Thursday, March 28, 2013

Martinez

I’m terminally curious about what might be over the next rise or beyond the next bend. Every time I’ve driven over the Carquinez Strait, I’ve wondered about both the towns of Benicia and Martinez, viewed only from the bridges, above. I’m dying to get a better view of the ghost fleet from Benicia and an up close look at Martinez’s refineries. I satisfied a little of my curiosity about Martinez, today, and discovered the waterfont park and the marina.


Jacket, vintage from New Gate Celtic Theatre. Dress, Bar III. Shoes, Oh Deer! Sunglasses and necklace, Target. Scarf, thrifted. Barcelets, Tala’s Distant Treasures and Mixit.

6 comments:

thorne garnet said...

Benicia was once the state capitol. Those ships in dry dock have been there for as long as I can remember (mid-60's)

missthing said...

All these colors together are beautiful. And I'm in love with those shoes!

Ignorant Awareness said...

Love how your hair, bracelet & dress hem all add a punch of orange to the look!

...bill said...

WIW2D is pretty easily re-purposed as a 'travel' blog. And it works great that way because it is not about the obvious attractions but the real kind of places where people actually live and work and spend their days.
These might not be places people actually set out from far away to visit, but places that are still interesting to see and 'experience'.
The clothes and stuff are fun too, of course.

IrishRedRose said...

Vallejo and Benicia were husband and wife towns--literally, Benicia was the name of General Vallejo's wife. Benicia's First Street down to the water is a lovely walk with charming antique stores and some seriously great restaurants. Benicia has changed from the rednecky backwater of my youth to a pleasant small town. Vallejo was a bustling, lively company town back in the day, but it became burdened with insider real estate and political corruption so that when the Navy left, slumlording became big business and the town's economy collapsed. Today, it has a terrible reputation but when you explore the old part of town (west side/waterfront/Mare Island--Highway 37 areas) you see a beautiful and historic city struggling to recreate itself. If you ever pass through, check out the Naval/Historical Museum on Marin St., the lovely old downtown, and Mare Island. MI is fascinating--half haunted ruin, half well-kept Victorian buildings and elegant homes, plus an exquisite Preserve/park (open on weekends) at the hilly end of the island (the real, non-landfill part of MI.) On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Golden Gate from the high point of Mare Island.

Martinez is nice but kind of blighted by the omnipresent and huge refinery. The old downtown is charming and interesting, though. The courthouse is there b/c it's the seat of Contra Costa County. Good antique shopping.

More interesting are Crockett and Port Costa, on the other side of the strait from Vallejo/Benicia. Crockett is a hoot. It's one of the last real company towns and has a strangely wild west feel to it. People go there to get lost, I think, kinda drop out. Lots of dive bars. Very friendly. Good seafood (esp. at Nantucket restaurant, down under the bridge on the water.) A sort of SF-ish vibe with old houses, wind and steep hills--Vallejo has those too, and both towns have quite a few San Franciscan expats who came for the cheap real estate. The Dead Fish restaurant just off the bridge in Crockett is uneven cuisine-wise but you can't beat the crab, the cocktails and the view.
Lastly, if you're exploring, go through Crockett out the Carquinez scenic drive to Port Costa. A tiny old town down at the water's edge opposite Vallejo's Glen Cove area, Port Costa is unique. The Warehouse bar is full of characters and there's a great steakhouse just up the street, plus a haunted Victorian hotel whose ownership status always seems to be up in the air somehow (But you may see the occasional paranormal researcher lurking about.)
Just one more thing: at the foot of Glen Cove, opposite Port Costa, is a fascinating little park that was once a ruined nineteenth century estate that fell between the cracks. Now it's claimed by local Native tribes as a burial ground, so the park accoutrements are limited. The tiny beach is lovely, though, so quiet and serene. Old guys fish there. One of Vallejo's hidden treasures, accessed off Glen Cove Parkway and a couple of neighborhood streets, right down to the water.

Have fun! :-) I hope you're enjoying Sacto! I lived there for a couple of years in the early 2000s...used to run a secondhand clothing store!

Kasmira said...

Thanks for all the tips! Can't wait to explore!