Monday, July 21, 2014

Adventuring // Jack of All Trades Market in Jack London Square

Jack London Square // Waterfront Hotel & Lungomare
Jack London Square // Water Fountain
Jack London Square // White Fang Sculpture
^ You should've seen Zoe's trepidation towards this giant unknown canine. I mean. Look at that O.o face she's giving White Fang. When she first spotted him, she broke out the border collie crouch. "One sketchy move, mister... You watch yourself." ^
Jack London Square // First & Last Chance Saloon
Jack London Square // Map
Jack London Square // Musical Metal Frog
^ Because everyone needs an over five feet tall, sax-playing, metal frog in their house. ^
Jack London Square // Haven
Jack London Square // Colorful Houseboats
Jack London Square // Pigeon Couple
 ^ Pigeon couple. ^
Jack London Square // Playground
^ If you ever wondered what a twenty-two-year-old looks like goofing off on a play structure... *heh* ^
Jack London Square // Mini Terrarium with Yellow Dinosaur
^ Mom made a terrarium at one of the booths. The yellow dinosaur is a nice touch, don't you think? ^
Jack London Square // AT-ATs in the Port of Oakland
^ If those things on the right look familiar, they're the inspiration behind AT-ATs in Star Wars. I love the Bay Area. ^
Jack London Square // Palm Trees
 ^ For those who say NorCal has no palm trees, I give you this. ^
Jack London Square // A Man and His Dog
 ^ These two. ^
Jack London Square // Lungomare Bar
Jack London Square // Mini Succulents
^ Itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, mini succulents. D'aww. ^
Jack London Square // Visit Oakland
Jack London Square // Bathing Pigeons
^ Bathing pigeons. Look how fluffy they are! ^

Went for a dog adoption event, stayed for the street fair.


Who: The Parentals, Zoe, & I 
Where: Jack of All Trades Market in Jack London Square, Oakland
When: Saturday at 11 AM 

The Place: I've never actually walked through Jack London Square before-- there was that one time Mom signed us up for a Segway tour of the nearby area, so I rolled through it, but since I was concentrating on keeping up with the group and not hitting any pedestrians, I don't actually remember much of the scenery... *heh*

The area around Jack London Square is a mix of urban hipster restaurants {Blue Bottle Coffee, anyone?} and old industrial warehouses. Since it's right along the water and close to the ever-busy Port of Oakland, there are always boats to watch sailing out into the bay. And I love the brightly colored houseboats across the channel.

So many of the "cool kid" eateries mentioned by bloggers and various foodie websites are located here. Forge, Haven, Bocanova... The Jack of All Trades Market also brings in local food trucks for the day for even more variety, as do many of the other special events held in the Square.

Spanning a surprising amount of waterfront, Jack London Square is perfect for strolling or biking and taking in the views. It's super dog friendly, with all the brick-and-mortar stores and all the street fair vendors putting out bowls of water and offering your canine companion doggy treats.

What We Did: Mom read somewhere that there was a huge doggy adoption event planned for this particular Saturday, and since she's never one to turn down a chance to socialize with dog people, we made the trip out to Oakland. Alas, she got the dates confused. Jack of All Trades Market this Saturday, doggy adoption event next Saturday. Sigh. I guess I know what we're doing next weekend...

Since we arrived early {the dog event was supposed to start at 10 am, but the market doesn't begin until 11 am}, we were able to watch all the vendors set up and I was able to take pictures uninterrupted by people! Yay! Mother stopped at each booth and Daddy disappeared into the boat shop, so Zoe and I just kept wandering everywhere since she gets bored and antsy if we stand still too long.

We ended up purchasing a portable water bowl contraption for Zoe {hard to explain the design, but it's very useful}, a few handknit finger puppets, and Mom made a terrarium at one of the booths.

Tips: Just so you know...
+ The weather is pretty moderate since you're near the bay; I suggest bringing a jacket if you're going in the early morning, but be prepared to carry it because it'll get warmer towards mid-day.

+ Parking can be a bear if you don't know where to go. Try driving around the area because some streets have free four-hour parking {as opposed to paying lots for a parking garage or constantly running back to your car to feed quarters into a meter}. Hint: 3rd Street has some free parking spots if you don't mind a short walk back to the Square.

+ If you're bringing your dog, remember your doggy bags. They don't have those for you around here.

+ Look up! Not only are there American flags everywhere and palm trees galore, but there are bikes attached to light poles high above your head. Art installation or advertisement for PedalFest? Either way, it's worth a head tilt.

+ There's a tiny, hidden playground across from the kayak/boat shop. *thumbs up*

Conclusion: I definitely see the appeal of this area. If we lived closer, I'd do lots of foodie adventuring, but since it's kind of a drive for us {about half an hour to forty minutes}, this probably won't happen for a while. We will be back for the dog event next Saturday though, so I'll let you know how that goes!


Jack London Square
Oakland, California 94607

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