Centering on Telegraph Avenue between Piedmont and South Berkeley, up-and-coming Temescal ("sweat house" in the language of the Aztec) is a low-pretension, moneyed-hipster hood with a lot of young families and—gasp—middle-aged folks thrown into the mix. A critical mass of excellent eateries, from veteran Doña Tomás and favorites Pizzaiola and Aunt Mary's to Bakesale Betty (5098 Telegraph Ave.), where folks line up for the fried-chicken sandwich on the one-item menu, and Doughnut Dolly (482B 49th St.), who fills her fried treats to order, draws folks from around the Bay Area. Old-time dive bars and check-cashing places share space with newer arrivals like crafty, local children's clothing shop Ruby's Garden (5026 Telegraph Ave.); Article Pract (5010 Telegraph Ave.), purveyor of gorgeous yarn; and the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (4695 Telegraph Ave.), where you might find a bucket of buttons or 1,000 muffin wrappers for $1 among bird cages, furniture, lunch boxes, and ribbon.
Around the corner, Temescal Alley (49th St.), a tucked-away lane of tiny storefronts, crackles with the creative energy of the craftspeople who have set up shop there, among them fashion designer Ali Golden and jewelry designer Marisa Haskell. You can make some surprising finds at Crimson Horticultural Rarities and the fresh home-decor shop Bounty and Feast.
This neighborhood is the place to go to put your finger on the pulse of Oakland right now.
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