Steps. How can steps be quirky? First, though, what possible cultural allusion? I can think of only one so let’s just be done with it:
Okay. I thought of a second. The Crests “Step by Step.” A pretty cool song.
Moving back to our existential question – how can steps be quirky? In Berkeley, lots of ways:
We see an occasional set of mosaic steps such as these at 1230 Monterey:
And – we see lots of tile steps. I backed Way off my completionist approach to photographing when it came to tile steps. Here are a few that give the taste of it:
In late 2015, the Man Monk Center in the old Cody’s slouched towards opening. The steps leading up to the balcony are stunning:
Then there are the DIY tile steps. I don’t mock them. I include them as reflections of the great diversity in step material culture that makes Berkeley Quirky:
Last and not least – the Fountain Walk steps that take you from the Marin Circle to the Solano Tunnel and vice-versa. In the summer of 2013, artist or artists unknown to me embellished the steps with chalk art. I resisted photographing or including the steps for weeks, thinking that they were too ephemeral. In the end, of course, I relented, in the name of “art is not eternal” and “all things must pass.” Here are several photos from September 2013. When the rains wash the steps clean, there will be at least this record of their chalk step glory:
Some of the great steps of Berkeley – as in sets of steps – are on the paths that lace through the city. I haven’t decided how to treat the paths, mostly because they are so well treated elsewhere. If nothing more, I note for the record that the path steps of Berkeley are part of our quirky fabric.
I asked my friend what he thought of these step photos. He was honest with me. He had not looked at the photos. He had gotten lost watching old Hitchcock movies in black and white. As a favor to me, he took a quick look. He stopped at the chalk steps and he said this: