Emeryville, one tough square mile wedged between Oakland and Berkeley with its back to the bay, has a gritty, colorful history and a bright future. Before the Gold Rush, its creek-fed grasslands served as a huge slaughtering ground for the Peralta family's hide and tallow operations. Later, railroad tracks crisscrossed a community formed on the fringe of Oakland to catch its cultural and industrial refuse. The stench from stockyards and slaughterhouses, the happy roar of a crowd at the Oakland Oaks Ball Park, acidic plumes from steel and petroleum manufacture, pomaded swells rubbing elbows with rowdies at the racetrack, and smoky gambling dens were all part of old Emeryville. Recently, an innovative, business-friendly city government brought about a striking economic transformation, making once-blighted Emeryville--now home to corporate giants like Pixar Animation Studios and IKEA--the envy of its neighbors.