The Tribune had a few letters the other day about Knowland Park, the piece of land that includes the Oakland Zoo, that referred to it as Oakland’s crown jewel. The coincidence of that phrase in multiple letters strikes me as a talking point, not a settled fact. Although I do agree that if Oakland has a crown it’s the hills, surely that crown has a whole string of jewels. Case in point, Claremont Canyon, seen here from the top of Garber Park on Alvarado Road last week (click the photo for a 1000×800 version). Round Top would be another, as would Redwood Peak and Chabot Reservoir and Serpentine Prairie and Huckleberry and that nameless little hill above the south end of Grizzly Peak Road, totally unsung, from which you have a commanding view of the world itself. And, I’ll grant you, Knowland Park too.