In October, 2013 – early in the life of Quirky Berkeley – I rejoiced in Normandy Village in all its quirky glory.
Normandy Village, aka Thornburg Village, is a cluster of apartments, some of which have been converted to condos, on the first block north of campus on Spruce Street. It was built in the 1920s, evoking the character of European villages as experienced by Americans fighting in the Great War. Here is a good historical description of the project by Daniella Thompson – who is the best that there is – from its inception the 1920s through the final additions in 1955.
To me, it has always been magically quirky, and quirkily magical. Especially on a foggy or misty evening or night, or during the magic hour, the final light before sundown. Maybe I am a sucker, but I find it quirky, in an old weird America kind of way. I don’t see it and think – oh, I’m in Normandy. I see it and think – oh, I’m in Berkeley just before the bank crash and Great Depression, when things were happily different.
Maestro Gaxiola posted a photo taken at Normandy village to the Hella Berkeley Facebook page. The coolness of the photo cannot and will not be surpassed I don’t think.
Yes – you’re right, a young Credence Clearwater Revival photographed at Normandy Village.
I touched on Credence in a long-ass 2014 post about Berkeley’s counterculture past. Although they were proud sons of El Cerrito, they recorded their Cosmo’s Factory album in Berkeley, just north of Gilman.
Maestro Gaxiola is a bright spot in our universe. He is the self-proclaimed King of Cowboy Artists. Check out his website.
There is much of interest there. Of greatest interest to me – two things.
First, his scrapbook of a cross-country road trip on Route 66. That is very close to something I want to do when the pandemic eases.
Second, his Berkeley prints. Several of the 14 prints on his website:
To borrow a term from elementary algebra, we will now complete the square with this print:
Sorry if my mention of quadratic polynomials triggered you – it seemed like a perfect metaphor. Right back to where we started.