How Quirky is Berkeley? Post-it art at the Tioga Building

2020 Milvia Street. Photo: John Storey
2020 Milvia St. (Tioga Building). Photo, taken in the summer of 2016, by John Storey

As the Stonefire building rises from the dust of the Firestone tire dealership on Milvia Street, just south of University Avenue, young people in tech companies on the fourth and second floors of the office building at 2020 Milvia gifted to the street Post-it art on the office windows. [Eds: The art was there last time we checked — but it’s temporary in its nature, so it may now be gone, and this post will exist to have documented this particular quirk.] In any case, the rapidly rising Stonefire development will likely have blocked our view of most of the post-it art by now. Too bad!

Customer Lobby logo; Photo: Colleen Neff
Customer Lobby logo; Photo: Colleen Neff

Starting on the west end of the fourth floor — an approximation of the corporate logo of Customer Lobby, a firm that specializes in repeat customer marketing and online reviews for small and medium-sized businesses.

Cthulhu. Photo: Colleen Neff
Cthulhu. Photo: Colleen Neff

In the center is Cthulhu, one of the Great Old Ones in H.P. Lovecraft’s 1928 The Call of Cthulhu. Cthulhu was part dragon, part octopus, and part human.

Chibi-Totoro. Photo: John Storey.
Chibi-Totoro. Photo: John Storey

On the eastern end of the north-facing windows is Totoro, who first appeared in a 1988 Japanese anime movie となりのトト (My Neighbor Totoro). The big gray Totoro is an Oh-Totoro. The medium blue one is Chuu-Totoro. The little white Totoro is Chibi-Totoro.


Several more are visible from the sidewalk on Addison.

Photo: John Storey
Photo: John Storey
Photo: Colleen Neff
Photo: Colleen Neff

There is an Imperial Storm Trooper (Star Wars) and a flying pig delivering mail.

If a person were to cheat and look inside the office, one might see this:

Photo: Colleen Neff
Photo: Colleen Neff

This is a depiction of Customer Lobby VP of Engineering Shiv Indap and a Nyan cat. Nyan Cat was a 2011 YouTube video that became an internet meme. As of now, it has 141.6 million hits. The cat’s body is a Pop Tart. It leaves a rainbow trail as it flies through the sky. Of course!

Down on the second floor, Magoosh and Everlaw share a big open office. Magoosh produces online test preparation courses.  Everlaw produces a litigation support platform.


Photo: John Storey
Photo: John Storey

On the western end of the windows is a Post-it version of Everlaw’s logo:

Photo: John Storey
Photo: John Storey

East of it is the player’s fixed Starship shooter in Galaga, an arcade game first released in North America in 1981. The pixelized nature of early arcade game graphics lends itself to Post-it art.

Photo: Colleen Neff
Photo: Colleen Neff

Facing east onto Milvia is a yellow piece. It was made on a “hack day” at Magoosh, a day when normal work activities are suspended and other projects worked on.

Photo: Colleen Neff
Photo: Colleen Neff

Many of these Post-its have New Year resolutions written on them.

The art is emblematic of the mostly young people working for the three businesses. There is an energy in these open offices, where smart 20-somethings and 30-somethings work hard and work quiet and work different, not because of set or hierarchical rules, but, just because. The people there are working hard and they are working smart and they are working in a way that is alien to me, in a new world. I admire them. I have hope because of them. And I dearly love the Post-it art.


Tom 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 8,000 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.

For a fuller version of this post, see Quirky Berkeley.

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