Tag Archives: Ira Serkes

Nightscapes: Ira Serkes’ photo show at the French Hotel

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Long-time Berkeley resident, Realtor and Berkeleyside contributing photographer Ira Serkes has been going to the French Hotel in the Gourmet Ghetto for years. A few weeks ago Serkes gave Angel, the “super-barrista” who works there, his business card which features a photograph Serkes took of the 2012 supermoon over UC Berkeley, and he inquired if the hotel might be interested in mounting a show of his night photography. The next day, Serkes got a call from Marta Yamamoto who curates the shows at the hotel. The answer was yes, and the result can be seen mounted on the brick walls of the hotel’s café through March 14.

Serkes says the idea of a show at the hotel came to him several years ago when he saw an exhibit of black-and-white photographs by Len Blau there. “I liked them so much I bought a print which hangs above my desk,” he says.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley home prices soar… just don’t call it a bubble

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This week, a four-bedroom home in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood sold after just three weeks on the market for a staggering $2.4 million, 42% over its asking price of $1.69 million. There were multiple offers on the house. The sale has raised eyebrows both in the neighborhood and among real estate professionals. However it is far from being the only example of escalating home prices in Berkeley and certain nearby areas, a development fueled by an influx of cash buyers falling over themselves to outbid competitors in their determination to snatch up property locally.

“I’ve never seen a market like this,” said Ira Serkes, a Realtor at Pacific Union Real Estate who created the Berkeleyhomes.com website. “The market has changed dramatically.”

“It’s really crazy,” echoed Marlene Leverette, who heads up the East Bay offices of McGuire Real Estate, describing the current real estate climate. “It crept up on us last year, and Realtors are all seeing the same thing: a lack of inventory and lots of cash buyers overbidding on homes by 20-40%.” Leverette said the surge is not restricted to Berkeley. Her colleagues at McGuire offices in San Francisco, the Peninsula and Marin are all telling similar tales.  … Continue reading »

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King tides initiative raises awareness of rising sea levels

Berkeley high tide by Ira Serkes
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Photographers, nature lovers and climate change observers are joining forces to document California’s annual surge of high tides. By gathering photographs of the phenomenon, they hope to raise awareness of how rising sea levels will impact coastal regions in years to come.

Berkeley realtor and chronicler extraordinaire Ira Serkes was snapping photos at the Berkeley Marina yesterday on the first day of a three-day high tide period. King Tide events for the 2012-2013 season take place in four periods: November 13-15, December 12-14, January 9-11, and February 7-9.

The highest tide of the year for the San Francisco Bay — 7.2 ft — will take place today at 10:34 a.m (see tide chart, below). … Continue reading »

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Klezmer and latkes and Christmas

People wait to buy latkes on Christmas Day. Photo: Emanuah Hauser
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One of the more joyous street gatherings on Christmas Day happens in front of Saul’s, the Jewish deli on Shattuck Avenue near Vine.

For the last three years, Klezmer musicians have gathered to play outside the deli, their lively, upbeat music serenading the long line of people waiting to go inside the restaurant or those just wanting to hear a tune.

This year, the annual Christmas Day concert coincided with Hanukkah, and Saul’s owners’, Peter Levitt and Karen Adelman, … Continue reading »

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Phone lines down along The Alameda

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Our call for citizen reporters brought in this photo from Ira Serkes and this email at 11.21am today:

“Power/phone lines down on The Alameda between Los Angeles and Marin. They are likely back up by now. I was driving home from the gym and heard sirens behind me — got to that part of The Alameda just as the police car pulled up.”

Thanks Ira.

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Wavy Gravy and the fish

Wavy Gravy
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Our post on the Berkeley mural treasure hunt prompted Berkeleysider Ira Serkes to share this photo he took of “Berkeley institution” Wavy Gravy sitting in front of the mural depicting him holding a fish at the Berkeley Amtrak Station dedication in 2008. Naturally, he was holding a fish.

Earlier that day, Ira had run into Gravy at the Berkeley YMCA and had asked him if he’d brought his fish into the hot tub.  To which Gravy responded:  “No, … Continue reading »

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