Berkeley street parties celebrate neighborhood safety

National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Neighbors met over watermelon in the 1700 block of 10th Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso

More than 50 Berkeley neighborhood and business groups came out Tuesday night to meet, mingle, eat together and get to know each other during the 30th annual National Night Out celebration. The festivities included visits from police and fire department staffers, as well as local officials and other municipal representatives. Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso rode along with Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan and Capt. Andy Greenwood as they visited some of the parties around town. See photographs from the event, including several submitted by Berkeleyside readers, below.

National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The Downtown Berkeley Association held an ice cream social featuring treats from Almare Gelato. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Kids and their pets were in on the fun during the 10th Street Neighbors celebration. A resident from Ninth Street who sat in the sun watching the party, Mary Barnes (not pictured here), said a recent homicide nearby made building community connections especially important: “People are working long hours and often just see each other in passing. Events like this help break down barriers.” Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Pizza time with the 10th Street Neighbors. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Authorities said they appreciated the chance to connect with members of the public socially, rather than during an emergency. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Bodyworker Hulda Nystrom offered free chair massages during her neighborhood’s block party on 10th Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley Police Capt. Andy Greenwood gets to know some of the neighborhood kids on 10th Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The block party at Oregon and Dohr streets in South Berkeley. Photo: Laralynn Rapoza
The block party at Oregon and Dohr streets in South Berkeley. Photo: Laralynn Rapoza
Neighbors met at Shattuck Avenue near Los Angeles Avenue. Photo: Colleen Neff
Neighbors met at Shattuck Avenue near Los Angeles Avenue. Photo: Colleen Neff
Traditional banjo – banjo – tambourine – synthesizer group for National Night Out. Photo: Kester Allen
Traditional banjo – banjo – tambourine – synthesizer group for National Night Out. Photo: Kester Allen
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
At 10th and Channing Way, neighbors enjoyed live music and a potluck. Michael Anthony (left), who one attendee called the equivalent of the neighborhood’s “anchor store” for community building, said: “When we stand out visible in unity and association with one another, criminals are less inclined to look at this as a place to operate.” He pointed to the “high degree of interaction” in the area, with residents helping with mail, pets and property matters during vacation and other times of need. “Humans are social animals so, if we socialize, that’s healthy.” Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan spoke with city residents throughout the night. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Neighbors hang out on 10th and Channing. Some (nearby) discussed getting a call from a neighbor when her smoke alarm went off, and another said she’d gotten a call when she left her gate open. “People are watching, and it’s nice.” Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, photo Linda Maio's office
Councilwoman Linda Maio (left) said National Night Out is a great time to hear about problems and concerns, as well as neighborhood successes, that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily come to her attention. Here, she visits residents on 10th Street. Photo: Lars Skjerping
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Suzann Hagan said her neighborhood has been holding the annual potluck for decades: “You just never know who’s going to show up. We take care of each other on this block. It’s a matter of being a community, not building a community.” Photo: Emilie Raguso
A social call by the Berkeley firefighters is always a highlight. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A social call by Berkeley firefighters is always a highlight. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Little ones in the 1600 block of Belvedere Avenue take note of recently arrived Berkeley firefighters. Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Kristen Zuidema (center, with cookies) helped organized the event on 63rd and Adeline streets. Her partner Matt Woll said events like National Night Out can have lasting impacts: “When we have fun together, we owe each other additional civility later on down the road. It’s harder not to acknowledge people on the street when you walk past them.” Added Zuidema: “It leads to more kindness.” Photo: Emilie Raguso
National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, at 63rd and Adeline streets, helped organize a movie screening of Ratatouille for National Night Out. About 80 neighbors of all ages attended the screening. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Related:
National Night Out comes to Berkeley on Tuesday (08.02.13)
Fighting crime in Berkeley one potluck at a time (08.08.12)
Company of neighbors, good food at local block parties (08.03.11)

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