Cathy and I met at Monterey Market on Hopkins Street in Berkeley’s Northbrae neighborhood for our Monday night sketchcrawl. The scent of ripe fruit was heavenly in their screened fruit patio, but the store was closing so we were soon out on the street.
I stood behind Cathy while she leaned on a bike rack to sketch the signs on the corner. Then we walked up Hopkins to the Country Cheese and Coffee Market.
The scents were quite different here: damp cardboard and wafts of the day’s refuse from all the now-closed food sellers on this block including Magnanis Poultry and Monterey Fish Market. My butt fell asleep from leaning against a large metal box on the sidewalk while I was sketching. I could have sat on the chair but decided to sketch it instead. It felt good to start moving again. We walked around the block looking for inspiration at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery but since they were closed there wasn’t enough to see through the fence.
We headed up Rose Street and through the King Middle School play yard where people were throwing frisbees for their dogs in the sunshine at 8:00 at night. It was really starting to feel like summer.
Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame, helped start an “edible garden” on the school property and that’s where we did our final sketches, surrounded by beds of vegetables, flowers and fruit.
We felt like we were at camp, sitting on hale bales arranged in a large circle under an arbor made of rough hewn posts and branches woven together. At the center of the circle, a huge “campfire” of flaming pink and red poppies blazed. I imagined how rewarding it must be for a class of young gardeners to gather there for lessons with their teacher, the beautiful results of their work growing all around them. What a wonderful learning environment!
3 replies on “Sketching Berkeley’s Northbrae Neighborhood”
It’s always a delight to look at your beautiful work!
i like the flower painting..beautuful..
A very interesting story and honestly I really like the picture you sketch.