Maritime Micropolis

berkeley marina

The Berkeley Marina is a seasonal, maritime micropolis.

Spending more and more time at the Berkeley Marina on board Suddenly has me thinking about the role ports and harbors have played in the development of a city’s character. With the salmon season in swing and the sailing season gearing up, the marina has been abuzz with activity, a floating city within the City.

The marina is a liminal place between urban neighborhoods and open water, combining elements of each in the comportment of its inhabitants. You feel a connection to the great cities of antiquity that must have grown around their natural harbors, San Francisco being the most recent to be discovered. Both Berkeley and San Francisco have developed over landfills that were recently water, houses built over the ghosts of neglected and abandoned hulls.

abandoned ships

Abandoned ships dominated Yerba Buena Bay during the Gold Rush. (from a daguerreotype by William Shew)