How Quirky Is Berkeley? Second time around quirk at 2819 Prince

2819 Prince St. Photo: John Storey

This photograph represents the second-time-around quirk produced by the family now living at 2819 Prince St. In 2013, I posted about the family’s “small world” installation at 2828 Russell St. These are two photos from that post:

2828 Russell St. Photo: Colleen Neff
2828 Russell St. Photo: John Storey

Nice plane!

The children of 2828 Russell were the driving force behind the small world villages on the curb strip. They collected the little houses, people, and animals at yard sales on weekend mornings. Occasionally they found some in curbside free boxes.

In May 2016, the family that made the Russell Street small world had to move. They weren’t sure that they would venture into the quirky small world game again until and unless they bought a home.


It’s now almost three years later, and I’m happy to say that the quirk is back. The formerly-Russell-Street family now lives at 2819 Prince, where they continue to give joyful quirk to the street.

The emphasis at Prince Street is not the curb strip as it had been on Russell.  On the curb strip on Prince Street are only a few hints of quirk:

2819 Prince Street. Photo: John Storey
2819 Prince Street. Photo: John Storey

The main events on Prince Street are the birdhouses above the gate that are shown above and an assortment of wind chimes on the fence, hung to be touched.

2819 Prince Street. Photo: John Storey

The quirkiest touches are between the fence and the house, seen through the gate.

2819 Prince St. Photo: John Storey
2819 Prince St. Photo: John Storey

The story of the Prince Street family is a very good one, a ninja-level Berkeley story. But it is a story that for the time being will not be told here. If a family or quirk-maker wants privacy and anonymity, it is granted.

I love that quirk could not be suppressed. I love the wind chimes and the racket they make when you bang them all. I love Yoda and Buddha In the House. I love the birdhouses. I love that the family did not simply recreate what they had had on Russell Street, that they went for a whole different quirk. It warms me when people reach, when people do, when people give.

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-plus-year resident muses on what it all means.


For a fuller version of this post with many more photos, see Quirky Berkeley.