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!
For years I have avoided kitsch in Berkeley’s yards. Reverse course! I embrace it. Here I present kitsch from half a dozen yards, plus an End War sculpture, plus a stunning array of bonsho, Buddhist bells.
It is a charming working class, economically diverse block just east of San Pablo Avenue. It’s about the change. This is the tale of how it is and where it is headed.
For 91 years, we have gone to Pettingell’s for our book binding needs, the last 23 of which Klaus Rötzscher has been the owner and binder. Beautiful things, beautiful tools and machines, beautiful materials. A treasure!
Judy Gumbo, our most famous female Yippie, lives in a Berkeley co-housing community with material reminders of the 1960s and 1970s on every wall of her house. Her politics have not changed.
FINALLY – photographs of Allen Ginsberg’s cottage behind 1624 Milvia, where he lived in 1955 and 1956. Dennis Starleaf lived in the cottage two years later and sent five GREAT photos. History! Berkeley!
From 1964 until 1969 – the Free Speech Movement, the Red Square Dress Shop, People’s Park, and the crown of Miss Chinatown SF 1965. Only here. Only then.
The magic journey of Alice and Don Schenker, from the Beat movement to 20 years on Telegraph with the Print/Reprint Mint, selling art prints, posters, and underground comics.
A QB friend suggested that I look at some of Berkeley’s older businesses. Good idea! Here is a look at Lasher’s Electronics, 57 years now on University.
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.
And lest we forget:
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.