Our Tuesday night sketch group is now an official Urban Sketchers group, known as Urban Sketchers SF Bay Area. If you’d like to visit our Urban Sketchers blog, you’ll get to meet my fellow Bay Area sketchers and see the different ways we interpret scenes in our sketchbooks, often from the same viewpoint.
The sketch above was done while sitting on the steps of the Pier One across from Peet’s in El Cerrito. It was the first sunny day in ages and it felt so good to enjoy a latte and some sketching in the sun. Albany Hill sticks up right behind Peet’s. It’s an odd bit of geography that resembles a very tall cupcake (sprinkled with trees instead of jimmies) in an otherwise flat landscape.
Albany Hill’s “Dynamite” History
In the late 19th century, the Judson Powder Works used the hill for the manufacture of dynamite. The company was forced to move from San Francisco and then Berkeley because of continuing accidental explosions. They planted the eucalyptus trees on the hill to catch debris and muffle the sound of their explosions. The stop on the transcontinental railroad tracks just to the west was called Nobel Station, after the inventor of dynamite.