I have this theory that the inspiration for Marc Brown’s “Elwood City” is actually Berkeley, California. If the fact that Arthur and his friends all wear sweaters 300 days of the year and live one short, but adventurous ride away from a glimmering metropolitan dubbed “Crown City” weren’t enough, the green and gold garb of the local underdog baseball team – the “Grebes” –  along with the foliage and the architecture ought to pull everyone over to my side of any existing debate.

Working in the Elmwood neighborhood on the border of Berkeley & Oakland the past few months has only served to further corroborate the conclusion I have long since come to. As dope as all the aspects of working in Elmwood are, I think Ashby Marketplace is probably my new favorite thing.

The father/son duo (assumed relationship based on physical resemblance and mannerisms) that runs Ashby Marketplace is so nice and friendly. The father calls me Sweetheart and asks how my work is going, and the son calls me Buddy and never creepily hits on me, which is always appreciated. haha. And yall, the girl that makes sandwhiches in the deli on weekdays is absolutely annointed of the Lord. There is an art to sandwhich making and she crafts some of the best gluten-free but not weird/soggy/crumbly sandwhiches I have ever had, and layers all the elements so precisely, not skimping on the veggies.

While I was there today on my lunch break, the father provided insight on my chocolate selection and gave me a free mint tea.

If you’re ever in the Bay, definitely hit up Ashby Marketplace (on Ashby & College Ave) because sidenote it’s actually very reasonably priced. Ashby Marketplace is for sure one heck of a diamond by the sea.

~ b


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