In my post from a couple days ago I discussed the frustration of buyers who want a spacious North Berkeley home, ideally with a high Walkscore. I regret that I didn't patent what I use to call the "Latté Factor." It was my way of telling clients unfamiliar with our area where they would find a section of town with lots going on. It was the same idea as Walkscore, only with caffeine as the indicator for how many amenities, and how much buzz an area had. I used to describe Solano Avenue in North Berkeley as being either a single or double cappucino, depending on the block. Some blocks of Shattuck Avenue are only a strong cup of coffee. But Rockridge: a double latté for sure!
So the Walkscore folks figured out a way to standardize the concentration of amenities to a numeric score. Their algorithm considers restaurants, theaters, shops, libraries, grocery stores and gas stations, among other locations. It works as a general indicator of "the buzz," but if it's specifically coffee houses that folks want, they won't be happy with just any location with a score of 79 or more, even though that's supposed to represent a Very Walkable location where "it's possible to get by without owning a car." For that, there's no substitution for getting out and exploring a neighborhood, and finding out first hand who pulls the espresso with the best crema. So maybe there's still room for my Latté Factor after all!