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Animals Berkeley Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Painting Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Sketching Taxidermy at Spenger’s Restaurant

The High Room Taxidermy at Spengers, ink & watercolor, 5x7.5"
The High Room Taxidermy at Spengers, ink & watercolor, 5x7.5"

Our Urban Sketchers group met Tuesday night at the historic, oldest restaurant in Berkeley, Spenger’s Fish Grotto. I called ahead to see if we could sketch in the room whose walls are covered with taxidermy animals and fish. The manager was very supportive of our visit, even though he was dealing with half the restaurant (which has many rooms, all full of seafaring and other historic artifacts) being closed for carpet cleaning that day.

I arrived a bit late due to continuing construction work at my house, and found the group sitting at a big table in the middle of  the taxidermy room (actually called the “High Room” because of the super high ceilings). Richard the manager had opened and designated the room just for us. Thank you Richard!

We are delighted that Berlin Urban Sketcher and illustrator Olga Prudnikova has joined us for the next couple of months while she is in Berkeley. She and the rest of our group managed to do many sketches to my one. You can see their beautiful and quirky sketches on our SF Urban Sketchers blog here and here.

Thank you Spenger’s general manager Richard, for your support and hospitality. We had a great time sketching and snacking on their famous creamy, thick clam chowder.

Categories
Animals Berkeley Life in general Places

A Walk on the Wacky Wild (life) Side in Berkeley

Deer sticking tongue out
Deer sticking tongue out

Berkeley, California is known as a nutty town, and this morning even the wildlife seemed wacky. I don’t usually post photos, but just couldn’t resist sharing these pictures from this morning’s after-breakfast walk in the hilly  neighborhood above Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto.”  This deer couple above were camped out in a secluded front yard. One had a strange floppy tongue, retracted only when she chewed an itch.

OCD Bird
OCD Bird

This bird was stuck in a loop of peering into the mirror of a parked car, attacking his image, jumping atop the mirror, and then coming back to see if the bird was still there, and attacking it again. I tried to shoo him away, but he started the loop again when I walked away. Do birds get OCD?

Chickens on a log
Chickens on a log

These chickens had a huge yard to themselves but gathered together in one tiny corner, all trying to all perch on the same chunk of log. Makes you wonder about how important “free range” really is to chickens.

Catwalk 1
Catwalk (see below)

And then there are the people. These neighbors  built a second story bridge between their two houses for their cats. (above and below)

Cat crossing between two houses
Cat crossing between two houses

And these humble homeowners hung this on their modest bungalow in a neighborhood where even a 3-room shack is worth half a million dollars.

Happy Hovel
Happy Hovel

And then there were the bird lovers…

For Birds
For Birds

…and goose lovers…

Window Goose
Window Goose (I hope it's plastic!)

and Monkey madness and…

Monkey ornament
Surprised Monkey garage ornament

and just plain madness…

Australia: One hour tmie limit
Australia: One hour time limit

That’s a dismantled parking meter below the Australia sign.  Their whole front yard was filled with similar flotsam and jetsam.

Welcome to Berkeley
Welcome to Berkeley

Of course I would have preferred to sketch these sights, but I was walking with a non-sketching friend whose patience was already tried by my taking photos, let alone stopping to sketch. And now I’m even further behind posting all the sketches and paintings I’ve been working on.