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I went for a long walk today (in my bid to get more exercise), and I entertained myself along the way by taking a bunch of pictures with my iPhone. I thought I'd share them, in case you wondered what Berkeley is really like.

Note: Please bear in mind that I do not consider "crazy" to be a criticism. I use it purely as a descriptor.



The Crown of Thorns The Crown of Thorns I pass this building -- which I think houses some administrative offices for the university -- every time I go to Lisa's house. Lisa and I both like a lot of things about the architecture (who doesn't love a turret-like thing?), but Lisa hates what she calls "The Crown of Thorns." I love that name.
Happiness is not a destination. It is a WAY of life. WAY! Happiness is not a destination. It is a WAY of life. WAY! #1 Crazy Berkeley House -- This is some of what sits out in front of the house, facing the street. One of the signs hanging down seems to read, "Mr. Bill surfs Cal," though that makes little sense to me. I'm familiar with Mr. Bill ("Oh no!"), and I'm familiar with Cal (UC Berkeley), but I'm not sure how surfing connects them. It *does* however, inspire interesting images in my head. My absolute favorite thing about this particular photo, however, is the Raggedy Andy hanging upside down inside a frame on the left. Hello to the randomness!
Lamps, stripes, dogs, and some random kid Lamps, stripes, dogs, and some random kid #1 Crazy Berkeley House -- Some more of what sits out in front of the house. Notice the strange little lamps (Are they actually wired up to work? Why?) and the little wiener dog on the table to the right. You can almost see, behind some plants (lavender?) bottom center/right, a framed photograph of some little girl, a photograph of which there are a few other framed copies scattered around among the random wierdness.
Hey mom, can we build a tree house for the cat? Hey mom, can we build a tree house for the cat? #1 Crazy Berkeley House -- I also took a horizontal photo of this same area, which you may be able to recognize from the big yellow-and-white "C," but there was so much weird crap hanging from the tree that I decided to take another photo pointing upward. There's a very tiny tree house in that tree, also, kinda in the center of this photo, but you can't see it well here. It's about the size for an average cat. Do they have a cat who likes to hang out in tree houses? Sadly, I've never seen anyone, of any species, hanging out in that tree house.
 Scary scary scary Scary scary scary #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- Someone who lives here clearly owns a kiln and likes to use it. There are all kinds of freaky ceramic creatures arrayed around the garden in front of their house. Notice in this photo: there is a rather demonic, yellow-eyed, Gollum-like monster crouched in the tree in the upper right. Do kids live in this house? Do they go to sleep every night with this thing just waiting to leap through their windows and suck their blood?
Is this middle guy making a spooky ghost sound with his mouth, or is he just tremendously surprised at whatever he sees in the sky. Is this middle guy making a spooky ghost sound with his mouth, or is he just tremendously surprised at whatever he sees in the sky. #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- Weird busts. Not nearly as weird as most of the other stuff in this person's garden, but that center one still looks pretty weird to me!
Masks with bonnets, caterpillars, fangs, and slugs Masks with bonnets, caterpillars, fangs, and slugs #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- Masks (with a vertical line of random Christmas ornaments). My favorite is the fish-lipped, orange-caterpillar-unibrowed old lady wearing a bonnet in the upper right. Dare I hope this is a self-portrait of the artist who lives in this house? That would be sooo cool. Though it might be even cooler if the one in the *lower* right was the self-portrait. Fangs! My question, however, is what the fuck is that red thing that seems to be hanging out of the nose of the mask in the upper left? Is it a chili pepper? Some kind of vermilion slug? In any case, it's disturbing.
Penguins on stools! Penguins on stools! #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- Penguins. What are they doing? Are they wearing sunglasses? Listening to iPods? Singing? If nothing else, they *do* seem to be wearing necklaces. I appreciate a penguin who knows how to accessorize.
Statues of (I think) black people Statues of (I think) black people #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- Possibly racist (certainly ugly) statues. Is there a minstrel show in town? The overly white bug eyes of the two leftmost statues freak me out. And why are all these minstrels/tribesmen looking up to approximately the same point in the sky? Do they know something I don't? Are the aliens coming? Even more disturbingly, if you check out my other photo of the three busts, the freaky center guy is looking up at almost the exact same angle as these guys. Weird!
Turtles? With beaks? Turtles? With beaks? #2 Crazy Berkeley House -- I have no idea what these animals are supposed to be. Not only do these possibly-turtles have orange bird beaks, but the one on the right has a purple head. The one on the left, even less attractively, seems to have a bad case of acne. In the background, a very sad-looking dog sits atop a stack of pet carriers, pondering his next trip to the vet.


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
19_crows
Aug. 24th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
I saw the #1 Crazy Berkeley House recently - a friend lives a block or so away. I like it!

those turtles with beaks are great too.
kimberly_a
Aug. 25th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
That house is on the route that Shannon and I pretty much always walk or bike if we're heading to the Rockridge area, and I always love getting to see it.
chantal87
Aug. 24th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Berkeley looks very very cool.
I'll have to get out there one of these days.
kimberly_a
Aug. 25th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
If you ever do, I'd love to meet you, and I might be able to offer you a futon couch if you were traveling alone (we don't really have room for more than one guest).
(Anonymous)
Aug. 28th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Crazy Berkeley house
Oooooh! I want to go see the crazy Berkeley house. Maybe on my next visit. Florida is rather dull around here and there are no such fun places.
kimberly_a
Aug. 28th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Crazy Berkeley house
I'm going to make a wild guess and say this comment was from my mom. :)

Maybe I can come up with a tour of crazy Berkeley houses, because I know these ones are not the only ones I've seen!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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