Captain Obvious: Lake Merritt is our GGP!

By Captain Obvious (KenO)

Thanks to John Klein for posting photos of our local repaving team at work:

Repaving LM pavement

Repaving LM pavement

Keeping Lake Merritt firmly ensconced in a brand new asphalt setting (or “collet” if you are British) will keep our aqueous Jewel looking shiny and welcoming for quite some time. The city’s Public Works department has also repaved the walking paths around the south side of the lake. Completing the makeover, with the new Lake Chalet finally open, the Lake now has its own upscale eatery.

Do not interpret any of this as diminishing the important part (and utility) of the Lake Merritt Bakery though.  The Merritt R&B is still open until 12am or 2am (thanks Oakland city council for the 2am must-close rule!) unlike the 3-4am sitdown times I enjoyed back in my 20s after a night of hard SF house clubbing.

Lake Merritt really is Oakland’s answer to Tourist & DeLuca’s  Golden Gate Park.  Our city’s greatest natural resource is more lake than forest and glade, but it satisfies.  LM is Oakland’s more casual version of Hong Kong’s Victoria Bay, Venezia’s canal system or Berkeley’s Marina.

Like SFGGP, LM has a (smaller) menagerie of botanical gardens. LM has a boathouse like Fremont’s Lake Elizabeth or Seattle’s Lake Union from which you can rent boats or take sailing lessons. People use both parks for picnics, jogging, volleyball, being homeless, walking pooch, cycling and meeting up. Good parks are critical to any city’s collective mental and physical well-being. Jogging and walking the lake has helped keep me fit!

It’s nice to see Oakland city hall keeping dollars flowing to the lake’s upkeep, even though the city’s leaders have stopped maintaining many small parks and street medians due to falling tax revenue.

I’m glad the city never put in a bridge over the lake. Oakland has plenty of concrete square footage already. The mini CFL light bulbs, vegas style, are a nice touch, save money and save carbon.

What needs Fixing?

— water fountains – not all of them work

What do you think – is the lake being maintained as well as SF’s Golden Gate Park? What can be improved?

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3 responses to “Captain Obvious: Lake Merritt is our GGP!

  1. I don’t think that Oakland requires non-alcohol serving restaurants to close at 2 AM. And since I think that Merritt R&B does not serve alcohol, it is not required to close by city council. There certainly are, at least in the recent past, restaurants open 24 hours in Oak.

  2. thanks for the fact-checking. city rules certainly are numerous. from what you say, may be that Merritt R&B doesn’t get enough biz to satisfy staying open so late, or nobody wants to work that late. Giant Burger on Telegraph between 20th and West Grand claims to be open 24 hours since the last couple of weeks. It was open till 3-4am 7 days a week before that. Korean-run burger joint.

  3. GG Park is much better maintained that sadly neglected LM, but there’s been much improvement in the 9 years I’ve lived by the lake, and when the 12th St. project is completed it will transform the area. The South side of the lake will have a new park with fantastic views. Lakeside Park near where I live needs a lot of resources devoted to it, but even in it’s current state there’s charm.

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