Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow At C & 6th Streets in 1976 (10)

Snow is so rare in Davis that people grab their cameras to take pictures of it when it falls. Indeed, a good portion of all the historic snapshots we have of Old North streets and homes are in snow!

     Here we see two snapshots taken, likely, on February 5, 1976. I say “likely” because we know it snowed that day & the photos are dated July, 1976, implying a gap between exposure and development. They are from the estate of Miriam Hummel, who was the owner-resident of the home pictured here (602 C) at that time.
     The snapshot looking north up the east-side sidewalk of C Street reveals some interesting changes. As late as 1976, front yards still  exhibited their historical open and expansive character. “Manicured” is a term that comes to mind.

     The same view today is quite different and features fences, bushes and other large objects.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Restaurant at 630 G a Big Old North Improvement (09)

I am delighted to see significant new investment in our Old North G Street shopping strip in the form of a new  restaurant at 630 G called Monticello Seasonal Cuisine.
This restaurant is not simply a new effort installed in an old set-up. The space was gutted and redone. It is a fresh start. KUDOS!

Monticello comes at a time when four other units in that G Street “strip” building are empty. So, the owners’ optimism is especially impressive.

As a classic San Francisco Chronicle columnist liked to declare about new places: “Let’s give them a vote of confidence”--which means go eat there. Based on a Saturday brunch, I would say the food is really good.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kudos to the ONDNA (08)

The ONDNA meeting notice flyer left at our doors in late November contained an innovation we should praise.

That innovation was placing the Minutes of the ONDNA meeting of October 31, 2010 on the reverse side of that flyer.  I reproduce those Minutes here.

This is, I think, the first time in recent memory the ONDNA has provided information of this kind at our doors.

I think this is an excellent idea that ought to be continued. The practice importantly contributes to our organization’s openness and democracy and is especially appropriate since the most recent Minutes on the ONDNA website are dated October, 2009.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2013 Old North Centennial Celebration? (07)

Our Old North neighborhood area was created in early February, 1913.

Using the current custom for reckoning such matters, the neighorhood will be 100 years old in February, 2013.

That is about two years from now and it might not be too early to begin thinking about whether or not to celebrate an Old North Centennial.

One question might be: Are centennial celebrations legitimate or simply self-glorifying puffery that contribute to false (or at least distorted) depictions of what is celebrated?  For this and other reasons they ought to be avoided.


The merits or demerits of centennials per se aside, there is an additional and serious question of the availability of sufficient competent, excited and committed leadership to mount a credible centennial.

I suppose these two questions would become moot if one or more people stepped forward and announced they are going to mount one and began conceiving and planning for it.

Centennial anyone?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Old North Davis Created February, 1913 (06)

In Mid-January, 1913, the residential area we now call “Old North Davis” did not exist. But, one month later it did. How did it come into existence?

Dav. Ent., 2-1-13. Click to enlarge
In early 1913, one C. W. Bowers and partners conceived a plan (called Bowers Addition) to create 100 residential building lots in the space bounded by what we now term B and G Streets and Sixth and Seventh Streets. At that time, that land was open field on the north edge of the official Davis grid.

Such a plan created a need for a governmental authority to mark and grade public streets and to align them with the existing grid of streets. However, doing this was a problem because the graded street area of Davis ended at Fifth Street, not at Sixth, the southern edge of the proposed Bowers Addition.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Old North Legend Bruce Clark Front Page Enterprise News (05)

Davis Enterprise, December 31, 2010
The December 31, 2010 edition of the Davis Enterprise carries a front page story on a man named Bruce Clark, who is described as a 67 year old “Davis area farmer.” He and his spouse Judy are newsworthy for having sold 140 acres of their organic farm near Winters into a conservation easement.

This is the same Bruce Clark who lived in the Old North in the ‘70s-’80 and bought homes here with the idea of fixing them up and selling them to people who would live in and love them. These properties included 516 E, 601 E, 611 E, 616 E and 619 Sixth.