For a project devoted to quirk, my love of categories sometimes seems counter-intuitive. Collectors are compulsive organizers and categorizers – I get that. But shouldn’t the infinite and disjointed nature of quirk over-ride those tendencies? I will get back to you on this point. But for now, here are some photos of quirk that don’t fit my neat pigeon holes and don’t find themselves in albums that I have created.
William Carlos Williams almost wrote a famous poem about a red boot tacked to a wooden fence. He changed his mind when he spotted a red wheelbarrow, but I found the boot:
John Storey, who made the best pictures on this site, makes wine. Here is one of his labels:
I think that Mr. Williams maybe should have stuck with the red boots and forgotten about that blue wheelbarrow.
Quirk often celebrates unexpected materials as art, and that is the essence of this gate, found on Ashby Avenue, not a hotbed of quirk in general but here, yes. The cell phone as art!
Assuming, for a brief moment, the role played by Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Strip” (1950),”All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close- up”:
Popeye is quirky. Canned spinach with the Popeye brand is quirkier. An antique can of canned spinach with the Popeye brand is quirkier still. An antique can of canned spinach with the Popeye brand nailed to a gate post is quirkiest:
And now, a brief exploration of big and little, of big things made little and little things made big. First, a big bridge made little:
And now some big trees tucked behind Don’s Tires on Gilman:
And finally back to big to little. I generally don’t consider kid toys in the yard to be quirky. I don’t think that is the case here. This is much too deliberate:
Having a large cut-out figure of Arnold Schwarzenegger outside your business is prima facie quirky, unless you are a video rental store, which almost doesn’t exist and isn’t the case here. But that cut-out in Berkeley and the quirk is off the charts. The fact that this is a stone’s throw from the Emeryville border doesn’t diminish it’s charm:
Words don’t do justice trying to describe this lovely little piece of quirk next to Jesse’s house:
To my generation, Pac Man seems recent. Pac Man, though, we have had with us since 1980. A popular culture icon of the 1980s, Pac Man is with us still, on demand on Gilman:
You have been a patient audience. We finally reach the climax, the collection of stripes, brought to us by the fences and awnings of Berkeley. But let’s cheat first and go to one Berkeley-adjacent Albany striped fence:
And now pure Berkeley, starting with a cool ski fence on a cool alley:
Followed by – striped fences.
Awnings, fixtures of the non-quirky norm, can provide quirk by color:
Encore: snowboard fence:
Stay tuned. More miscellaneous to come. Much more.