“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
Just north of Lake Merritt and south of Rockridge, the family-friendly neighborhoods of Piedmont and Temescal seem worlds away from desolate downtown Oakland. Piedmont seceded from Oakland in 1907 and maintains its distinct character, with lanes of single-family bungalows winding through East Bay foothills to hilltop Piedmont Park. Old money blends into the scenery in Piedmont, from historic California Arts and Crafts cottages to hillside Mountain View cemetery, designed by Central Park architect Frederick Law Olmstead. But beyond a few boutiques and restaurants scattered along Highland Ave. and Grand Ave., Piedmont relies on its hip neighbor Temescal for action. Temescal's Piedmont Ave. is lined with trendy restaurants, including Michelin-starred Commis, and its hip Telegraph Ave. shopping hub shows the design influence of California College of the Arts, founded nearby in 1907.