Piedmont is bigger than you think

Intersection of Littlewood and Dudley

It happened one day in late June. Megan Hernandez and her husband Bob were walking on Sandringham Road.

“I have lived in this town all my life, probably over 50 years” Hernandez said. “All of a sudden, we see Marlborough Court. I thought, ‘We never had been on this street.’ It was really pretty.”

And thus a project was born, one that Hernandez is hoping others in Piedmont might take up: Walking every street in Piedmont. Hernandez printed out a map and took a highlighter to it, trying to figure out which ones she and her husband have never walked. The two take a daily walk and Megan Hernandez said there is no schedule to complete the project. She isn’t a collector, just someone who likes walking with her husband.

Downtown Oakland and bay view from Megan Hernandez’s walks

“Once COVID started, it was fun for my husband and me to walk,” she said. “Get him out of the house, since he was working at home. Plus we love to walk. Anytime we travel, we walk all over. We love to get that feel of the pace of the city, the architecture of the city.”

Architecture is one of the attractions in Piedmont.

“We walk at various times,” Hernandez said. “Morning, noon. To me, it’s a fun way to explore the town we live in. I always feel there’s a surprise around the corner. Like a house or a street I didn’t know about.”

“I like interesting doors and interesting windows and interesting details on homes. We’re always kind of scanning the streets and looking at that. It’s conversation and enjoyment for us.”

Piedmont street art

Plus, there are places that Hernandez does know, but hasn’t seen in years. She found an old house where she once gave private swimming lessons as a young woman. She has moments of, “Do I know this street?”

Hernandez put together a scavenger hunt for a walk with her nearly 8-year old niece.

And Hernandez is enjoying getting to know a city she thought she knew so well.

“There’s more than I expected,” she said. “Little courts and little streets.”

2020 graduate posters

Hernandez said exploring can be done on bikes and by families. There’s also Piedmont trivia you can learn on a walk about town, such as the highest and lowest points in town.

“You have time to talk,” she said. “No phones going on.”

And Hernandez has enjoyed waving and saying hi to people on her “new” streets.

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Tell the Exedra what your favorite hidden gem in Piedmont is, or go on a walk and share your pictures!

2 thoughts on “Piedmont is bigger than you think

  1. I was delighted to see this article about Megan’s quest to walk every street in Piedmont. In the 90’s I walked every street and stairway with my friend Donna Moren. At first some streets were difficult as I was not keen on exercise. It took us about a year even though we walked almost every day. (We covered our favorite streets many, many times.) When we finally completed marking off every street on the School Directory map, my daughter, Betsy took a photo of us on the last street. Donna gave me a crazy trophy with a plaque saying,” The Best Walker Talker in Piedmont”.
    Just last year, I discovered a stairway we missed. Perhaps it was because we were better at the talking than the walking. We learned so much about the town and I will never forget the fun we had. I encourage everyone to follow Megan and her husband in taking up this adventure.

  2. I wish Piedmont residents could get a tour of storied Tyson Lake, tucked behind private homes and out of sight. Or a tour of Wildwood Gardens to understand the Havens estate back in the day… and how the Vedanta religion was expressed in the architecture of the Havens house.

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