Best Urban Park

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

Name a place in the Bay Area where you can hear the lonely tolling of a
harbor bell, watch a squadron of pelicans fly by, see San Francisco
sparkling Oz-like in the distance, and listening to the crashing,
clanging, and electronic chirping of ILWU workers zipping around on
forklift trucks unloading container ships. Can’t? Try Middle Harbor
Park. Located smack dab in the middle of Oakland’s dockland, the park
is a little oasis of Zen-like calm in the midst of the shuffle and
hustle of one of the West Coast’s busiest ports. The park is a thin
strip of green along the water’s edge, based on the outline of a huge
Navy warehouse that once shipped out supplies to troops stationed all
around the Pacific. It is now a restored marsh and wetlands. The
soaring picnic area shelters’ jagged triangular shapes are a deliberate
reminder of the warehouse’s old shape. If you tire of gazing out across
the Bay, watch huge container ships rumble by and marvel at the
carefully choreographed ballet of containers flying on and off their
decks. Cast your eyes closer, check out crab fishers on the end of a
pier, or hang onto the fence, or just sit there on the dock of a bay
legs, dangling over railway ties that once carried commuters onto the
ferries to San Francisco. This park is a must for urban explorers.

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