Tuesday, January 18, 2011

City Beyond the Cloud

I now live in a city that is known for its sunshine and having the coldest winter on earth--that being its summer time. But I will now give it another name, it is the city of fog and mist.

Like a maiden's veil that can be parted by tenderly hands, morning Sun usually blows the fog away and the Bay Bridge is visible again from my Balcony.

This morning even the office buildings outside my windows were hidden at the beginning. I and my visiting friend decided not to go pick up our zip car until the fog is largely evaporated. By the time I can see cars moving on the Bay bridge from my Balcony, we departed, for we were going through the 80 East to Berkeley.

I can't see the ocean and the giant ships on it, but I hear them and they sounds eager and carefree.

80 East extends on the lower level of the bridge and although Sun was shining while we first started out, 30 meters into the bridge we were among fogs and need to reduce speed. This bridge feels longer than any of the bridges that I was driven through--Brooklyn, George Washington and that of Newport, RI. And the ocean totally disappeared on either side of the bridge. We drove carefully on, maintaining speed is the best strategy in this situation, when we can't see very well, even through we inclined to reduce it. I am not trying to find the symbolic meanings of the above statement.

I was a little disappointed with the foggy situation. I expect a Berkeley campus that is bleak under the cloudy sky. And Berkeley is much closer than I expected, actually it is the next three exits right after the bridge.

As we get off the University Avenue exit, right after some turns, we were at a small back road where I see groups of Hispanic labors waiting to be picked up for work. This is something I have only heard about but never have seen myself. I am glad that the weather is nice and I am glad that people who live here have help like this so readily available. I remember seeing all the hispanic grape pickers in Napa.

The much too short drive from Downtown to Berkeley campus left us unfulfilled, so we decided to keep going when we saw a sign that points to Tilden Regional Park. And we were driving up hills and then parked our car when we saw a look out place where people seemed to be getting on trails and the sign promises inspiration point and sea views and or both.

We started our hiking half-heartedly. I was not equipped properly--wearing leather boots and carrying a purse-out of place but not out of element. I am in high spirit because the Sun is warm and the sky is cloudless. The foggy bridge and all is far behind us. It feels like Spring looking down the green Valley and sometime huge eucalyptus trees make generous shadows.

I took a leaf from one of the low branches and trying to smell its scent. I can't I believe I am so close to nature--Central park is not really nature to me despite its extreme beauty and sophistication- I would not feel comfortable to break any of its leaves there--they are too perfect.

As we were ascending toward the promised view points, looking back at the horizon that were still misty and cloudy, we saw it. The city that is beyond the cloud with its elegant bridge floating on top of the cloud.

This city, now with its mists and fog, as if showing its mood and feelings, its sunshine that as transparent as water, with its hills and steep roads, with its sometime too quiet neighborhood, with its bookstores that host readings of my beloved writers, with its gem restaurants that have not once disappointed me so far but still close too early, with its cafes that layout like those Parisian ones, begins to show me its intimate sides, those sides that were prepared for the locals, the sensitive ones and those who determined to be close, as if she believes that my heart can be won.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Bay Area!
Enjoyed your post about finding nature nearby at Tilden Regional Park.
Isa @ East Bay Regional Park District public affairs.