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old picture of park blvd.

Before it was known as Park Boulevard, the Glenview's main drag was known as Walker Street and an extension of 4th Avenue.

How well do you know your neighborhood? Before Mandela Parkway grew flowers, the Cypress Freeway threw shadows over West Oakland. Pre-dating the Uptown swing in fine downtown dining, dives like the Hof Brau hung signs with blinking lights on Broadway. And who would’ve known that the Fruitvale, a mecca for Hispanic foods and festivals, was lined with cherry orchards?

City history rests just below the concrete surface in our lovely, multi-layered Oakland. This summer, the Oakland Heritage Alliance continues its walking tour series. Inspired by the architecture, landscapes and people that have characterized the Town, a few armchair historians continue to lead the curious on several strolls through time.

image of park blvd. apartment building

Today, Park Boulevard has a mix of single-family and multi-unit homes.

Tomorrow, I invite you to join me on a stroll through the Glenview. Oakland History Room historian Kathleen DiGiovanni and I will traverse a hillside neighborhood and share the stories of a growing Oakland. Before the gourmet restaurants opened, ranchers raised cows and crops along Park Boulevard. A train carried passengers up Trestle Glen and loggers hauled redwood trunks down Park from the hills.

When the “Glenview Heights” subdivision, as it was called in 1925, took shape, settling space ran for $150 a foot. Some scrambled for homogeneity while others welcomed diversity with the Key Route streetcars that rambled up Park to Leimert. As one property owner put it, “Just picture another Oakland built almost entirely around the outside of the present city. That will give you some idea of the coming importance of Park Boulevard. It is going to be Oakland’s great north and south artery, and it cannot be paralleled.”

1925 map of "Glenview Heights"

The Oakland Tribune ran this map of "Glenview Heights" in 1925.

Saturday’s route will start at Glenview Elementary School, wind through Dimond Canyon and head up E. 38th toward Hampel, ending on Park’s business district. The tour lasts from 10 a.m. to noon.

For histories and poems from all corners of our city, check out Erika Mailman’s compilation “Oakland’s Neighborhoods.” You’ll find a complete listing of the Oakland Heritage Alliance tours here.

In today’s edition of Oakland Local, I wrote up yesterday’s Oaklavía festival. What a great ride!

I met several wonderful volunteers there, many of whom stationed themselves along the two-mile route to educate kids on safe bike riding. Did any of you G’view kiddos roll through the “Kids Bike Town”? Children and adults alike chalked traffic lanes in a mini-street scene along Broadway.

Chane, an organizer from Cycles of Change, spoke about her work and the ways of the road in Bike Town:

Cycles for Change recently helped escort kids from Glenview Elementary and Edna Brewer Middle schools to class on Bike 2 School Day. They also offer programs and information about safe road riding on their Web site. Check it out, have fun and be safe out there!

the oakland marathon returned after 25 years

Mile 8, 9 a.m.: This paparazzo shot is near the apex of the Oakland Marathon route, as runners puffed up to the water station on Mountain Blvd. Oakland native MvO is pictured just behind the passing car. While a student at Montera Jr. High, she couldn't run up the hill due to asthma. Yesterday she completed all 26.2 miles of the marathon course. "I enjoyed seeing the wide spectrum of Oakland characters cheering from the sidelines," she said.

more than 6,500 people signed up for runs, selling out every race in the weekend festival

At Mile 26, Native American drummers cheered on a family member named Lisa, who was due down 19th Street at any moment. No sign, however, of MvO.

family, friends and neighbors showed their support

OaklanderOnline missed MvO wrap her race…but celebrated with her hours later at Marzano's on Park Blvd. The energy at the Finish Line could only be described as ebullient.

the city opened its gates to the positive

Runners who had already completed the race jumped in from the sidelines, seeing their friends to the end.

and ushered in the fastest marathon time at 2:31:38

At the moment this photo was taken, a full marathon runner bolted into a sprint. He sailed like a bird over the Finish, his arms extended like wings.

and the last full runner in just over 8 hours

Lotsa love in Oakland's downtown streets. One sideline supporter donning a wide-brimmed sun hat teared up at the sight. "Every one here has a story," she said, "And there are so many stories!"

one missed photo: bystander whose leather jacket, afro and cigarette recalled oakland in the ’60s

Not sure what the story was with these foil people. But they were an essential aspect of Oakland's character spectrum.

another missed image: police officer high-fiving a little kid as he ran by

As this runner's shirt indicated, this marathon was all about The Town.

the race’s course cast a wide reach over town

Even the spirit of Rollie Fingers showed his face on this fan's shirt, which welcomed runners around the last corner of the marathon.

connecting roads and minds in big strides