There's Dead People On The Side Of The Building
Don't accuse the dearly departed of not leaving a mark.
It's certainly not true of those cremated by Apollo Crematorium, one of the state's most busy incinerators of human remains.
The longstanding Emeryville business, whose attempted relocation to Richmond was scuppered by protest, continues to operate where it always has. But the once heavily industrial area is now blossoming with chic loft residences and sprouting trendy businesses.
Richmond residents, already enduring refinery releases, successfully blocked the move in 2007 citing mercury toxicity, presumably from burnt fillings.
Meanwhile, though the crematorium and its smokestacks have been hemmed in by development, it is no longer invisible to casual observers.
An off-white ashen smear mars more than 100 square feet of the metal-clad side of AgeSong, a $29 million assisted living facility with about 160 residents. The discoloration reaches all the way up to the building's roof deck.
While death is ultimately part of life, having 3,000 to 4,000 cremations a year drifting past your window, maybe a little bit more of a reminder than necessary that life is after all cruel, brutish and short.