It's Friday, so let's talk about something other than Autodesk technology.
The Alameda Recreation and Parks Department (ARPD) provides advice, coordination, and guidance on parks and recreational facilities in the city of Alameda. One of the activities they conduct is called Alameda Walks where they invite Alameda residents to lace up their walking shoes, bring family, friends, and neighbors and join them on an hour-long walk on the 1st and 2nd Saturday mornings of each month, May through October. For those who are new to Alameda or have lived there for decades, this is a great way to begin a Saturday morning exploring neighborhoods and learning about the history of Alameda. The walks begin at 9:00 a.m. and last approximately one hour.
On Saturday, June 2, I attended a walk that started at Washington Park. Today, Washington Park includes a dog park, picnic areas that can be rented (weekends only), some first-come, first serve, game tables, play lot, baseball and softball fields, soccer/football field, basketball, tennis courts, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, and exercise equipment/circuit. Our volunteer guide was Karen Kenney, former CEO of Girls Inc. who grew up in Alameda. Girls Inc.'s mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
As we walked from the park along Alameda streets, Karen highlighted some of Alameda's history:
- Washington Park used to have a locomotive engine on the grounds that children could play on. Alas, it was removed for insurance liability reasons.
- The baseball field at Washington Park used to host a semi-pro baseball team. A popular annual charity event was a game between the team and the Alameda Police Department.
- Central Avenue is located on what used to be the old railroad line. Each stop along the line would feature attractions to get passengers to disembark and spend money. The 1400 Bar & Grill is located in the Kroll's Building which was originally the Kroll's Hotel for bare knuckle boxers. The ring itself was located where the McDonalds is now. Across the street where Park Webster Condominiums are located was the site of Neptune Gardens. When Neptune Gardens was decommissioned, the wood was used to add on to Kroll's building to construct the portion where the pizza section of 1400 exists today.
- Bossco the pig still lives on Haight Street.
- The site of Longfellow Park was once a home for wayward boys.
- If you look down the alley of the building at Fifth Street and Central Avenue, you can still see the "5th Street [railroad] Station" sign.
Our walk ended up at the Sand Castle / Sand Sculpture Contest at Crown Beach
And who says building one's castle on the sand is a bad idea? Alameda Walks is a great way to learn about Alameda and get out in the fresh air.
Thanks to Karen and all those at ARPD who volunteer their time to make these walks happen.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). Maybe generative design could be applied to sand castle design and construction?
Walking is alive in the lab.