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.
The blurb: “When it comes to landscaping, why stop at plastic flamingos? Based on Tom Dalzell’s blog of the same name, Quirky Berkeley pays tribute to the boldly imaginative artwork on display in front of, on top of, and engulfing residents’ houses all over the city. With full-color photographs and a pithy wit, Dalzell shares his discoveries of the unexpected: the giant orange on Spruce Street, a house shaped like a fish, bowling balls as lawn art, enormous dachshund sculptures, and the birdhouse pyramid on Sacramento, to name just a few of the oddities. Created, installed, and maintained at great expense—not just of money, but of time and creative energy—these are all free to view, all gifts to the street. Included in every write-up are profiles of the artists, whom Dalzell is careful to portray not as stereotypical “Berzerkeleyites” but as individuals who have found their true north of exuberant self-expression. While the very uniqueness of each of these sites invites us to focus on the individual creators, the book also considers what the abundance of such art says about a community and its values. This love letter to idiosyncrasy champions the revolutionary idea that we can build a vibrant community not by demanding conformity but by celebrating difference.”
And – now – Volume 3. The gag is that we didn’t have enough material for volume 2 so we went to volume 3. Ha! Also Available all over Berkeley, and at online book dealers such as Amazon.
Here is Amazon’s blurb: “Following the success of Quirky Berkeley, “arbiter of the eccentric” (The New York Times) Tom Dalzell returns to take readers on a tour of even more artwork that peppers the proudly idiosyncratic Northern California city. Stroll along iconic Telegraph Avenue for views of painted-metal portrait sculptures of figures ranging from Rasputin to Mario Savio—even Heyday’s founder, Malcolm Margolin—at the Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media. Hike up Marin for views of the steel skeleton forever riffing on a tenor saxophone. Dalzell points out murals honoring the Sandinistas and bas-relief sculptures of legendary Oakland Athletics on the home of a member of the Great Tortilla Conspiracy. And just where can you find the quirkiest garden ever? Included in every write-up are profiles of the residents, whom Dalzell is careful to portray not as stereotypical “Berzerkeleyites” but as individuals who have found their true north of exuberant self-expression.”
Underground comix deity R. Crumb is not ours, but he has had connections with Berkeley for 50 years. Here he smooches with Janis Joplin at a Berkeley gallery opening.
A second look at a Quirky Berkeley artist’s sketchbooks, this time Jon Balderston and his fascination with a new flat man character. Plus a look at new objects in his hodge podge lodge and home.
Ira Marlowe has a performance space in his home. It is filled with monkey art and is called the Monkey House. A Quirky Ten.
The Berkeley Provo Movement was small, short-lived, and important disproportionately to its size or lifespan. Its leader, Big Bill Miller, was a figure in our counterculture for 5 years and then disappeared.
A third post about Tyler Hoare, telling the story of missing Snoopy submarine, a missing Red Baron triplane, and a missing UFO.
Back to Old School Quirky Berkeley – the third and not final installment in photographs of houses with polychrome decoration that embellishes or enhances architectural details.
Ian Wood (king of garage door photos) took me to the home of Bruce and Carol Fedlman. They have a backyard elephant mural and hundreds of elephant figures inside. Wow!
My standards have changed since I published a post about big birds in October 2013. In this post I I omit birds that have gone away. I include birds that have newly arrived on our scene. And I freshen up some photos.
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 593rd Quirky Berkeley post! Old school plus the new tendency – a little more history of unconventional Berkeley.
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.