The Grand Lake District
The Grand Lake District in Oakland is a choice neighborhood. The neighborhood is located near the northeast corner of Lake Merritt, where Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Avenues pass under Interstate 580. It borders Adams Point to the west, Trestle Glen to the east, and Piedmont to the north.
I live at 555 Chetwood Street, between two historical landmarks of the city; the Oakland Rose Garden and Adams Point. For someone who does not drive, this is perhaps one of the best tplaces to live in the Bay Area. The AC Transit Municipal Transport provides a network of easy and rapid access from the district to anywhere within and outside the city of Oakland.
Bus 57, the AC transit municipal transport, stops right on my block at the corner of Vernon Street and Santa Clara Avenue. The bus runs across the city from East Oakland to MacArthur Bart station and provides a rapid daily commute to San Francisco. Five minutes’ walk south from where I live down the hill on Santa Clara, the Bus 12 stops right in front of the famous Grand Lake Theater and provides easy access to downtown Oakland, Chinatown and environs.
Grand Lake is a bubbling business and residential community. Stuart Sweetow, Secretary of the Grand Avenue Business Association told me that “Oakland is Grand Avenue.” The Association represents merchants in the Grand Avenue corridor between Macarthur Blvd. and the piedmont border of the district. Most of the stores on grand are independently owned. According Mr. Sweetow, Grand Avenue is one of the oldest retail corridors in Oakland. “The Grand Lake Theater is 80 years old as is the grand Lake Smoke Shop. The famous Dreyer’s Ice Cream started on Grand Avenue in 1928. And the Coffee Mill on grand Avenue is Oaklands oldest coffee house.”
There are two shopping areas in the Grand Lake District; along Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Avenue. The two streets are connected at their lowest point by lake Park Avenue and Splashpad Park. Across the Grand Avenue, overlooking the Park is Lakeview Elementary School a multicultural ins serving a diverse ethnic population.
Splashpad Park is the epicenter of the Grand Lake District; it is also the home of the neighborhood’s large Saturday farmer’s market.
According to the East bay Express nothing beats the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market. Situated in a park near the edge of Lake Merritt and across the street from the Grand Lake movie theater, it serves metaphorical double-duty as both the heart of Oakland and a de facto melting pot. Visitors come from all directions — posh estates in the hills, mid-century apartments around the lake, urbane downtown lofts, modest homes in Eastlake and North Oakland neighborhoods — to shop for produce and crafts, dine on prepared foods, enjoy entertainment, and take in the life-affirming sights and sounds of others doing the same. Every Saturday morning throughout the year, the market bustles — fresh, vibrant, diverse, laidback, and 100-percent Oakland.