Let’s face it: we all use the restroom. Usually, it’s quite a boring and forgettable event (hopefully), but not if you decide to do your business in the bathroom stalls of VLSB!  Every stall of the girl’s restroom is covered top to bottom with a colorful explosion of beautiful, random, funny and/or just plain odd graffiti. Ranging from a couple words scrawled in pencil to full-scale murals, this dense concentration of art begs the question: what compelled these people to adorn the stalls? Boredom? A desire to break up the bleak white stall walls? An art bug? Whatever the motive, the pieces are just plain interesting to look at! Here are some of our favorites: read more »


We all remember that time in our childhoods when we stayed up watching classic, English-dubbed anime movies (on VHS!) from Studio Ghibli, such as “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989) and “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988) … and to our parent’s irritation, usually over and over again for weeks on end.

Years later, of course, we connected the dots and learned that one of our favorite films in particular, “Spirited Away” (2001), was in fact something of an elaborate metaphor and social commentary on the child brothels of Japan, but that’s another story. Actually, we’ve created an extensively detailed infographic to illustrate how we think you should feel about this, in case you’re interested.

In any case, we still love a good dose of nostalgia. We’re very excited to remind all of our fellow Studio Ghibli movie fans that the Berkeley California Theatre’s Ghibli marathon has been extended another week! The theater will continue these one-time reruns of classic Ghibli films only until the first week of October, so take advantage of the pre-midterm lull while you still can.

Here are the new showtimes: read more »

5731102289_5c25ee9523We went to the famous Magnes exhibit put on by the Bancroft library knowing very little about Jewish art. For some reason we imagined we would find Old Testament scrolls, archaic headdresses, clay jars ready to crumble and other ancient pricey pieces of biblical proportions, but nothing that would be relevant to today’s fast-paced, iphone based, ADD lifestyle. However, we are guilty of blaspheme because this exhibit would pique the interest of even the 10 statuses daily Facebook addict.

At the back of the exhibition room is a lonely door and once we entered it, our ears were the first to transition into a strange world. read more »

Unfortunately, Very Patriotic horses are not allowed this time. Maybe Very Patriotic trees?

Unfortunately, Very Patriotic horses are not allowed this time. Maybe Very Patriotic trees?

Do the words “art” and “sustainability” ring any bells with you? Probably not. In any case, you may remember the announcement of the Streets Alive/60 Boxes project this summer, a collaboration between Earth Island Institute and the city of Berkeley to decorate up to 60 utility boxes in the downtown Berkeley area with sustainability-themed mini-murals. The Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund recently provided the program with a $20,000 grant to install murals on seven utility boxes around the edge of campus.

If you are interested in having your art become a part of the Berkeley city, the Earth Island Institute is currently accepting artist applications for potential designs. Designs should reflect Cal’s goals for environmental sustainability. Applications are open to UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff and alumni. read more »

Last year's fair.Tie dye!

So make your time … for the 26th annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair. Yes, it is upon us and–as evidenced by the fact that the fair was still bumping earlier today–people will be out there selling crafty things and other whatnot, rain or shine.

Vendors will be lining the famed thoroughfare from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. again tomorrow, and on Dec. 19, 20, 23 and 24. Now would be the time to load up on unique gifts, sure to impress upon your grandparents just how “Berkeley” you’ve become since you left for college. Didgeridoos and henna for everyone!

Image Sources: Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair website (top); Jill Cowan (right)
Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair [Site]


Nope, sorry folks, no Victoria Beckham in sight. But keep reading! The North Berkeley 7th Annual Spice of Life Festival is today. In place of a snooty fembot, you get fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Seems like a fair trade.

The spices start simmering 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Shattuck from Virginia to Rose Street. This will include demos from local chefs, gourmet street food, a farmers’ market, art exhibitions, farm animals, jazz bands, bossa nova, and something frighteningly referred to as “‘green’ coffin decorating.”

It’s enough to make anyone curious. At the very least it should be a nice airing-out of the city’s artsy types–a chance to see them in their full yarn-weaving, group-hugging, spice-making, hemp-sewing glory. And heck, read more »

It seems that few Berkeley students take advantage of the campus arts scene, despite the plethora of Cal ID discounts available. We know, we know. You’re too busy studying, watching Cal lose, or perhaps you think protesting is more appropriate than indulging in the privilege of First World entertainment. Whatever your reason is, let it go and run to Hertz Hall–the University Symphony Orchestra is waiting!

The Clog, classy as we are, spent Friday night chilling in plush yellow seats for the University Symphony Orchestra’s last performance of the semester. The orchestra is the oldest performance ensemble at the University of California, auditions are cutthroat (according to a music department insider) and symphony-goers give it some pretty heavy compliments, according to their Facebook group:

Bold programming and high artistic standards have made this one of the country’s finest university orchestras. Not only a pre-professional training orchestra, but a major performing ensemble in the Bay Area as well.

Not too shabby. The Clog won’t disagree with those sentiments.

Now, we won’t pretend to be arts reviewers and use words like “overtones,” “bravura” and fancy metaphors to describe the concert. However, we will say that the performances were “enjoyable” and “impressive.” Conducted by David Milnes, the show started off amorously with Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan”, op. 20–a musically romantic piece that follows the exploits of the famous namesake. We felt the love in the liberal amounts of harp, triangle and head-bobbing flute players.

Our favorite piece of the night came second–a simulated film score recording session for “The Flyer” Suite, by music department lecturer and contemporary composer Yiorgos Vassilandonakis. The lights dimmed. The projector lit up to play a short film of the same name by UC Berkeley alumnus David Green. The combination of the visual work with the live orchestration was quite an immersing experience.

We were nodding off a bit by the time the final portion of the program took off, but we’ll blame it on our previous all-nighters. Still, there’s no doubt that the four movements of Symphony No. 4, “Romantic”–composed by Nazi favorite, Anton Bruckner–seemed like they were on a never ending loop.

By the end, there were more than few standing ovations.

Bravo, University Symphony Orchestra.

If you missed the symphony, don’t you fret. Deck the halls with another campus favorite–the UC Choral Ensemble will have its Holiday concert on Monday, Dec. 8 in Hertz Hall. It’s $6 with your Cal ID.

Image Source: Patrici Flores
University Symphony Orchestra [Website]