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Somebody is Spreading Sidewalk Joy in Berkeley

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While Berkeley roots may be hard to find these days, somebody is out there doing the most to remind passersby of the creativity and counter-culture sentiment that once permeated the historic city. If you stroll Berkeley streets with your head down, you’ll find little silver discs of pure joy and a silver lining of hope that all is not quite lost.

Over the past two months, some anonymous genius has been placing plaques, or medallions, along Berkeley sidewalks. Each silver disc contains either completely random messages or tidbits of city trivia. The witty creator remains in the shadows but the messages have been noticed and posted all over social media and reported on by local news outlets, and it doesn’t seem to be pissing off too many residents and visitors.

And really, how could you possibly be upset with a little grounded surprise that spits some poetry, site history or just some random gibberish? For the masses who keep headphones in and heads down at all times anymore, for people sorely lacking connection with the environments around them, these little gems force people to take a second look.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

If you’re not from the area, take a walk through town to get your history on.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

This plaque in the hotly debated parking lot across from what was once Spenger’s brings some levity to a heavy topic.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

However, not all days are ripe for intellectual fodder. The magnificent sidewalk magician has you covered with the best of pure nonsense and useless fact to lighten your day.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.


Just in case you were wondering if the medallion maker is aware of the law that prohibits this little project, wonder no more.

Photo courtesy of Quirky Berkeley.

You might be one of those “new Berkeley” people and who takes pleasure in complaining about what makes the city unique, but before you entertain the idea of being too uptight about it, just remember:

“Welcome to Berkeley. Now stop doing that.”

Thank you!


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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

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