Signs are no stranger to Quirky Berkeley. In past posts, I have shown business signage from San Pablo Avenue and from University Avenue, the signs of Little India, neon signs of Telegraph Avenue, and neon signs from University and San Pablo Avenues. Plus, I now notice, a couple more.
Today – signs from Shattuck Avenue south of University. I am probably in a small minority that finds signs quirky, or at least potentially quirky. If nothing else, here is a record of signage on four blocks of Shattuck Avenue as of April 2017. If you are reading this 50 years later, you are, no doubt, fascinated by our signage.
With Shattuck Avenue comes the bonus of Shattuck Place, the two-block island that was the product of an era in which steam trains traversed Shattuck.
In any event – the signs of Shattuck Place:
Shattuck is often overlooked when we think of Berkeley quirk. There are, to be sure, those who appreciate Shattuck in all its glory. But, for most of us, it is not first string.
My friend haunts Shattuck at night. He finds more life there than Telegraph, and has a whole set of friends that I don’t know, bouncers and the down and out and deadbeats and dealers and the Characters of Shattuck, not to mention a great appreciation for the Dollar Store. I do love the image of my friend walking Shattuck, striding even, on the way somewhere at night. He has a great eye for quirk, and was a little disappointed that I went with signs, not quirk. “What about the Grateful Dead bears not he sidewalk?” Another day.
After he leafed through these photos, he played a game that we play often. “Best sign?”
Well, I am taken by the Western Dental sign. My friend correctly pointed out that it is a chain,and that I had not included other chains in my photos. Point taken. It is one of many Western Dental offices, but, as far as I can tell, the only one with a rocking sign.
He was taken by the Paul’s Shoe sign. It has the added plus of being one of several Paul’s Shoes that exist in the world. He disappeared back into his room and in 20 minutes came back with these photos:
Faced with two strong choices, what should we do? If you had only one bullet, who would you shoot – Stalin or Hitler?
The obvious: Kenny G. So here – go to a third choice. We compromise, abandoning our original choices, and agree that Friendly Market (under new management) is the best sign. Not for artistic effort, but for name and sentiment.
OK – that’s done. What about the post?
P.S. And, yes, we do know that there was ANOTHER Friendly Market in Berkeley, at 1600 Ward Street.
It is one of the many corner bodegas that are gone. It looks like it was in fact very friendly.