We looked at another house in Alameda and fell in love all over again. My initial objection to this little island paradise — that it isn’t San Francisco, basically — kind of evaporated on our trip when I spent time in quiet idylls such as sleepy Bend, OR; storm-silenced Boise, ID; and the bath-water-warm midnight hush of Salt Lake City. (Granted, Bend was not *very* sleepy, being full of a bike race and a food festival. But it felt relaxed.) And I loved all those places. Maybe I no longer require the excitement of jockeying for space in every aspect of my life — fighting for my right to exist against other MUNI patrons, sidewalk bicyclists (grr), BlueTooth-crazed drivers and loud neighbors. Maybe it’s time to move somewhere a little slower of pace, a little wider of street, a little calmer of atmosphere.
Still, I have nervousness.
Our realtor had moved to Alameda from SF and stayed for eight years, so he knew a little about this. “Oh, it’s a change,” he said. “It’s extremely quiet compared to the city.”
I nodded. “And did that…” …make your brain squirt out through your ears? I wanted to say, but finished lamely, “worry you?”
“At first,” he said, “but there’s actually a lot going on here. I mean, it’s Mayberry, make no mistake, but it’s a great place.”
It is Mayberry. Grown-up adults riding tandem bikes. Teenagers out walking their fluffy little dogs instead of beating up old men on the T line. Big droopy trees. Ice cream parlours (with the ‘u’). Sunshine. Basically, it’s as if my inner Pollyanna soul had been flipped inside-out and turned into a town.
I don’t know if this is the house for us, but I’m starting to think this is the place.