If you like California bungalows, the neighborhoods surrounding Dimond Park make for good walking. Most of the houses are one- to one-and-a-half stories and 80-100 years old, but you will see numerous variations on the theme: stucco, shingles, or ship-lapped siding, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Tudor or Storybook architecture.
In a few cases, the front yard will be bordered by old-fashioned trimmed hedges and punctuated with viciously tortured junipers. But in most cases, you will see the California version of an English cottage garden, using drought-tolerant matilija poppy, lamb’s ears, hens-and-chickens, statice and kangaroo paws. Occasionally, you will find a true eccentric or artist who supplements the usual landscaping with murals or hand-lettered signs asking for the return of a missing cactus.
You can make a very pretty excursion out of any of the streets running between Hampel and East 38th streets in Glenview. Today, I made shady, well-groomed Whittle Avenue in the Dimond District the heart of my walk. Tiffin and Lyman roads, which run into it, are also lovely, and if you are familiar with the rowdy commercial stretch of Fruitvale Avenue, you will hardly recognize its more-genteel end in this quiet neighborhood.
Getting there: Glenview is west of Dimond Park; the Dimond District is east. Both are accessible from the Fruitvale Transit Hub at Fruitvale Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard.
Cool stuff in the neighborhood: There are many mom-and-pop stores around the transit hub, including La Farine, Cafe Diem, and Paws and Claws. During the summer, the Dimond Library has kid-oriented entertainment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday nights.