In comparison with the pathways between buildings in Northern New York (mostly shielded against the elements), I’m a bit disoriented by the semi-exposed stairwells and walkways of California. The mixture of features I associate with being inside (like the door with full glass window) and those I associate with being outside (like the tubular steel guard rails) makes for a juxtaposition.
Capturing pictures of the everyday and mundane details of living in a place as odd as Berkeley’s Normandy Village means that I can look back to the little details. This maroon fire escape served as the back door to our apartment, but also easy access to the shared laundry room—and thus a route I frequently traversed, trying to find a time when the machines were free.
Down the tiny alleys, side streets, and driveways of Berkeley are all kinds of odd old garages. My favorite details of these structures usually come down to scale; the driveway tracks and garage measurements were clearly built to be just large enough for the cars of the period. As American vehicles have grown larger, they now appear comically mismatched with anything but a vintage car in the scene.
The Downtown Berkeley BART stop was about to be closed for renovation when I last visited Berkeley. Have those changes been brought to fruition? Does that mean the end of the weathered bright entrances and weirdly sharp stairs? I know a quick search could answer these questions, but for just a moment I’m embracing the mystery.