July 7, 2008

Berkeley house could use some rehab

Property Detail
Offered at $429,000
1552 ALCATRAZ AVE  BERKELEY, CA 94703

6BD/2BA former residential care facility located on Alcatraz in Berkeley. The bldg. may be able to be converted to a lrg (2195 sq ft) home or multi-units (chk w/city), or operated as a nursing or boarding home (its current zoning). Lrg. lot (6450 sq ft), bonus rms, 2-car garage. Needs rehab.

Believe it or not, this is actually the first home in Berkeley ever featured on Burbed. Thanks to Burbed reader mrbogue for this find (sorry it took me so long to post it!)

Burbed doesn’t know much about Berkeley, other than it’s the other pillar of the Smart People factory that the Bay Area is. So, help me out… is this a good deal or not? Could you rent this to 24 undergrads to turn a profit?

Comments (82) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am

82 Responses to “Berkeley house could use some rehab”

  1. bob Says:

    I lived in Berkeley for 4 years. It sucks. It reminded me of some big club where everyone wore out their necks nodding in agreement with each other since they’re all pretty much hyper-liberal elitists.( how convenient) The city itself isn’t anything to crow about. It was incredibly overcrowded. Concrete roadblocks were setup in front of tributary roads, forcing most of the traffic to stay on several major roads such as University and San Pablo. Grocery stores, libraries, and most other forms of shopping were little adventures in themselves and typically crowded most of the time. With the exception of the hills above, which were hopelessly uber-expensive, most of the housing seemed to be somewhat run-down and shabby looking.

    Basically, Berkeley was overpriced and overrated just because of it’s political notoriety. That was basically it.You get to pay a load of money to live somewhere that’s progressive ( Nobody has to worry about anyone having a different opinion from theirs.)

  2. madhaus Says:

    Hurry, hurry, grab this one quick! The price has been lowered to $399K, someone will get this before you do! Oh, wait, it was lowered on June 28th. No, hurry! All the other buyers are on vacation! This is the bottom! Really! Who cares if this house is off an unreachable freeway exit now that they rerouted I-80? So what if it’s 4 miles to the campus? This is the bottom! And if you look at the extra photos on redfin, you’ll see what I mean about buying… the bottom.

  3. WillowGlenner Says:

    Bob you are just not a northern CA person. You should probably go back to where you came from, seriously. I used to do consulting for these computer companies around here and it is simply astounding the number of chain retailers everywhere in the country except Norcal. That is what you are describing when you talk about grocery stores and shopping. Other places in the nation have big box retailers up the WAZOO and every possible business that can be dominated by a chain retailer- is. There are no mom and pop restaurants, grocery, shops what have you in most of the country. Here- Norcal zoning does not allow fast food and big box retailers and these little stores pop up to satisfy the demand which is something that ADDS to the quality of life not deters from it.

  4. bob Says:

    WG,
    I suppose you too are in the camp that ” well… everything is all nice and perfect in Norcal versus the OTHER parts of the country.

    Nope. In fact, I just got back from visiting a number of smaller towns and cities in Alabama. Guess what? Most of these had small mom-n-pop stores, groceries, and locally owned businesses. One hardware store we went into had been open since 1912 and had yet to be changed inside and out.

    The difference between here and there was that at least there, ordinary middle class people still used the stores for what they were originally intended versus here where all those “cute” little Norcal towns with their “Mom-n-pop” stores are now places for the super-rich to go and make-believe that they’re magically transported back in time where they can pretend that they’re town folk, pickin’ through the ovber-priced produce and solid brass Kohler bathroom fittings. Yessir.

    Go out and travel a bit. Perhaps you might then see that Norcal isn’t “The place”.

  5. madhaus Says:

    bob, I was in Huntsville in 1982 (tried to post this last night but the site was going berserk with that spam filter telling me I don’t know how to add zero and one). I did not care for it at all. Plenty of smart people in the high-tech companies but that was it. Churches everywhere with their naggity nag nag marquees out front. Also every time I flew from SFO to Huntsville, they’d lose my luggage (and I did it 4 times), something that never happened to me flying anywhere else.

    I actually considered moving to Atlanta (from NJ, not from here), but I like being near water. Also Atlanta is indeed segregated in the burbs. Most nonwhites are steered to the burbs in the south.

    You’ve already said that this area is full of people who are from other large metros. Yup, that’s me. So why are you telling us to look around and learn something? I did. I learned I like living in large metros. I really wish you’d stop haranguing people for living in a place they enjoy.

  6. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    I lived in Berkeley when I went to college and um.. I didn’t like the city all that much. There are a lot of weirdoes, but some people are into that. I liked watching the pink man in his spandex suit ride his bike from time to time, but that’s about it. There’s some good food in the north, but this house isn’t in the north. It’s actually south of Ashby, which is pretty much Oakland. Undergrads usually don’t venture that far away from campus so I doubt it will rent very well.

  7. nomadic Says:

    Oh. My. God. THAT is the place people are thinking of when they threaten (JOKINGLY, I’m sure!) to put their parents in a “budget” retirement home when they get old.

    There’s a former nursing home in foreclosure on Blossom Hill in LG that I thought looked scary, until I saw this place!

    Six bedrooms in less than 2200 square feet – I think “cell” would be a better description.

  8. bob Says:

    Madhaus,
    No offense, but 1982 isn’t relevant at all. You might as well mention that you were there in 1942 because most of the development in this area has been in the last 10-15 years.They are not at all the same.

    We’re all free to make choices and live where and how we please. I just find it ironic that 99% of all the blogs full of miserable, angry people are in places like the BA, NYC, Chicago, and LA. Perhaps that alone is reason to think that all isn’t well? Do you wonder why there are essentially no blogs in other places?Perhaps they are actually happy and content with where and how they live versus angry that their schools barely function and that they have to make concessions to live in tiny little houses that eats away at their salaries.

    Just something to think about.

  9. madhaus Says:

    bob, do I strike you as an angry person? I have a wonderful family, a nice (but small) place to live, a great job, and some terrific hobbies. Is WillowGlenner unhappy? He’s making money investing in property and is happy to share his thinking with anyone who asks. DreamT seems like a successful and genial type, would you call him angry? How about Renter4? Seems like she has a great sense of humor. Is rick angry and miserable? Does Pralay seem unhappy that he can’t water his own lawn? Is our site author, burbed unhappy, and if so, isn’t this site a great way to deal with it? Would you really call austindweller unhappy, when he figured out where he wanted to live and took effective action? It seems to me that all of them are perfectly well-adjusted. They either like it here, or if they don’t, they arrange to move where they want to.

    The only angry and miserable people I see on this site are:

    -ex-sunnyvale-resident, a right-wing gun nut who really should move to Texas instead of Arizona and clearly was not happy in the Bay Area,
    California Resident, who has some serious undifferentiated anger
    RealEstater, who deals with his abject misery and emptiness by calling other people losers
    bob, who pines for the simpler life in the rural South but won’t just pick and move there now, so he nags everyone else about how awful this place is. And if I had to drive 140 miles round trip to work, I wouldn’t be all that happy either.

    My apologies to all regulars not mentioned above.

  10. bob Says:

    If you’re as happy as a clam, then why do you spend so much time on a real estate bubble blog, discussing such items as Prop 13, schools, property values, overpriced houses, broken freeways, and so-called idiots who invest in RE? My assumption would be because you’re frustrated at the status quo. If that’s the case, I’m not criticizing you or anyone else because frankly, it is ridiculous and for no real reason.If I’m incorrect, forgive me for being mistaken. But by in large, I’ve never lived anywhere with so many miserable, unhappy people. You know what was refreshing when I was away? It was that I didn’t once hear one single person talk about real estate, the housing market, whether it would crash, or what type of RE investing they had in mind. That’s ALL you ever hear in the BA to the point where I dislike talking to most people here. They have no lives except for their stupid houses. Hence why there are hundreds of blogs like this one; for people such as those on this site to vent.So unless I am simply misinterpreting, I don’t detect a lot of happy campers.

    I myself am not terribly upset by it because as mentioned, I’m here to acquire professional skills and to save money.It’s pretty simple. But as someone who’s lives all over the place, sometimes I can’t help but make suggestions that would in my opinion make some of those here and throughout the BA less miserable. But the fact that all I hear is ” oh- well it’s too humid”, or people are too religious( ironic since the BA is supposed to be about religious tolerance) and that there are supposed rednecks out to get ya’ unless you live in the narrow confines of either coast, then it tells me that I might as well keep those opinions to myself and let them keep right on being miserable. Oh well. That’s enough of that for now.

  11. sonarrat 94619 Says:

    Alcatraz indeed. At least it’s close to BART.. and Emeryville’s astonishing levels of property crime.

  12. Hellboy Says:

    Emeryville has crime? No way, I thought that was only in Richmond.

  13. sonarrat 94619 Says:

    Emeryville has a higher crime rate than Oakland according to City-Data.com. Fortunately, most of that is theft – about one per 10 residents of the city per year – rather than violent crime.

  14. DensityDuck Says:

    bob: “That’s ALL you ever hear in the BA to the point where I dislike talking to most people here. They have no lives except for their stupid houses. ”

    Except for the ones who don’t have houses because they can’t afford it, so they spend all their time talking about ‘bubbles’ and ‘falling knives’ and ‘correction’. Pure envy.

    PS I think someone is playing silly buggers. madhaus usually isn’t this much of a prick.

  15. madhaus Says:

    Bob, I’m on this board because I like talking about real estate. I hate Prop 13 because it hurt the school system. The answer is to work to getting rid of it, not move away from a place I otherwise like living in. I don’t think I’ve ever said a word about the freeways being broken, though. Maybe you’ve confused me with some other guitar freak.

    As for my issue with churches, I have plenty of religious tolerance — provided they leave me alone. You go down South and they will not do that. Everyone thinks your religious beliefs are their business, and if you won’t join them at church, you’re some sort of Communist terrorist anarchist.

  16. madhaus Says:

    Density, who the f— p—ed in your Post Toasties this morning? You’re being a total d—-b-g. Now clean up your g-dd—d language, there’s kids on the playground.

  17. Pralay Says:

    Except for the ones who don’t have houses because they can’t afford it, so they spend all their time talking about ‘bubbles’ and ‘falling knives’ and ‘correction’. Pure envy.
    ———–

    I wonder why all the homeowners come here. They must be missing something in their homes. Pure envy.

    Or is it just drought season when homeowners cannot enjoy watering their lawns and Pride Of Homeownership? :(

  18. bob Says:

    Madhaus,
    I don’t know who you were hanging out with, but nobody ever asked me what my religious interests were the entire time I was living there. In general, the name of the game in that region is to keep your political and religious beliefs in your pocket to avoid unnecessary confrontation.It was drilled into my head as common courtesy to avoid conversation that might easily lead into confrontation. That isn’t to say that some don’t go overboard. But I’ve heard way the hell more ” Christians are evil bastards” more in the Bay Area than anywhere else.

    In the Bay Area, poking fun at Christians is perfectly acceptable and fair even though speaking as such against any other religion is considered taboo and of poor taste. Besides, the BA has it’s own religion: Liberal politics, and you BETTER subscribe to it or be labeled an imbecile. I fail to see any difference.

    Anyhow, all that stuff you mentioned- hobbies and such- can be done almost anywhere in the country. I’m not going to talk about this anymore. Just keep in mind that the majority of people in “flyoverland” are actually quite content and not at all envious of all the people in CA who have some sort of secret. Anyhow, that’s that. We both made our points and I don’t want to stir the pot much more. I call truce.

    D-Duck, I can definitely afford to buy a house here. But the housing stock here is overvalued and the quality for the price is poor. It isn’t always because people are priced out. Its more about what is perceived as value.

  19. WillowGlenner Says:

    isn’t california resident and ex-sunnyvale resident (and that one timer “some guy”) all the same person? I mean really, how many people in the USA are making excuses for Dumbya anymore? There are, like, 4 people in the whole country doing that. If we have 3 on this one blog, it has to be the same person.

    But to add a little color on my earlier comment the sheer number of chain restaurants in most metropolitan cities blows me away. Bay area zoning laws don’t allow rows and rows of olive garden, chilis, Joes crab shack, macaroni grill, red lobster etc etc on every corner. Thats how we get all the new restaurant trends out here by keeping out the mass marketed ones

  20. bob Says:

    Last time I was home, there were two brand-new breweries with their own brew pubs, two new Japanese restaurants, several Mediterranean joints, an Indian joint, and many others- all within the city limits. Of course there are also lots of chain restaurants, primarily in the suburbs, just like it is in the Bay Area. In other words, no difference. Next.

  21. DreamT Says:

    Frankly my top three favorite places to eat in the south bay (best value for the price) are all chains. Chevy’s, CPK and Pasta Pomodoro. Love Red Lobster as well. It’s also true I’ve had terrible food in chains as well (namely Olive Garden) but I’ve had way more terrible food in independent restaurants. As long as you pick the right location and day of the week (as with all chains, YMMV) and the zoning doesn’t discriminate against either chains or independently-owned stores, I find this discussion to be rather sterile.

  22. nomadic Says:

    Bob said: “You know what was refreshing when I was away? It was that I didn’t once hear one single person talk about real estate, the housing market, whether it would crash, or what type of RE investing they had in mind. That’s ALL you ever hear in the BA to the point where I dislike talking to most people here. They have no lives except for their stupid houses.”

    That’s kind of funny. I don’t know ANYONE who talks about real estate. That’s actually why I come to this site. I have a little bit of anxiety wondering if buying a house years ago was a good or bad idea. And it’s funny to see some of the ridiculous stuff around the bay area. I lived in “flyover land” until my 30s so I know what other parts of the country are like too. And I know that many, many people I knew there would NOT consider moving here for various reasons. But I wouldn’t trade it for just about anywhere.

    You can find bigots, religious fanatics, etc. anywhere. Home is what you make of it. I think people here are more friendly than most, possibly because they are from somewhere else. I’m sorry that you feel like you are “doing time” here and don’t enjoy it.

    (I only miss the dive bars with awesome pizza and great blues bands on Friday night. We don’t seem to have those in the bay area…)

  23. burbed Says:

    I know it’s getting warm outside, but the temperature here on Burbed is really soaring. To quote the 80′s, let’s all take a chill pill.

    That said, Red Lobsters? Seriously?

  24. DreamT Says:

    Burbed – I like the way their present their custom margharitas, like the warm bread when they do it properly, and love their fettucine alfredo with crab. That said, as with all chains, I typically go there only because of one specific dish. If the dish is gone, I’m gone…

  25. Pralay Says:

    Most of my favs are non-chain – Zeni (Saratoga Ave), Habana Cuba (SJ), Tamarine (Palo Alto).

    Napolitan pizza at CPK and Thai Salad is ok. Ricotta (day specials, not in menu) at Pasta Pomodoro is good but I think it depends on the cook (good experience in Santana Row but bad experience in Sunnyvale one). Red Lobster? Too much fried stuffs.

  26. rick Says:

    Well, homeless people are always playing drums inside the campus, enough said.

    If you are a student it is a fun town. It is not a good place to raise family, a few blocks from the campus are already drugs/homeless zone, even if you live in the good areas you can’t avoid them because Berkeley’s good areas are just so much.

  27. rick Says:

    I like the street name, this property can be easily related to rehab and jail.

  28. zanon Says:

    bob: you are right, liberal politics *is* a religion, and if you live in nor-cal you better believe in it.

    willowglenner & Dreamt: I like living in the Bay Area, but not for the food :( I live in Palo Alto, and unfortunately the restaurants here cannot hold a candle to SF, NYC, or Chicago (yes a high bar). They are better than Boston though, where restaurants are totally overrated.

    But who knows, maybe I’m missing the best places. Don’t want to take this thread off topic (lord knows I like a good pissing contest) but if there are *great* PA places I don’t know about, I’d love to learn.

    My experience so far:
    - Tamarine: Mixed. Some great dishes, some so so. Expensive.
    - Los Altos Grill: I like it a lot. And no corkage.
    - Zibobo: Again, mixed. Some were good, some not so good. Nothing blew me away. Expensive.
    - Evivia: Same as Zibobo.
    - Fuki Shushi: Actually I quite liked it
    - Homma’s Brown Rice Sushi: Quite liked it

    And others too mediocre to mention. I like to cook and the produce is good, so I eat well, just not out.

    Recommendations?

    -zanon

  29. DreamT Says:

    Yes the Santana Row version of the chains is way above the average. I’ve found some awful Pasta Pomodoros, or probably it was just some awful cooks. There are some pretty good independents as well. The point is, bashing the ubiquity of chains seems to me like a dishonest attempt to sound sophisticated, from people who don’t make the part of things. There’s room for every kind of business everywhere, except in Berkeley, San Francisco and downtown Mountain View. If a chain’s bad, it will close. If an independent loses its talented cook and cannot get back on its feet, same will eventually happen. Eventually it’s the customer deciding on their fate. Lastly if you own an independent restaurant, you will place it nearby a downtown of some sort, or walkable distance from residentials. Strip malls along freeways are going to attract chains for that reason. Not sure anything can be inferred about the level of sophistication of a place based on the freeway scenery.

  30. california resident Says:

    I have to agree with Bob–the whole purpose of RE blogs is to give people a place to bitch. And there seem to be a large number of California RE Blogs.

    I’ve lived in this state my entire life and it is amazing how miserable so many people are in this state. San Diego, L.A. (especially West L.A./Santa Monica and the other beach cities), the RBA and of course, the entire central valley.

    Californians are miserable about:

    1. Astronomical RE prices
    2. Jobs that don’t pay enough for astronomical RE prices.
    3. Really lousy public schools
    4. The highest number of homeless people anywhere in the USA
    5. Crime–we have more gang-banging violence than anywhere else and have lead in the number of murders and violent offences for years if not decades.
    6. Huge prison population
    7. Illegal immigrants
    8. Unchecked and out of control materialism where it’s impossible to keep up with the Jones’
    9. etc etc etc

    This entire blog is filled with people unhappy about their jobs, houses, rentals, lives, neighbors etc.

    This blog wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for all of you unhappy Californians!

    To prove my point on how miserable most of you are, the fact that you disdain and ridicule anyone who lives in the NOT RBA and commutes a 120 miles a day just shows how miserable you are.

    The entire blog community exists to give unhappy people a place to try and justify their unhappy existence.

    By definition the RBA and other trendy unhappy California communities like Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach are only special because of their RE price tags. You all are worshipping at the alter of the EXPENSIVE house/condo and you’re working your fingers off just to stay in the rat race.

    You can’t conceive that someone in San Antonio or Iowa City might be happy as a clam.

    So let’s hear it all from all of you HAPPY RBA residents!

  31. sonarrat Says:

    california resident: my home may not be perfect, but it’s my home and I’ll live here if I damn well want to.

  32. california resident Says:

    WillowGlenner: You’re a perfect example of Norcal liberal tolerance.

    As long as a person agrees with the liberal religion (e.g. hates Republicans, GW Bush, The War on Terror, people who eat meat, hunters, gun owners, CHRISTIANS, conservatives, etc), you are made to feel welcome.

    If you agree with anything that goes against the liberal religion, you are an idiot, bigot, racist, nut-job, gun and religious clinging person who is poor, hopeless, and uneducated!

    It doesn’t occur to liberals that the reason why only 5 people show up to ANTI-WAR of TERROR protests is that there are only 5 Americans who feel that America shouldn’t be fighting the War on Terror!

    Let’s see, the last big anti-war protest at U.C. Berkeley was in, let’s see, 1972 (or somewhere close to 1972). I think the last big protest was then because I visited Berkeley in 1972 and the place was a peaceful as a monastery. My brother was visiting a friend who was going to Berkeley at the time.

    If I remember correctly, the draft had just ended and with it, ALL the anti-war demonstrators vanished as well. Hmm, maybe the anti-war protesters only were trying to save their own sorry asses since the Vietnam War was still going on in 1972.

    Oh well, I digress. Yes Norcal is such a tolerant place. Man, I’d rather live in Compton than Berkeley.

  33. DreamT Says:

    California Resident -

    So many lofty assertions. You must be a tabloid journalist! Actually reading your post was a ray of sunshine, it made me feel happy and full of wonderment. I see now that I was not happy. But wait – I am miserable again! You forgot to write anything remotely constructive, so while I see the light, there is no path that was revealed!

    One comment actually: if you catch me worshipping at alters, call me Dr. Jekyll.

  34. rick Says:

    Unhappy people.

    I think this is the least insulting label that ca resident has put on bloggers here. :)

  35. madhaus Says:

    Wow, there aren’t any anti-war protesters, anywhere? I guess all those nasty left-wing media corporations must have made up all those stories, photographs, and video. And I guess california resident is so ill-informed that he cannot conceive of something if it isn’t reported on television.

    Sorry you’re going to have to find the video on your own. If I put too many links in a post, it goes to the mystery queue where burbed may or may not release it, especially if I keep c—ing like a d—–n s—-r.

    PS apologies if this post doesn’t work, the preview function’s a little fubar so even though my HTML looks good, it doesn’t display good. And I can’t find an error.

  36. burbed Says:

    Habana Cuba is pretty overpriced IMHO.

    I can’t believe people like Frankie, Johnny and Luigi. That place is an abomination.

  37. madhaus Says:

    PS — as a card-carrying member of the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Center for Science Education (anti-creationism in public schools), the Universal Life Church (heck, I’m a minister), and who knows how many other left-wing groups, I must say I am shocked, offended, and dismayed that CA Resident did not see fit to attack me as a representative of the Communist Atheist Terrorist Union of Punk Rock Revolutionary Running Dogs.

    Although if he told me I played disco that probably would have been even worse.

  38. rick Says:

    Madhaus,
    You join all those group for real? I think we’ve discovered a communist amongst us.

  39. WillowGlenner Says:

    California Resident! We missed you! Now let me get this straight…. the fact that anti war protests aren’t as big as they were in the 60s means everybody actually **supports** the bizarre Bush “war on terror”? Umm ok.

    Does the fact that there are no more sit-ins mean people are no longer sitting and prefer to stand or kneel in those funny back saving stools?

  40. WillowGlenner Says:

    hey madhaus regarding your “ministry” at the universal life church…. is that a tax writeoff or what is the deal with that? Heck we’re all reverends of our own abomination I’ve always said anyway.

  41. Mole Man Says:

    Wow, this got emotional!

    This place has potential, but this is still a knife catcher price with a ways to go downward. Some of nearby Emeryville is getting quite nice, but there are areas close to this that fester as bad as any urban hell hole. Overall this is going to be too urban for most of the viewing audience.

    The culture war stuff is interesting. The feeling I get is that Berkeley has become kind of a refugee zone. Many of the people there have a hard time belonging anywhere else. Among the literati there is definately a strong Libertarian streak. People just want to be left alone, and find it hard to get away with being themselves in other places.

  42. bob Says:

    Again- Why do sites like these exist? The only time I read anyone who writes rosy comments about the RBA, it tends to simply be as some sort of excuse as to why they’re so happy to pay out the ass for a house that would be 75k in most other parts of the country.

    In other words- to attach specialness to the area as to make it more precious than it really is. Perhaps I am less”tolerant” since I long ago realized that it is just as fun for me to eat BBQ and drink fine beer in Texas or New Mexico as it is in the BA. Except I can choose not to buy into the whole superiority complex the BA has of itself.

    Here’s another thing: Most people who vehemently defend the BA aren’t from here. I have 5-6 friends who are actually CA natives. Almost all of them are disgusted with the state of affairs here for what it has become. So I think CA resident has his own perspective as someone who’s been here a long time. I know that if TN ever became anything close to what CA, has become, I’d be pissed too.

  43. madhaus Says:

    rick, that’s right, now hand over the keys to your house, we’re moving you into RealEstater‘s place since he’s on vacation and isn’t using it. And I guess he won’t be needing it anymore because we’lre also taking both his SUVs and Porsche so he’ll have to go somewhere near mass transit.

    Oooh, this place near Diridon Station looks kind of cute.

  44. madhaus Says:

    bob, I thought you called a truce and were done. So enough, already. If you hate it so much, leave. Nobody is stopping you. And before you mention my not liking the rural South, just remember: I don’t go on Southern blogs and complain about how awful everything is there.

    WillowGlenner, no, not a tax write-off. We’ve performed weddings for our friends, that’s all there really is to it. We were married by a ULC friend, so we got the credential to keep it going.

    Anyone can get one. And now it’s automated, just go to their web page. Then not only can you water your own lawn, you can make your own holy water! That’s got to beat burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard.

    That said, I need a good place in Palo Alto with lots of vegetarian options for dinner, we’re meeting another couple and need some suggestions. How many of the places on the list above have more than 1 or 2 choices for ovo-lacto vegetarians? Or anything else?

  45. rick Says:

    We are getting pretty angry here. Madhaus and bob, calm down, unless you are really what ca resident labeled unhappy people. :)

  46. WillowGlenner Says:

    madhaus, that property you pulled near Diridon station is the exact right area for appreciation if somebody wanted to buy a place at that price point in the bay area. Not too long ago, San Jose was a joke. In my opinion the sharks did a lot for the city to make it a city, in fact there was an article on that today in the Merc. People who work at cisco and the whole networking side which tends to be in San Jose appreciate being able to go to a nice, trendy restaurant in a “city” without driving to SF. That particular little plot where that condo is, is totally close in. Of course the whole area is gentrifying so there is a lot of trash – to the south you have the north part of willow glen, obviously that is a good area – but to the left is this area called “burbank” that really needs a complete levelling, it is reminiscent of the really bad san jose of years ago, and it is too close to Santana Row for comfort. So you have to avoid Burbank. This looks like a total rebuild but I like the street Morrison for a house with some land for investment.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Jose/66-S-MORRISON-Ave-95126/home/549178

    This house recently sold which is what I have witnessed lately. Investors will have snapped up the really cheap properties in 08.

  47. DreamT Says:

    WG, isn’t Burbank unincorporated? There seems to be odd pockets of residential blocks with uncertain status wrt city services here and there in San Jose.

  48. madhaus Says:

    That particular little plot where that condo is, is totally close in. Of course the whole area is gentrifying so there is a lot of trash – to the south you have the north part of willow glen, obviously that is a good area – but to the left is this area called “burbank” that really needs a complete levelling, it is reminiscent of the really bad san jose of years ago, and it is too close to Santana Row for comfort. So you have to avoid Burbank.

    Yeah but you keep moving west and there’s a very expensive area with big houses and high prices, still 95126 maybe this area is called Shasta-Hanchett for those 2 streets? Some 7 digit prices on Hanchett.

    That house on Morrison was reduced several times before someone finally bit at $350K.

    There’s a cute little 2/1 on Wilson, is that in Burbank, they are asking $424K which is the price you like to look at for investment.

  49. madhaus Says:

    rick, I don’t get angry, I just turn up my amp real loud. What’s that? I CAN’T HEAR YOU BOB! What? What? Sorry, somebody’s playing Communist Atheist Punk Rock!

  50. Renter4 Says:

    I’m always partial to Ming’s. Bit stodgy, but such good food.

  51. Crossroads Says:

    some of my more chinese co-workers have nothing but bad things to say about mings.

  52. Crossroads Says:

    >>Here’s another thing: Most people who vehemently defend the BA aren’t from here. I have 5-6 friends who are actually CA natives. Almost all of them are disgusted with the state of affairs here for what it has become.

    many of my co-workers are native californians. most say they love it here and can live nowhre else. 1 says he hates how california has become.

    the ones who love it are mostly 20-40, chinese. they love california because of the weather, food, diversity.

    the one who hates california is 45-65. he hates how crowded it has become.

    take it for what you will.

  53. rick Says:

    Why one must go to SF for good restaurant? How about Mountain View/Palo Alto/Millbrae/Burlingame/San Mateo, some many good downtowns in the Penninsula (not Sunnyvale and Cupertino).

    If you want to go drink and enjoy entertainment, then there is no place in the BA that can compete remotely with SF. SJ’s night life has always been for punks, I’d rather drive to SF for partying, even when I lived in Milpitas.

  54. Renter4 Says:

    >some of my more chinese co-workers have nothing but bad things to say about mings.

    Interesting… why? I love Chinese food but am not a particularly educated eater.

  55. Renter4 Says:

    I just found a great place in Millbrae: Todam Tofu House. They do tofu stews that are supposed to be great and I had what tasted (to me) like a really kick-ass bowl of bibimbap.

    Madhause, have you checked Yelp?

  56. madhaus Says:

    Renter4, I did not. The couple we are meeting live in Palo Alto, and they said everywhere they tried is overpriced and not particularly special, and they prefer eating in Mountain View. So I guess we are going there instead.

  57. california resident Says:

    madhaus: –”Wow, there aren’t any anti-war protesters, anywhere? I guess all those nasty left-wing media corporations must have made up all those stories, photographs, and video. And I guess california resident is so ill-informed that he cannot conceive of something if it isn’t reported on television.”–

    That’s it?!??? How on earth did you find those obscure news stories? Thanks for proving my point.

    Maybe you weren’t born yet or were too young to remember, but during the Vietnam War there were large and violent protests all over America especially at places like U.C. Berkeley.

    Today you couldn’t find 10 students to initate a protest and if they did, it was probably organized by a 60s throwback.

    The Surge worked and the liberals and left can’t STAND IT! As far as are military goes, I have a friend who is a major in the 40th Division (California National Guard). His battalion is going back to Iraq to provide security for 15 months. They are leaving soon and it’s their second deployment.

    And guess what? His outfit has high morale and they’ve had no problem finding volunteers and many of the soldiers are were on the first deployment. The soldiers of the 40th believe in their mission and they believe in The War on Terror.

    How about that? All of these soldiers are true citizen soldiers with regular jobs and yet they still volunteer with the Guard. On their first deployment they only suffered a handful of men killed in action but they sustained almost 300 total casualties (battle and non-battle). This is out of about 1000 men and women.

    My brother-in-law is a Lt. Cmdr in the Navy and he will be deploying soon to the middle-east as well. He believes in the mission, too.

    Well, I’m sure you consider them all suckers but what the heck–a lot of people called my dad and the combat soldiers of WWII the same thing and those people didn’t suffer one wee little bit in that conflict called the Second World War.

    The absence of press coverage at these departing National Guard and regular Army/Marine units to the combat zone is troubling since it’s like the liberal left media doesn’t want America to know that its warriors are going off to war willingly and with high morale.

    But what do you expect from a bunch of people that don’t know a .22 from a 30-06 and a Garand from a BAR.

    For everyone of your precious anti-war throwbacks, I can find 10 people who disagree with them and most of these people are in the military or are combat veterans.

    So find that story son.

  58. DreamT Says:

    california resident – with all due respect, I doubt that most of your friends are as bigot as you are. They sound like fine people as you describe them. How about yourself, care to expand? Or are you merely validated by the composition of your social circle?
    As an aside, it takes more than knowing “a .22 from a 30-06 and a Garand from a BAR” to make sensible comments about the relevance of this war. Ask any of your friends in the military.

  59. madhaus Says:

    I am very disappointed with CArez‘s rant above. Not only did he fail to attack me for my numerous liberal memberships, not only did he fail to look at the stories and photos of 100,000 people protesting in San Francisco, he didn’t even ask to see our vintage gun collection or the NRA sticker on our garage window. Guess I’m going to have to challenge him to meet me at the gun club and we’ll see who’s the better shot.

    And CArez, if you lose, you have to buy yourself 10 years’ membership to the ACLU. I intend to make this hurt.

  60. california resident Says:

    madhaus: —”he didn’t even ask to see our vintage gun collection or the NRA sticker on our garage window. Guess I’m going to have to challenge him to meet me at the gun club and we’ll see who’s the better shot.”

    Yeah right, you’re an NRA member. I’m also a member of the ACLU.

    I’ll challenge you any day to a shooting match–let’s do a national match course. We’ll use service rifles. I’ll bring my M1 Garand or 1903A3 Remington Springfield. I get to bring my own match loaded ammunition. I’ve got a great load using the 168 gr Sierra HPBT match bullet with 4895 using Federal brass. I can put 5 shots off a bench rest in 3/4″ at 100 yards with my 03A3.

    Or we can do a bench rest match. I suggest shooting at 300 yards. I’ll bring my custom 220 Swift made on a Mauser 98 action that my dad brought home from the war. It has a vintage 20 power Redfield target scope. And even if the 220 Swift isn’t the most accurate round at 100-200 yards, at 300 yards it will punch really nice holes.

    So you name the place and time and I’ll show up with my rifles.

  61. DreamT Says:

    Carez – show him your “nice holes” as well (I REALLY couldn’t help that one)

  62. burbed Says:

    FWIW, there are some issues where the NRA (or somewhat equivalent gun ownership rights group) and the ACLU agree on.

    Those are the ones that scare me the most. :)

  63. madhaus Says:

    That’s great! Did I mention that before the shooting match we’re going to have a playoff? So bring your biggest, baddest, loudest axe. Let me know what you prefer, because this Fender bass amp is probably going to knock your shooting irons out of alignment. I’m not too worried about the tube amp for my Strat, I think you’ll get your hearing back sometime before the gunnery exercises, unless I do one of those extended solos up on frets 17-21 for a while. No guarantees how you’ll feel after mixing in the reverb, vibrato, and Oh! Did I mention this thing goes up to 11?

    Would it be cheating to riff on the 1812 Overture and then fire some of the guns to make it sound more like cannon fire?

    By the way, you really should learn to read better. I never said I was an NRA member. I said I had an NRA sticker on my garage window. We didn’t remove it when we bought the house because it seemed a good burglar deterrent. I figure you’re the type that would actually shoot a neighbor in defense of your 2nd amendment rights (at the cost of his life and liberty), so I’m surprised you’re still in possession of anything more potent than a pea shooter.

    Now, we’ll talk terms when you actually read those stories and do a little research on the anti-war movement during the American junta. Cuz if you keep claiming black is white, up is down, and a million is zero, once we get to the gun club, you’ll claim a miss is a hit, and we can’t have none of that.

  64. mc510 Says:

    anyhoo … anyone want to talk about this house in Berkeley? Pro: $182/sqft; 6 br; large lot; near Ashby BART and Berkeley Bowl. Con: terrible high-crime area; busy street; major fixer; zoning problems. As for its rental potential, if you ran it as a boarding house you could (after spending $100k on rehab) probably get something like $400 per BR, or $2,400/month … but you’d be in the nightmare business of running a boarding house. If you leased it in its entirety, you might get $1,500/month. All this assuming that you can change the zoning to residential and/or get a permit to operate a boarding house. Doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

  65. rick Says:

    As much as I want to see a dual and Madhaus asked for it, I would caution that the guy is probably crazy and might shoot you instead. :)

    Or it is just the Internet thing, when he shows up he turns out to be a big and bad mama.

  66. DreamT Says:

    Or more likely a dog.. http://www.epatric.com/funstuff/dog/internet_dog.jpg (he’s the one on the right)

  67. madhaus Says:

    rick, I might own guns, but I’m not taking any to meet that dude(ette), s/he is absolutely loony toons. I’m not even sure I want my guitar in the same zip code as that nut.

    Would this be a good time to tell you that I’m not a guy?

  68. rick Says:

    I know you are a woman. Maybe the mama comment is unpleasant for a woman?

    Actually that makes it pretty amazing about your profile, I will stop here or I will be steorotyping way too much.

  69. madhaus Says:

    rick, remember what DreamT said about categorizing people. You do that, and then they transcend the stereotype and catch you napping.

    I think calling a guy a gal intending it as an insult is what is the actual insult to women.

    Everything I’ve said here is true. We do have 9 guitars, 2 keyboards and a bass. And guns. Many are WWII vintage, and we both know how to use them. But music is cooler.

  70. Renter4 Says:

    Oh, I’ll stick my neck out… It’s the amp & axe talk. Equals dude with ponytail to me, despite better evidence to the contrary. It’s a Pavlovian thing, I suppose, like someone (DreamtT?) said about responses to RE…

  71. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – you’re pretty good at synthesizing. With your talent my posts would be three times shorter.
    renter4 – DreamtT? Who’s that, an altar ego?

  72. madhaus Says:

    Renter4, I did give the game away a few weeks ago but somehow you missed it. Everyone kept missing it. As for the ponytail, I have been known to wear one. With one of those cute little scrunchie things that looks like real hair.

    It’s been kind of fun channeling. It started with our favorite clueless bull (in a china shop) assuming from my early posts that I was of the heterozygous persuasion, and rather than correct him yet again, I thought, hmmm, maybe I should play go along with it. So when I discussed engineering jobs that mr madhaus does, I just lopped off the pronoun, and everyone saw what they expected to see, that madhaus was a tech guy. The tech part is correct, but I’ve been out of the game for years doing the kidpool & school volunteer thang.

    I really do play a red Strat, although I don’t use the amp when the kids are sleeping. I use this with headphones. Cool — in googling it it looks like they’ve updated it and they’ve also made a version that plays MP3s!

    So, who wants to jam on Smoke on the Water? 5-6-7-8! Hey, who’s playing in A minor? CUT THAT OUT!

  73. madhaus Says:

    madhaus – you’re pretty good at synthesizing. With your talent my posts would be three times shorter.

    DreamT, when I was a kid I kept asking my parents for a synthesizer but they never gave me one. I had no idea how difficult they were to use and program. The stuff you get today in decent keyboards is just astounding.

    Oh wait… you’re not talking about music at all, are you?

  74. Renter4 Says:

    I didn’t miss it! I saw it but you were talking amps on another thread. Like some kind of Jedi mind trick.

  75. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – been posting several double-entendre lately. Glad you got this one :)
    I got myself an old Korg N1 a few years back at 50% discount (after also asking my parents for one my whole childhood… yes it’s true) but the stuff is so arcane to configure, they advise to use a PC and bypass their UI…

  76. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – no doubt this clarifies your fixation on burbed’s recurrent pink houses.:)

  77. Stepford Says:

    Well Done Madhaus!

  78. madhaus Says:

    DreamT, I heard Switched On Bach and wanted a Moog. Then when Elton John came out with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road I wanted an ARP.

    Wait… going back to Walter Carlos, I guess I did pull a Wendy on you all.

  79. bob Says:

    Speaking of Synthesizers and Moogs, My favorite band as a kid was ELO or- The electric Light Orchestra. That band had more keyboards then I’ve ever seen on stage. They sound pretty dated now, but some old songs are still pretty cool, like “Mr. Blue Sky”

  80. madhaus Says:

    Oh yeah, I remember ELO well, Canadian band. I went a little later in the alphabet for my keyboard gods since in my fave band then was ELP: Emerson, Lake, & Palmer.

    Keyboards seem in again, I can think of several current bands, in particular Coldplay, that are very keyboard-heavy.

    Wow, we’re a long way from Berkeley scuzzbucket housing now.

  81. rick Says:

    Madhaus,
    I think you misunderstood me, I was referring to CA resident. Anyways, if I made that mistake somewhere I appologize.

  82. madhaus Says:

    rick, don’t worry, looks like just about everyone here succumbed to the Jedi mind trick. You hear “amp” and “axe” and “goes up to 11″ and you think “dude with a ponytail.”

    Even mr madhaus doesn’t have a ponytail.


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