Photo: Darwin the Retriever Cat Facebook Page The Museum of Modern Art defines the French term objet trouvé (found object) as art created from undisguised, sometimes modified, objects or products that are not normally considered art, often because they already have a non-art function. A subset of found object art is celebrated in Found Magazine, which collects, catalogs, and […]
Freelancer Tom Dalzell has lived in Berkeley since 1984. After working for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers for 10 years as a legal worker and then lawyer, he went to work for another labor union in 1981 and has been there since, first as an attorney, and, since 2006, as its elected leader. In his free time he walks the streets of Berkeley, street by street and block by block, recording and photographing the quirky material culture that he finds. Dalzell, who is an expert on slang, writes the Quirky Berkeley blog and contributes to Berkeleyside about his finds, both in the present tense and with an occasional foray into Berkeley’s non-conformist past.
How Quirky is Berkeley? Avi Black’s Berkri-la on Ordway
1300 Ordway St. Photo: Colleen Neff There are hints of Bali on the southwest corner of Ordway and Gilman. These statues depict musicians you’d see in a baleganjur ensemble featuring a team of interlocking cymbals and drums, an inseparable part of life and death in Bali. Its traditional purpose is to accompany funeral processions. 1300 Ordway St. Photo: […]
How Quirky is Berkeley? Mark Bulwinkle’s sculpture inside the new Mad Monk
The new Telegraph Avenue store owned by Ken Sarachan is decorated throughout by sculptures by local artist Mark Bulwinkle.
How Quirky is Berkeley? Lanesplitter’s action figures
There are lots of reasons to love Lanesplitter Pizza — not least the quirky collection of action-figure dolls housed in the East Bay chain’s Berkeley location.
How Quirky is Berkeley? The alien and UFO of Vine Street
2155 Vine Street. Photo: John Storey 2155 Vine Street. Photo: John Storey Who has not seen the UFO – replete with “Berkeley or Bust” bumper sticker and twinkling lights at night – on Vine Street just east of the original Peet’s Coffee at Walnut Street? George McNeil, who with his artist wife Joanna Salska-McNeil, has […]
How Quirky is Berkeley? Kingman Hall’s quirky murals
The toad mural on the garage door at Kingman Hall. Photo: John Storey I went to Kingman Co-Op at 1730 La Loma Ave. on graduation weekend to photograph the front door for a post-in-progress about painted doors. On the way to the door, I found this wonderful toad mural on the garage door. Read more […]
How Quirky is Berkeley? Mermaids!
2815 Benvenue Ave. Photo: John Storey We find depictions of mermaids (no mermen!) in our yards, porches, sidewalks and restaurants. Our species’ fascination with aquatic humanoids dates back thousands of years, unabated if less literal today. In Berkeley, we come by our fascination honestly. Photo: 4.bp.blogspot.com/Pinterest No wonder! More photos from my aggregation of Berkeley […]
Quirky Berkeley: Melissa Mork’s sheetmetal origami
Melissa Mork and copper eagle. Photo: Colleen Neff Melissa Mork is the fourth generation of the Mork family to work in the sheet-metal business started by her great grandfather, Walter Mork, a patriarch of Berkeley’s early 20th-century Finnish community. She grew up around the shop. Her father taught her about sheet metal, theory and skills. And […]
How Quirky is Berkeley? Ace Hardware’s relocation
On the eve of its move to a new downtown location, Tom Dalzell lists all the reasons he loves Berkeley’s Ace Hardware.
How Quirky is Berkeley? Ask the rusting steel skeleton playing the sax
2219 Marin Ave. Photo: Colleen Neff Driving up or down Marin, you will have seen the rusting steel skeleton playing a saxophone, adorned perhaps with flowers, TIG welding rods, an American flag and beads. You may have noticed many steel fish as well. They are the work of Mike Yoji Nagamoto, who has lived here […]
Quirky Berkeley: The many passions of Leonard Pitt
Leonard Pitt “structure.” Photo: John Storey Leonard Pitt “structure.” Photo: John Storey Elaborate wooden “structures” float from the ceiling in Leonard Pitt’s Grant Street home. They are one of the several passions that define his life — along with Detroit, Paris, chocolate, theater, Balinese masks, and Balinese dance. Leonard Pitt (1959). Photo: courtesy Leonard Pitt Pitt […]
How Quirky is Berkeley? The two sisters of Walnut Street
1309 Walnut St. Photo: John Storey You have perhaps seen this bench on Walnut Street just south of Live Oak Park, one of three benches on the block. Penny Brogden made the bench, and the five tiles. Dorothy Klein ink wash paintings. Photo: John Storey This is Dorothy Klein’s art, ink wash paintings Dorothy Klein […]