Sunday, November 25, 2007

Albany Bulb?

Right on the shoreline where Berkeley and Albany meet the ocean there is a place called the Albany Bulb. I remember it as the place where people made sculpture out of driftwood and found objects that had washed ashore. I clearly recall zooming by it from the back seat of the family car, trying to take in all that I could of this interesting "hobo" type art. Well, Bill, Annie and I went over there today for a hike and after a disturbing and creepy two hour walk around the entire area, found out the Albany Bulb is the old Albany dump. And yes, there are some wonderful, imaginative and innovative sculpture and art pieces there, but all made from, and atop, a ton of toxic garbage! Depressing amounts of broken up concrete, all kinds of batteries, hoses, sharp and dangerous metal scrap, wire, glass and I can only imagine what else. Yes, much new life has grown over the top of this teeming mass of waste; cattails, scrub brush, blackberries, pyracantha, copious amounts of fennel, and many other marsh growing plants. Despite all this growth and renewal, I felt a deep sadness seeing all of this waste so close to the water, not to mention the alarm of having Annie (and us) romp through it all. Having said all of this, I guess I'm really starved for clean, open spaces. I feel so restored and hopeful when I walk through trees, fields, beaches and wild spaces and I know I'm just mourning the many close and breathtaking spots we used to frequent in Santa Cruz. Even from our bedroom we could hear elephant seals barking on the shore. I know there are many places of beauty here in the Bay Area, now we just have to find more of them, and make them our own.

And to end on a more uplifting note, Annie collected "stuff" along our hike at the Bulb and she was insistent on creating a sculpture of her own. She called it a "Tree Shrine" and we three added to it, fully knowing that the cycle of life and trash is in each of our hands.





Anonymous said...

I rember Albany dump. Do you think that some of my trash helped build that dog? I like what Annie made and I really appreciate her sentiments.

Project Pink Suitcase said...

I have heard of this place, but have never actually been there.
Great photos!
It sounds like you had a wonderful Holiday! I was up in SC visiting my folks. It reminded me of when we met at Peets. That was fun.
If you are ever in this neck of the woods let me know.

Mariposa said...

Great photos! I love how Annie participated.