Amblin' Alameda: Good day for walking

Amblin' Alameda: Good day for walking

Morton Chalfy

Summer's almost over, so of course it's heating up around here - and promising to get warmer yet. Still, this weekend gave us a succession of great days in which to stroll and amble around, especially along Shore Line Drive. The marine layer cools us off in the morning, the breeze along the beach keeps up the cooling even after the sun warms things up enough to burn off the fog, and the sparkling water adds energy to each step.

On the way to the beach, I pass a gated bit of land at the end of one of the lagoons which slopes steeply down to the water. On this slope at the time I passed were two flocks of birds, ducks and pigeons, all hunkered down, all facing the same way, but in two segregated clumps. One wonders if all is peaceful within their breasts or if they are secretly resentful of the other species. No opinions were voiced on my way by, but a seagull, floating just offshore, let out a squawk of (imagined) displeasure before flying away.

The beach also sported beings hunkered down but they were all human. Again, peaceful exteriors hiding who-knows-what thoughts. The thoughts of the children were on obvious display, however. One toddler was kicking a soccer ball around with his dad and squealed with delight whenever he was able to run up to the ball before his father. Dad was running in slo-mo, but that didn't depreciate the toddler's ecstatic joy one bit.

It seems to be mostly families with children at the beach - which makes perfect sense - and the children were making full use of the facilities, wading, swimming, digging in the sand and that old favorite of kids everywhere, just running around.

The water was at high tide and gentle though the breeze on the water was sort of stiff, strong enough to entice eight or 10 kiteboarders out onto the bay. Their brightly colored kite sails were blown almost horizontal and their boards were scudding rapidly across the surface, no doubt to the delight of their riders. They certainly presented a delightful scene, something a French Impressionist would find irresistible.

A snapshot of the beach: The sand, the families scattered along its length, the heads of the people in the water, and beyond them the kiteboarders flying atop the waves and beyond the kiteboarders, the spires of San Francisco, the mountains behind the city and the marine layer above the mountains. This is, in my mind, an iconic image, one which identifies Alameda as a spectacularly special place. Peaceful, family friendly, beautiful and with one of the world's most influential and exciting cities in its back yard, so to speak. San Francisco is fun, but Alameda is home.


Submitted by Anya (not verified) on Thu, Aug 28, 2014

Your description brings to mind Monet or Pizzaro....a peaceful and a beautiful setting. I enjoy your work. Thank you.