For the last few years, Tom Dalzell has been wandering the streets of Berkeley, camera in hand, to document all the strange, fascinating, and unusual items he can spot in yards and gardens. They range from animal-themed birdhouses to Hansel and Gretel cottages to wild lawn art to unusual signs to art cars. The only criterion he has: they must be quirky.
Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,400 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means. This is the second installment in the series.
In Berkeley, we like to paint. We paint fire hydrants. We paint our houses in bright and unexpected colors. We paint our cars. We paint birds and flowers on our houses. We paint our doors. And we paint our garage doors. This is not an only-in-Berkeley phenomenon, but if you were to explore Albany or Kensington or Oakland you would not see the quantity or quality of painted garage doors that you find in Berkeley.
Let’s start out with colors and shapes, a very good place to start.
Moving from colors and shapes to representational painting, we paint animals on our garage doors.
We paint birds:
And we paint landscapes:
My personal favorites for quirky painted garage doors are barely visible anymore, faded and flaking garage doors at the southwest corner of Rose and Spruce. The house is in critical condition, and the garage doors hint at a past glory, faded and crumbling today. These might be everybody’s cup of tea, but they speak to me:
I know of at least one more painted garage door up in the hills near where Timothy Leary lived. I will capture it and any others lurking up there when I walk the hill streets this spring and summer. For more photos and musing on painted doors, see my full post at Quirky Berkeley.
How quirky is Berkeley? Check out these dinosaurs (03.20.14)