THE SECOND STORY | July 31st, 2009

The art of service, and service within their art….

(With the cool (jacket type) cloudy mornings and misty evenings recently, this picture I took a couple of years ago, seems appropriate to this chilly July. I loved the rower, dory, bike/walk path, and city skyline – very different elements came together for a lovely moment.)

I expect many of us are getting pretty tired of the same old way of doing business in this brand new day. It’s time for the old standards in this town to step up to the plate and get on base. If they don’t the strikes will be coming fast and this town is too small for businesses to weather those storms.

So I want to sing some kudos for a local business and a local event, both of which are offering service within their art, and the art of service to Alamedans.

First, Cycle City on High St. at Santa Clara.

I have been using them to tune-up and service my bike, change out parts, and get accessories for some years now. After reading a post on Evan’s blog about some wonderful bike servicing he found in San Diego, I decided to find out why my 20+ year old gears were slipping when starting to accelerate. Turns out that I’d worn them out over the years and the chain was slipping! I took the bike in on a slow Sunday afternoon, started walking home, got within three blocks of the house and got the call to pick up the bike! They had warned me if it stayed slow they’d get it out that day but it wasn’t a guarantee, but to mydelight…I got a call when I was three blocks from home, so called a friend for a lift, picked up the bike and rode it back!

Recently we took a good quality but long ignored bike that was hanging in the carriage house in to the shop to get it in riding condition. That was a bigger job and they were booked out for 9 days. Well, okay….no problem for us. And worth the wait! Talk about the ultimate recycling opportunity! (get it, cycle, recyle the old bike….)

They are happy, friendly, super knowledgeable, love Alameda, reasonable in price, finish when they say, and stand behind their work and parts, no hassles. And they have some very cool bikes in the store from classic beach cruiser designs with modern materials in super colors, to the lightweight racers. Eye-candy for us amateur but devoted bicyclists!

I also want to commend the Frank Bette Center for the Arts for their Plein Air Paint-out (PAP0). This marvelous (small but mighty) art center is getting in our faces all over town, all the time! This group has begun to figure out how to support the arts, artists, their center, and embrace their purpose and the people at the same time!

A couple of weeks ago truly talented artists were painting scenes all over town for a five day period. As I was riding my (newly re-conditioned) bike I’d suddenly come across an artist here and there painting the most lovely pictures! Then just 15 minutes before the outdoor display of all the artists’ works was to close down at Alameda Towne Centre, I popped over to see the prolific results of their efforts. IT WAS SO COOL! I had a huge grin as I quickly moved through hundreds of pieces of art, displayed beautifully at the center, with delightful background music. Thirty minutes later I walked out with two paintings that really touched me. One was the first I’d seen and it was of a friends’ house! I bought it for them. The other was a gorgeous water/marsh-scape on Shoreline near Broadway from the pier at the bird sanctuary across San Leandro Bay to the edge of the bike/walk baths along the Bay Farm /Harbor Bay Isle fringe.

NEW SUBJECT! I have some dear friends who emailed me yesterday that they have Thanksgiving week available on Kauai at their Poipu Marriott timeshare. Because of their schedules, they won’t be able to use that week and would love to rent it out! Any takers? And because they have decided their 6 week fractional ownership of a Marriott property at Tahoe offers them plenty of time for vacations, they are interested in selling their Kauai property at a good discount. I get nothing out of this except seeing if folks can come together and find a win-win situation. I am queen of the quality timeshares (don’t lecture me, I won’t listen), and think this might be a good ticket for some great travel for the right folks. If you are interested shoot me an email and I’ll introduce you my friends. They are awesome people, and live close by.

NEW SUBJECT! Prices have bottomed out? Check this out….

NEW SUBJECT! Didya get your property tax assessment notice? Several of my clients have been satisfied with the downward adjustment of their assessment for the coming year, and I agree with them that I can’t provide additional comps to assist them in driving it down further. I’m working with a couple of owners with unique properties to see what we can do. But I must say….Alameda, as the news as said, has not had the disaster price hacking of some of our surrounding communities.

Alameda real estate this week…check out the number of pending sales this week….see a trend?

Active listings 180, 189 last report
Pending listings 112, 97 last report

Tuesday Tour 10 w/ 2 repeats

Highest priced NEW listing
Lowest priced NEW listing

New 12

BOM (back on market) 4

Price changes 12

Pending 26

Sold 5

Expired 0

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective!

Bang for the Buck

Get me to Rehab

Out of Rehab; Cute, Charming

Alrighty! That’s a wrap! Carry on! best, marilyn (hey, if you want honest opinions about my expectations regarding vendors, who’s taking care of biz, and what my experiences are with a variety of them, give a call)

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!