Quirky Berkeley – the book – is out! Published by Heyday, the dare-I-say iconic Berkeley publishing house. Available all over Berkeley, and at online book dealers such as Amazon. What a perfect gift! Rush out. Check it out. Give serious consideration to buying it.
Our notional holiday field trip to see Allen Sawyer’s collections – Disney, plaster fish, mermen, paint-by-number swans, male ballet dancers, gay and queer book titles and oh so much more.
A look around town at murals that are new since we last looked. Spoiler alert: The murals by the Youth Spirit Artworks in the Alcatraz Alley Mural Park take best of quirky show.
Susan Brooks in her studio in the Sawtooth Building. It is must-go. She paints, makes jewelry, carves small clay figurines, and collects quirky things. She lives a life of quirk and art. Must go!
An extraordinarily whimsical house in the hills with ornate plaster work and carved doors and skylights and columns, with a history of artistic and political nonconformity to match.
Another outstanding, upstanding, longstanding Berkeley business – Berkeley Typewriter on University, owned by Joe Banuelos whose life has been the repair, restoring, and selling of typewriters.
Another stroll through Ken Stein’s collection of clippings from Grass Roots, these from the 1980s. There’s a touch of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose here, and then some how far have we fallen?
For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we find the wood carvings of the late John Abduljaami, focal point being an eco-industrial park in West Oakland.
In 2016, a family had to move out of their rented home on Russell Street, dismantling as they left a great quirky curb strip and front yard. They moved to Prince Street and have made great new quirk.
The early 1970s indoor mall at Telegraph and Blake is a magical time capsule, encapsulating a Berkeley that is slipping away. It’s facing the wrecking ball. Can’t we do better?
Found objects – trash from the streets of North Berkeley. Assembled. Photographed. The genius part – retrieved and brought home by Darwin. A cat. Through the window at night. Sadly updated here.
And, lest we forget:
The greatest hits of ’17, a year in which in addition to traditional quirky material culture, I started looking at old businesses, our cultural and political elders, and the de-beautification of Berkeley.
A look back at 2016 and the most popular and significant posts from the 50+ I published. Plus – a little philosophy on how Quirky Berkeley is evolving.
A look back at the stuff I found and people I met. It was a hecka quirky year.