1) The boundary between Emeryville and Oakland is crystal clear. Adeline St is the proverbial line in the sand as one walks east/west along 40th St. On the eastern, Oakland side, the streetscape was mostly residential, with one respectable-looking housing project amid single dwelling homes in various stages of vibrancy and disrepair. It felt low-key--cracked sidewalks, green mossy bits around the edges, a bit of that gritty Oakland feel. As I waited to cross Adeline I thought, huh, look at that big new apartment building! And my, it looks like they are restoring that home over there! What's that banner say? "Paid for by the Emeryville Redevelopment District" ... bing.
|Which one's which?|
I don't know a whole lot about Emeryville, but I know enough to know that it has a relatively small population base, and a very high tax base: Ikea has a store there, but more importantly Novartis and Pixar have large, multi-block campuses. Pixar's is expanding--looked like contruction was almost finished. Given what I know about Redevelopment Districts, my guess at the history of Emeryville is that some enterprising city officials found a way to declare the highway and railyard and warehouse-heavy town as blighted, established a Redevelopment Zone, passed some tax breaks for office developments, and are just feasting off of the additional tax revenue. For example: a free shuttle runs every 15 minutes M-F from Macarthur BART east along 40th and then north into Emeryville for a rather extensive loop. Walnut Creek has a similar service, but that one runs maybe 1/8th the distance with the same frequency, with corresponding savings in drivers and buses.
All this historical-politico speculation is just deductive guessing, maybe I should do some research, huh?
2) Pixar has a like two-story tall statue of its trademark hopping lamp logo.