I have dabbled in Albany before, most notably with my post on the stunningly beautiful home and garden of Keeyla Meadows. I will one day publish a post on the Albany Bulb, home to creative art, homeless struggles, and resistance to developers.
By returning to Albany today, I am not launching anything approaching a new mission. The subject house is just too quirky to ignore, city limits notwithstanding. What’s a few city blocks when it comes to quirk? Quirk sin fronteras!
There must be several hundred pieces in the yard of 714 B Street, on the corner of B and Ashbury. Almost all of them would be described as “folk art” if you are inclined to use that term.
Dig the reels as wheels!
These photos – above and below – show my favorite “folk art” pieces.
Where was this place when I was doing my posts on tiki? ANSWER: right there in Albany where I wasn’t looking. There are multitudinous tiki-themed pieces:
The last grouping – turtle sculptures. There be turtle-lovers here. Where were these turtles when I did my post on turtles? Answer – right here, in Albany, where I wasn’t looking. There are turtles present in many of the photos above. Now – photos that really showcase the turtles.
I’ll admit, the turtles on their own don’t really rock it for me. But – as part of the mix, wonderful.
I am Oh So Glad that I don’t have an editorial board that strictly adheres to the ONLY BERKELEY rule that generally guides this blog. The quirky creativity here is not to be believed.
I emailed a draft of this post to my friend. He’s still in Detroit with his brother, and this week Gabby joined them.
My friend wrote me: “I walked the Bulb once on a summer day long ago. I didn’t have sensible shoes and struggled a little, but it was a magical walk. Sitting on a rock with the breezes off the Bay and the sun and it was new. She was a sight to see.”
I’m pretty sure I know what chapter of his life he’s talking about. He’s kind of private that way though.
He told me that Gabby had been browsing at the John J. King bookstore on Lafayette and came across this newspaper:
“Armed Women Hold Garbage Men at Bay!” How about that! Gabby is good at finding these things. The story tells of the founding of Albany – women armed with shotguns and a rifle driving Berkeley garbage wagons on their way to dump garbage in their community back south in 1908, leading to the formation of the City of Ocean View, which was renamed Albany in 1909 on an overwhelming 38-6 vote.
Good find Gabby!
I asked my friend to take a poll of Earl, Gabby, and himself about this post. The verdict:
This house is a great quirky find. I’ve often stopped to look at these sculptures when walking by. B street and this house are actually in El Cerrito, not Albany. Nevertheless this front yard has a Berkeley-like quirky-ness.
OH NO! Alt.Albany worked so well.