A Walk Down Telegraph Ave.
Telegraph Ave: one of the most iconic locations in the East Bay... and one of my personal favorites. Spanning all the way from the UC campus to the edge of West Oakland, Telegraph is lined with colorful shops, iconic restaurants, and gorgeous street art. It's one of my favorite places to take people when they're out here visiting, on account of the fact that there's always something interesting to see or do, especially on a weekend.
The other day I had to go run some errands along the Berkeley side of Telegraph before meeting my friend in Temescal (the quaint neighborhood that occupies some of the Oakland side of Telegraph) to shoot some photos of her. As I was walking, I couldn't help but notice how exceptionally-pretty everything looked on this overcast day, and had to snap some pictures. Every time I come here, I get excited, even though I'm here at least three times a week. There's just something so charming and fun about this area of town. It's bustling, yet still. Exuberant, yet modest. And just quiet enough that parking is never really a hassle.
If you're starting at the Berkeley side, there are tons of different places to go and see. From the giant (yes, GIANT) Amoeba Records to the equally-massive Buffalo Exchange, your second-hand shopping (or selling) needs are easily covered. My favorite tattoo parlor, War Horse, is there if you're brave, or grab a bite to eat at Mezzo, the famous, vegetarian-friendly cafe.
Turning to the Oakland side, right off the exit of 24-East sits one of my favorite places ever: Mariposa Bakery. A 100% gluten-free (and mostly vegan) bakery, it's full of the most amazing cakes, cupcakes, breads, pastries, and so much more. I frequent this place more than I should, and love the fact that their menu is always changing. But of course, if sweets aren't your thing, there's Pyeong Chang Tofu House, The Mixing Bowl, and Itani Ramen: all some of my favorite, vegan-friendly favorites. Can you tell I love Asian food?
Restaurants aside, some of the best shopping sits adjacent from Telegraph, in a small area called Temescal Alley. Located on 49th street between Telegraph and Clarke, some of the cutest local shops can be found here, including: a vintage bookstore, an upscale, minimal jewelry shop, and an apothecary that sells crystals and tarot cards. Oh, and a vegan ice cream shop. Though busier on the weekends, it's often fairly quiet, tucked away from the busy city. It's a great place to hang out and walk around, or shoot some Instagram-worthy pictures, if that's your thing. With its array of colorful walls and tiny alcoves, it's not only an indie-shopper's paradise, but also a photographer's paradise.
Next time you find yourself in the Oakland/Berkeley area, I highly suggest you spend a day talking a walk (err..drive) down Telegraph Ave. There's so much to do and see, it's truly a place that will appeal to everyone.