are projected onto the back wall of 2201 Broadway. The Wall faces West Grand Avenue between Broadway and Valley Street, next door to Luka’s Taproom and Lounge in Oakland’s Uptown district. Don’t miss this dramatic cutting edge motion art! Click here for more information.
Save the date! On April 29 The Oakland Zoo will host a screening of the movie “Return to the Wild, a Modern Tale of Wolf and Man.” The reception begins at 6:30 in the Marian Zimmer Auditorium at the Oakland Zoo with the screening beginning at 7pm. The film is appropriate for children 12 and older and the cost is a sliding scale of $10-$20. Get the details at www.oaklandzoo.org. Pack a lawn chair, dress warm and head on up to Redwood Heights Recreation Center this Friday, April 30 to see the Pixar movie “Up.” Snacks are available from 6:30 to 8:30 for $4.00 with all proceeds going to the scholarship fund for summer day camp and after school Rockets. The movie begins at dusk, approx. 8pm. Call 510.482.7827 for a list of all the Friday night movies through July.
Oakland Museum of California is newly remodeled! Saturday, May 1, celebrate the transformed museum with 31 hours of continuous free programs and events. Festivities begin at 11am with a Native American Ohlone blessing, and of course the continued discovery of the story of California. For more info visit museumca.org.
Stop by L’Amyx Tea Bar, 3437 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, on May 7 from 5-7 pm and enjoy a complimentary beverage and reception launching a solo exhibition of the recent paintings of Lorrie Fink, oils inspired by the organic forms found in nature and the cycles of life. This Washington D.C. raised artist has been the Bay Area since 1974, with her first solo exhibit at EBMUD Gallery in 2008.
For images or further information about this exhibit, please contact: Lorrie Fink, (510) 326-1990; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web site: http://www.lorriefink.com.
The East Bay just keeps getting better and better. If you think Oakland and Berkeley are sleepy cities, then you are certainly mistaken! Once Ozzie's Fountain Shoppe amid-century pharmacy and soda fountain is now the Elmwood Cafe. This cafe was thoughtfully renovated and the owners did their best to savage the essence of its former space. Located on the corner of College andRussell, Elmwood Cafe is open from 7 am - 10 pm daily.
Curator, Lonnie Lee is hard at work renovating her new art gallery in the Uptown area of Oakland. This space will feature local art in an historic old building. This space was a former stable, auto garage, furniture repair shop and then home of United Glass. Lonnie Lee was the proprietor of Vessel on Ashby Avenue in Berkeleya boutique that I loved a few years back. Vessel Gallery in Oakland's revived art district will surely be special. Look for Vessel Gallery to open May 15th, 2010.
Kakui will come to Montclair Village, bringing a handsome sushi spot. This space housed Jamba Juice and is next door to Noah's Bagels. When I walk by I get glimpses of the owners vision and I am super excited.
New from Saint George Spirits in Alameda is Firelit Spirits from distiller Dave Smith. This yummy liqueur is made with Blue Bottle Coffee and distilled brandy. The coffee is roasted at Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland and this liqueur is distilled in small batches in Alameda.
Coming soon to the corner of Adeline and Alcatraz in Berkeley, Addie's pizza. The owners of Sweet Adeline Bakeshop are renovating the old Spud's Pizza spot. If you have tasted the baked goods that chef, Jennifer produces at out Sweet Adeline's Bakeshop, then you are as excited as I am about her upcoming pizzeria.
Wildly popular Labels Consignment Shop in Walnut Creek will open up a sister store on Ashby Avenue near College. This place was voted the best place to buy a designer handbag by Diablo Magazine!
I sold this mid-century modern home last year. (2009)
Last year I had the privilege of working with Julie and Alastair. After many happy years in their mid-century modern home in Lincoln Heights, they had out grown this swanky two bedroom, 2 bathroom pad. Their family had grown to five and life had created a new chapter in Alastair's homeland, New Zealand. I really loved working with Julie and Alastair and was happy to see a glimpse of their new life overseas. (Above is the exterior of their former California ranch, below is their new New Zealand retreat.)
Set on an acre of land that is both maintained garden, rural and natural. A stream defines one side of the boundary and there is a large fenced area that is toddler safe for their youngest son. The house is circa 1930's that has been carefully restored. It has 3 bedrooms with a sun-room that is easily used as a bedroom if they want. There are french doors all around the house leading onto various decks and out into the yard. On the property is an old 'bulking shed' where they used to hold large bundles of tobacco when the property was used by tobacco farmers. This shed is huge, almost like a small hanger. The 'blokes area' is a small, well built unit off the shed and also has a wood fireplace in it. There is another shed as well (which was originally used to dry hopps, and is called a hop kiln.) There are about 30 fruit trees, and the gardens are simple but lovely. How dreamy is this?
Over the past two months, I have been preparing this beautiful cottage for the marketplace. I think this is the perfect place to have the ultimate dinner party. Every house has a story to tell and the cottage at 3915 Laguna lets the imagination take flight. For me, the discovery of the history of a home is a labor of love and is as important as the home itself. Christina and Richard transformed their Dimond Cottage into a masterpiece and it is an honor to represent them in the sale of their first home. Each home I market has a story to tell. Please call me when you are ready to tell the story of your house. Click here to view the Laguna Cottage.
Matthew Kowalski is showcasing his art at my office. Red Oak Realty, 2099 Pleasant Valley Avenue in Oakland. I love the bright colors!
Matthew Kowalski: Artist Statement
“I create my Radical Relief art using found objects as a printing medium. Finding the objects I use is random and up to fate. I am driven by curiosity in my search for and discovery of these tools, society's discards. I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I am turning someone’s garbage into gold and making my small contribution to stopping the waste running amok in our world. It makes me feel good knowing that everything we need is here, all around us; we don’t need to make more."
Here are a few of my favorite places to grab quality food on the run. Cafe 15 is in Downtown Oakland at 597 15th Street behind the State building. This is owned and operated by husband and wife team Lauren and Arash Ghasemi (Arash was a chef at Eccolo restaurant on 4th Street in Berkeley, which is now closed). Cafe 15 believes that sustainable, quality food doesn't have to cost a fortune. All of the food is made from scratch on the premises. I have tried a few of there salads, they are wonderful, full of flavor and very satisfying. I plan on trying the oyster po' boy next. Cafe 15 is open Monday - Friday for breakfast and lunch.
Summer Kitchen Bakeshop is in Berkeley near the corner of College and Ashby, and they claim to be take away re-imagined. Owners Paul and Charlene were inspired by Martha's Vineyard, the rolling farmlands and the summer kitchens built long ago behind the old farmhouses. This shop is spic and span and very cozy. Here you can walk up to the counter and choose from a good selection of grab and go items like the buttermilk fried chicken, panko and herb crusted chicken tenders and my favorite the cauliflower and olive salad. There are picture perfect cupcakes, sweet loaf breads and tarts. There is a made to order menu featuring sandwiches, salads, specials and the wood burning hearth produces pizza's and also makes the whole restaurant glow.
Amba in Montclair Village, serves falafels, fries, hummus and a few tasty salads. All of the food is vegetarian, kosher, fresh, flavorful and affordable. This is a great addition to Montclair Village and is a great alternative to your typical take-out. Please note they are closed on Saturday.
What is your favorite place to grab quality food on the run? Leave a comment or email me, I would love to hear from you.
This view comes FREE with the purchase of 1 Kelton Court #5B. I love 1 Kelton Court! 1 Kelton Court is on a cul de sac a few blocks away from Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. This is the perfect building for folks who want to be close to everything and yet live in a quiet building. (One of my clients purchased a unit in this building last year.) 1 Kelton Court #5B is currently listed with of Linda Elkin of Red Oak Realty.
Yesterday on Oakland's Broker Tour, I fell in love with 5785 Country Club Drive, (listed by Karen Starr of Grubb Co.) Claremont Pines, (a neighborhood in Upper Rockridge located between Broadway and Broadway Terrace) is a one of my favorite neighborhoods. Some of the properties in this area have City and Bay views, the neighborhood is very walkable, there is a neighborhood grocery store, Village Market and in about 20 minutes you can walk to your favorite shops and restaurants on College Avenue in Rockridge. 5785 Country Club, (offered at $1,525,000) was built in 1941 home and has been completely transformed into a sleek, yet relaxed abode that gives homage to mid-century modern design. The light is fantastic and the views of the City and Bay add to the charm.
A few months ago I featured mid-century signs in Oakland and Berkeley and the sign below missed the cut. This cool 3-D mid-century sign is on MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland. (In the Laurel district)
My dear friend Claudia Miller is the Regional Development Manager for First Place For Youth. Founded in 1998, First Place was the first organization in Northern California to provide affordable housing and supportive services to former foster youth, and today is considered a national model for providing permanent housing for high risk youth. Over the past two years, I have heard Claudia's stories about the kids and young adults that are a part of this organization and I have heard her determination to raise money for this important cause.
Yesterday First Place for Youth hosted a private showing of The Blind Side at the Jack London Theatre in Oakland. This movie depicts a teenager lost in the foster care system who ultimately becomes a successful adult. About 100 Oakland residents and friends of First Place showed up to support the cause. This holiday season as people are cutting back on the extravagant gifts, First Place for Youth is a great gift alternative. Donate any amount of money in a friend or family members name. Visit First Place for Youth online.
Growing up with my entire family intact, I have taken for granted my privilege of family support. Every year I was able to go the school in my neighborhood, maintain the same friends over the years and enjoy trading school pictures with my buddies. Often foster children are moved around, (on average 5 times), have difficulty getting into school because of lost birth certificates and often no one purchases their school photographs. Last week, Oakland resident and photographer Christina Koci-Hernandez donated her time and took exquisite photos of the kids in the program. Click Here and check out Christina's amazing slide show!
This past summer my husband turned 40. I wanted to give him something special and lasting, so I hired Oakland artist, Sarah HaBa of Rockridge to paint a picture from a photograph. Sarah capture the essence of my family on a wood board and I love it! Check Sarah out online, http://sarahhaba.com