Friday, June 25, 2010

About 94708


I've lived here almost 40 years, so I thought I should write about it. Extending north from the Berkeley campus, and east up into the hills, this is where Charles Keeler wrote about "simple houses" and Bernard Maybeck designed them. (Keeler's simple was like Joseph Esherick's ordinary two generations later.) In 1923, a fire burned a lot of those houses to the ground. The architect-artist Lars Lerup, a sometime resident, once described Berkeley to me as a suburb of New York City, and that's especially true for 94708, which may be the epicenter of this phenomenon. As one-time mayoral candidate Fred Weeks noted, the New York Times is the daily paper in these parts (now along with the FT and WSJ). It's both cosmopolitan and its own sometimes very small world. Welcome to it!

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