How Quirky is Berkeley? Jacquet ‘magique’ on Monterey

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

If you live or drive in North Berkeley, you have probably seen the rainbow picket fence on Monterey. You probably have assumed that the rainbow is the classic ROYGBIV spectrum. It isn’t.

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

If you look closely, you will see that between Red and Orange there is a reddish orange. And so on through the spectrum.

There is other artistic quirk in the yard — pillow stepping stones and canvas tote bag planters to start with.

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

A miniature swing and a miniature tire hang from a tree.


1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

The front door is easily one of the top five in Berkeley.

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

A bookshelf leans against the house.

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

Except, wait a minute – those aren’t books. They are painted bricks! Inspired by Little Free Libraries, the Jacquets made their own library of painted bricks.

One last piece of quirk to show:

1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey
1235 Monterey Ave. Photo: John Storey

Marbles embedded in a wooden gate. For an hour in the morning on a sunny day, the sun lights the marbles up from behind.

Tara and Grégoire Jacquet  have lived in the house for 13 years. Grégoire owns and runs Grégoire, the popular tiny high-end take-out restaurant on Cedar above Shattuck.

Tara Jacquet. Photo: John Storey

Tara, the dominant partner in this artistic/quirky venture, is the daughter of sound geniuses John and Helen Meyer.

The Jacquet family is an only-in-Berkeley family. A Frenchman running a popular restaurant, the daughter of the Quirky Berkeley royalty. How Berkeley can we be? How quirky can we be! This is another of many examples of why I love Berkeley – the 13-color rainbow, the painted brick books, the burst of color with morning sun shining through the marbles, and the family that made it. This is us at our very best.

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 and more idiosyncratic version of this post, see Quirky Berkeley.