I didn’t think that I had a photograph of the first manifestation of quirk at 1235 Monterey. It’s gone now but I remember it – a micro miniature golf course in the verge / devil’s strip / sidewalk strip. After publishing this post, I found my photo of it!
The rainbow fence came next. If you look carefully, you will see that it is not the classic ROYGBIV rainbow and that intermediary colors are included.
The micro golf course and fence – and everything else in the yard – are the work of Tara and Gregoire Jacquet, who have lived in the house for 13 years. Their son Milo was in daughter Charlotte’s class at the Berkeley School five years ago. He is a kind boy whose capacity for mathematics is staggering.
For Gregoire’s background, check this out. The short version – he owns and runs Gregoire, the popular, twenty-tiny high-end take-out restaurant on Cedar above Shattuck.
Tara, the dominant partner in this artistic/quirky venture, is the daughter of John and Helen Meyer – see here.
Other artistic quirk in the front yard – these awesome pillow stepping stones:
In the same vein, canvas tote bags converted to plant containers:
There are several trees in the yard.
From trees hang a tiny swing and a tiny tire.
The front fence has a curious gate at the left/east end.
The original fence terminated where the gate begins, based on the then-assumed-to-be-correct property line. Come to find out after the fence was built – the actual line was farther to the left/east, so the gate was added to fill the gap.
The front door, painted by Tara, is easily Top Five front doors in Berkeley.
A bookcase with books stands against the house.
Except, wait a minute – those aren’t books. They are painted bricks! Inspired by Little Free Libraries, the Jacquets made their own library of painted bricks. Gregoire contributed one, Pepin’s La Technique. It is an illustrated guide to the fundamental techniques of cooking.
Tara drilled holes for these marbles. For an hour a day the sun from the east shines from the back of the fence, lighting the marbles up. Magic!
Lastly, family portrait:
This front yard is quirk personified. The Jacquet family is an only-in-Berkeley family. A Frenchman running a popular restaurant, the daughter of the Quirky Berkeley royalty. How Berkeley can we be? How quirky can we be! This is another of many examples of why I love Berkeley – the 13-color rainbow, the painted brick books, the burst of color with morning sun shining through the marbles, and the family that made it. This is us at our very best.
I showed my photo to my friends. He remembers once seeing photos of the Fibonacci pavements from the University of Leicester Botanical Garden. “I understood it when somebody was talking about the numbers but after that, no so much. But – big love in that family for sure.”
Funny he should say big love. The day we shot these photos was a day of Big Love, one great connection after another, starting with the Jacquet Magique on Monterey.
What about the post, the stuff, the photos?
THIS is why I love Berkeley !!!
Wonderful. Love is in the details. I echo Doug Heine thrice over. Thanks Tom! mb
You might consider adding this link https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/spring-2015-dropouts-and-drop-ins/ballad-john-and-helen-berkeley-based-meyer when you mention John and Helen Meyer instead of the link to Gregory’s Snapshot.(http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/06/25/snapshot-gregoire-jacquet-owner-of-gregoire-restaurant/)