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Link favorites: Where we go to chill out

When Link asked some UCOP staffers where they like to go for a break during the day, many — too many — told us they’re too busy to get out of the office. But research suggests this isn’t the route to productivity. Taking breaks actually reduces stress and improves our concentration and creativity.

So go ahead and give yourself a break. And that doesn’t mean stealing a few minutes to scroll through your Facebook feed. Get out of the office, look around, discover the neighborhood.

Here are a few of our favorite places to refresh:

Preservation Park: Escape to the 19th century right at 12th and MLK, Jr. Way. This two-block neighborhood of Victorian homes (now offices and meeting space) and lush gardens is anchored by a Parisian fountain.

Garden at 1010 Broadway: After you grab your Peet’s, head to the back of the building, where you’ll find a lovely if small sculpture garden.

Oakland Public Library: So many ways to get lost, all in one place! Any California resident can get an Oakland Library Card, and any book in the system can be delivered to your branch of choice. The Main branch is at  125 14th St., and the Asian branch is at 388 9th Street.

Lake Merritt: Walk or run its 3.4-mile shoreline, or just sit and watch the rowers and birds. Seventy avian species, from the American coot to the yellow-rumped warbler, have been counted at the lake.

Bonsai Garden: This garden at Lakeside Park, adjacent to Lake Merritt, is home to some of the most important bonsai in the U.S., including a specimen dating to 1860. During the week, the garden is open Wednesday through Friday and the second and fourth Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kaiser rooftop garden: A great place to decompress when you have only a few minutes and don’t want to deal with traffic.

Do you have a favorite hideout? Leave a comment.

Thanks to Blaze Farrar, Leland Espinosa, Paul Schwartz, Anne Wolf, Katherine Tam and Liz Tamayo for their input.


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  1. Chris Orr September 1, 2015 Reply

    Hop the Free-B bus down to Jack London Square and enjoy a view of the water while perched on stairs next to a sculpture of Jack himself (foot of Broadway). There is also a nice grassy spot under palm trees to stretch out for a breath or two.

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