Far Out Flora

The Albany Bulb

| 6 Comments

Warning!  Hazardous shoreline.

Warning! Hazardous shoreline.

Ahh, the Albany Bulb.  So many things to so many people.  17% dog park, 23% urban homestead, 39.5% outsider art, & 109% Anarchy.  We heard about this place from a friend, and finally ventured there.  This is not exactly our typical plant post, but it does fall into the unusual category.

Concrete junk.

Concrete junk.

The skinny on the Albany Bulb, aka The Bulb.  This former landfill is located in the East Bay just west of Berkeley / Albany, CA…and has some of the best views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Frankly, I don’t know all the politics behind this small plot of land, and it seems to be self-governed by those that visit and inhabit the area.  What I do know is that there’s a ton of concrete, rebar, and rusted metal all over the place.  Wiki does it best if you want more details on the history.

Yellow brick road.

Yellow brick road.

A short distant along the main trail, you’ll come up to a yellow brick road…an assortment of disregarded chunks of concrete painted gold.

Weird little plaque.

Weird little plaque.

As well as many embellished chunks cement.

The church.

The church.

Near the tip of the peninsula, you can find the “Church”.  Our friend describes it best, “the only thing holding the Church together is years of paint embellishments.”

Max chasing squirrels.

Max chasing squirrels.

One unexpected treat for Max the Border Collie was the 100os of squirrels frolicking about.  The place turned into a dog obstacle course for agility training.  Lucky that Max is quick on his feet because all that rusty metal made me a little nervous.

Acacia dealbata - Silver Wattle

Acacia dealbata - Silver Wattle

One shrub that was looking remarkable was the Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata).  Here’s one of many blooming all over the place.

Three robots.

Three robots.

Let's paint everything.

Let's paint everything.

I’m torn about the paint on this tree.  It does look pretty awesome in person, and if there had to be one place allowing plant abuse…this would be the spot.  [Those reading…please don’t try this at home.  Paint is not good for plants.]

Dog beach with Golden Gate Bridge (in background).

Dog beach with Golden Gate Bridge (in background).

After a short hike around the peninsula, we made it back to the dog beach.  Gorgeous views can be seen from every direction including the Golden Gate Bridge in the far background.  For some more great pics of the Bulb, check out My Back 40 (feet).  chuck b. has captured a lot more little nooks and makes me want to head back soon.

– Far Out Flora

6 Comments

  1. Love this post for its urban reality. I’m starting to view graffiti – especially after our visit to Rome, Italy last year with thousands of years of etched tributes to the Peter and Paul (sorry, no Mary, yet) in the historical catacombs – as an intuitive and natural human expression of self and place. Like many of our parks and preserves, it’s worth saving as much as “native” nature itself.

  2. great tour! love the mix of graffiti art and junk and nature. it certainly has a unique, tragic beauty to it.

  3. Just where is this? I know of the other dog park on the bay that has Muddy Waters, and I know roughly where Albany is – what exit off the freeway?

    Thanks – i have lived here all my life and did not know about this and reminds me of the old mud flats right near the onramp of the bay bridge that once was (maybe once that got shut down it shifted here).

    Bruce

    • Hey Bruce, here’s the best directions I can come up with. Coming from the North on I580, take exit 13 on the left for Buchanan St, turn right on Buchanan. From the south, take exit 13A for Buchanan St toward Albany…turn left on Buchanan. Either way…follow it t the end. There’s a parking lot. Walk towards the bay, only about 1/4 mile to get to the water. Head north to the Bulb.

  4. I have linked to your post about the Albany Bulb on my blog about these kinds of places and this kind of nature. There is a similar site in Toronto, the Leslie Street Spit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Street_Spit

  5. This place is due to be gutted of everything that makes it unique! The people, the art, the non-native invasive and any thing else in the bulldozers way! Please see http://www.SharetheBulb.org

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.