One day in September (2021) my friend S. asked me if I had ever been to Point San Pablo Harbor in Richmond. I had never even heard of it. Like many of the little points of interest around The Bay I had never explored them, never even knew they existed. My water interest always went out to the wilds of the Pacific Ocean, not the calm waters of the bay.
We went to this place without my knowledge of anything, which is how I like to travel – explore a place like I’m the first person who ever landed there. To get to Point San Pablo Harbor we had to take the very last exit on the East Bay side of, and right before, the Richmond Bridge. Follow the road a little ways, through abandoned buildings until there is a road to the right, marked profusely by Black Star Pirate BBQ signs. Take that road and follow it up and over the hill and down to the harbor.
Yes, that’s how I give directions. I like to follow them that way too!
At first glance there is nothing here. It takes a minute for things to sink in. The place has a funky vibe, a rural feel. But wandering around we see the goats and the chickens, a couple of yurts a little ways up the hill, houseboats in the harbor, a BBQ place, a few other buildings and businesses, and some sculpture scattered about.
The Bay Area loves its Burning Man community and the art it creates. And the folks at Point San Pablo Harbor are intent on collecting as much of it as they can and giving it a place to live. Outdoor art that usually ends up sitting in studios and work spaces will now have a place to be enjoyed.
Black Star Pirate is the BBQ place at the harbor and a great place to take a respite after a walk exploring the grounds. It has a nice BBQ menu with signature Black Star Brisket, Ribs, and Pulled Pork or Chicken and for me, the Vegetarian/Vegan, they have enough choices that I didn’t hesitate to order from the menu. The homemade Tator Tots were worth the trip. Next trip I plan on going a bit hungrier. Also, they often have live music.
We happened to go there early on a Saturday, and the light was strong and contrasting. We’ve another excursion there planned soon during the evening hours so we can watch the light change and the sculptures light up. I guess we’ll see if that happens.
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