You may have noticed that most of my pictures of Berkeley streets are of flowers. This is no accident. When walking along the sidewalks of Southern Berkeley at this time of the year, the eyes are automatically drawn towards watching the blooming splendor. So here I go, usually, with my eyes at street level, looking at and photographing blooms, a bit like a dog sniffing at the ground to identify his whereabouts. But increasingly, and more so when the flowering period abates, I will try to raise my head and watch more of the scenery above the efflorescence.
Last Sunday morning, I got a splendid opportunity to do so, when Karl Reeh was so kind to take me along as a friend to visit a young couple at their place on Blake/Fulton. The couple was inviting neighbors to a housewarming brunch. When I arrived at the place, I was astounded. Before my eyes rose a beautifully restored Victorian Mansion. The restoration of the greens around the house is in progress, so their was no flowery carpet to lure my eyes down. I just had to take a picture of this jewel of a house, painted in cyan and magenta.
|Nathan and Angela, the proud restorers of an ancient mansion|
Nathan and Angela, as was the name of the couple, welcomed me with open arms and showed me the inside of the house. They explained to me that this was the oldest residence in Berkeley still standing, having been finished in 1877. Having restored the exterior they were now undertaking the renovation of the inside. I have to admire this energetic venture undertaken by a couple half my age and the consideration they show for preserving what is best in Southern Berkeley. Let's hope that we begin to glance a beneficial future for the manifold of houses still in dear need of preservation, if not restoration. If the younger generation in general would start to show an interest in preserving the unique character of this cosy neighborhood, our generation could sleep more easily at night, knowing that a changing of the guard will eventually be happening.