I knew this house, and thought I had posted a photo of the sun in a long-ago post on suns. Wrong – I didn’t.
Continuing a really good trend, a Quirky Berkeley aficionado suggested I look at the house again. I did.
The path to the front porch. Stunning, no?
On the window next to the front door,, there is a fantastic poster with an image of John Coltrane and the words “Coltrane Not Coal Train.” I didn’t take a photo. The poster is NOT from the movement against the plans of Phil Tagami to move up to 10 million tons of Utah coal a year to Asia through the Port of Oakland, which would make Oakland the top coal exporter on the West Coast. The poster is from a similar movement in Bellingham, Washington.
The porch is home to what appears to be kids art presented grandly.
So far so good. But – the best is yet to come, and it is what the informant thought I needed to see.
On the right side of the driveway:
On the left side of the driveway:
Just. Plain. Stunning.
I am oh so glad that I was steered back to this house. Good eye! Good find! The informant was just out walking aimlessly, looking for quirk. Another flaneur. Go!
And where but Berkeley could this exist? Answer: almost nowhere. It is a quiet and gentle block on Virginia. And right there is this intricate glorious path and a painted sun to die for and kids art and – inexplicable figures on either side of the driveway. I so admire the spirit that made and placed these here. I am so grateful that Berkeley brings this out in us.
The big missing piece – the people who made this. I haven’t tracked them down to talk about the painting and path and driveway pieces. I think that they have lived in this house since 1983. I think that the house was built in 1910. I wish I knew more.
I am sure that I will learn more, and I will edit the post. But the photos tell the story that I try to tell here as well as words. We are a city that has honored individualism and creativity and a city that makes possible this gifting of quirky and beautiful art to the street. This is our dear old Berkeley at its best.
I emailed the draft to my friend. He’s back in Detroit with his twin brother Earl. He will have stories to tell when he gets back, for sure. He has sent me only two photos.
They are of the Belle Isle Children’s Zoo, today on top and when they were boys on the bottom. I can’t wait for the rest.
I asked him for his take on the house on Virginia. He sent me this photo by email: