This was Oakland, California in 1900.
here for a bit of Oakland's history.
I have lived around this city all my life, but never in it. When I was a child my father worked at the Navel Supply Center, here, near the Bay Bridge. Because we lived to the east in a very small town (at the time). We went to Oakland for everything. We shopped here, we went to movies here and spent a lot of time at Lake Merritt, Jack London's square, Broadway and MacArthur Blvd (at Kaiser Hospital where my sister was born), and visiting friends who did live here. Now, so many years later, my son lives here. I'm getting to know this town much better than I ever did when I was growing up.
For all of you who know this area here's a trivia question. What's missing in the above picture? I mean besides the thousands of houses that have been built since then. Look out toward San Francisco. Look at the bay area. What's missing?...... Bridges? There are no bridges. No Golden Gate connecting San Francisco to Marin County (The Golden Gate wasn't completed until 1937). No Bay Bridge connecting Oakland to San Francisco. There were lots of Ferries, but no bridges. How strange for those of us who always remember the bridges. How different it must have been.
I stayed an extra day so I could go see "M" and the improvements on his little bungalow in the upper Laurel district (now he tells me that it's really in Redwood Heights). I'm not that sure what it's called. I just know how to get there.
This little house is, I think, only about 700 sq. ft. all together. It was built in 1911. It was probably a caretakers cottage on a large estate or farm. There was this scary little bathroom that was added to the back porch a long time ago when who ever lived in it decided to bury the outhouse. I was in fear of "M"s life when he took a shower. The whole bathroom tilted. You had to hold on to the sink when you used the toilet. This little house needed some tender loving care. Now, it's getting some thanks to my son and the man next door who is a contractor, neighbor and very nice guy.
They have added a bedroom and a new bath to the back of the house. OMG! It's beautiful....and a laundry, and a new back entrance. It just so exciting.... so exciting that I forgot to take pictures this time because I were so busy getting a rundown from "M"s neighbor, meeting his wife, looking at paint patches on the wall and helping make decisions about flooring and paint color.
We drove to Home Depot to buy a mirror and towel set for the bathroom.Then it was time for dinner so "M" drove us to Emeryville to the new redeveloped area that had restaurants, condos and very efficient parking.
The weather was so beautiful. My son was cold. He likes warm weather. He's a runner and soccer player so he likes "pleasant" weather. I was in my element. Maybe I need to live by the ocean instead of the dry foothills.
Then we drove to IKEA.
This is the biggest most entertaining store I have ever been in. You have to experience this store just once. This is my second time and I'm still in awe of the size and volume of things in this store.
When you inter the store you can pick up catalogs....
SWEDISH MEAT BALLS. Even one of my comments mentioned them.
And then the entertainment begins....
There are floors of everything that you will every need to fill the inside of a home....from decor to whole bedrooms....
I loved this bedroom with it's pale lavender walls and black and white everything else.
But this one was my favorite...
French and La Boheme. I love the free standing closet and the black iron bed. The whole room was just charming. I thought IKEA just had really modern, kind of generic furniture but some of this furniture is really more traditional.... and the best part is that it's not very expensive. You do have to assemble everything yourself.
This was "M"s favorite kitchen. That's the next part of his renovation and he liked this kitchen. It would be on a smaller scale for his space.
The counter tops are granite and the cabinet fronts are bead board or glass. I doubt that he would want this quantity of glass front cabinets but maybe a couple would be nice. The farm sink is really big and the tile backsplash would be very easy to keep clean.
There was another one that he liked too. It was more modern and sleek...
This kitchen was more the size that would fit the space he has and was less expensive. I liked it too.
Can you believe all of this? There were whole sections with mock ups of different kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms like this. There were areas with just beds and mattresses. A whole corner with chairs, couches and one with desks and offices. Then, they had a floor of children's things. It's all there if your feet can hold up. Mine finally said "Enough" and we headed for the front door, following the arrows, hoping to make it to the car before my feet gave out completely and I dreamed of rubbing in some Aspercream later on.
I hope you get to see one of these IKEA stores someday. You won't be sorry.... but give yourself at least half a day. This isn't just a walk to the chicken coop.