I've been sick folks. Like, real sick. Not the kind of sick that secretly feels like a nice excuse to watch reality television and order your partner around, but the kind that makes you want to get out of your own skin as quickly as possible and in which the words, "Thisisterriblethisisterriblethisisterrible" get stuck in your mind on repeat as you try to convince yourself that you might sleep tonight.

Anyway. Poor me. I'm getting much better and quickly. Thank you for your concern.

This Saturday, to celebrate my vertical-ness, Matthew and I decided to take a short drive out to the town of Port Costa. It's a sweet, curvy, empty, golden hill-covered 40 minute drive from Oakland (if you go the non-80 way, which you should). The town sits in a narrow canyon on the north bay, across from Vallejo, and has 190 residents.  You should go. Right now.

 Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

There are 2 bars, one cafe, and one hotel in town. "Town" is one little street that dead ends into a parking lot by the train tracks that run along the water. As soon as we got to the parking lot I knew we were in for a special day. My elevated heart rate told me so. 

When you enter the Warehouse Cafe & Bar, which is indeed an enormous very old warehouse, it is unclear where to go or if humans are actually welcome. It has a very strong "find us if you can" vibe. I've never been to a place like it, and I've been to some strange places. Intrigued, we walked around until we found humans.

We had a drink on the patio, saw either the largest feral cat on earth or a small wild cat lurking in the bushes, and enjoyed the outfits of the bikers who frequent the place. Then we set about exploring.

The place is impossible to capture with an iPhone, needless to say. Just go. Now. 

After touring the Warehouse we crossed the street and saw this eye candy and I just about lost my shit.

I mean, Port Costa tried to kill me basically. It tried to kill me with this alley patio with its perfect herringbone brick, creeping vines, colored Christmas lights, and that arch. Luckily, I lived to tell the tale.

Once I caught my breath we crossed the street and were smacked in the face with this wonderful store by Wendy Addison. At this point in the town tour I thought that maybe I was being punked. The absurd and surreal nature of every building and business was getting to be simply unbelievable. 

Um, so, yeah. That exists in a town of 190 and is only open for several hours a week. How? MAGIC.

We walked on. The town is full of birds that are slightly too loud and great in number, the streets are lined with trees that are slightly too large to be lining streets, their roots pushing the sidewalks and curbs well past being bumps and into small hillocks. There is clearly no building or health inspector or any town employees for that matter. The town feels like a labor of love. 

As if we hadn't had enough we came upon a tree in someone's front yard, right on the sidewalk in which they keep a hanging pail filled with tags and pens for passersby to add their wishes to the branches. Naturally. 

 "I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

 "I wish my family would get along."

"I wish my family would get along."

Everything felt like a set piece.

Before getting back in the car we crossed the parking lot and train tracks to look at the bay and there we saw a tiny beach with room enough for one mom and her kid and their umbrella and I swooned. Swoon.

And that was our day in Port Costa, CA! Have you ever been? What's the most extraordinary town you've ever been to?

AuthorSarah Reid