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.
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.
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.