Berkeley Halloween and Day Of The Dead Celebrations

by Ira Serkes on October 29, 2015

Berkeley really celebrates Halloween!

Thousand Oaks, Emerson, and other schools have great parades.

And pumpkins … great pumpkins!  Here’s a selection from my flickr photo page

Russell and Josephine Streets and Mariposa Avenue have wonderful pumpkins and festivities (Russell Street closes at 8:30 pm so be there early) … the house at Ashby & Piedmont has amazing pumpkins … and North Berkeley has a great Dia de los Muertos Day of The Dead Parade planned for Mon 2 Nov 2014 5-9 pm starting at the 1400 block of Shattuck (between Vine & Rose).  The Candlelight procession starts at 7:45 pm

The photos below give a sneak preview … click on Berkeley Halloween and Day Of The Dead festivities for links to more photos and video … and map so you know where to go!

Check out my Pinterest Halloween Board!

Russell Street Puppets

Day of The Dead



$1,500,000 – Four bedrooms two baths with a bonus space (workshop/exercise room?) and half bath

Open Sunday 18 + 25 Oct 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm

The Anthony Boucher House – 2643 Dana in Berkeley’s Le Conte neighborhood – has been lived in by four generations of family. Anthony Boucher was an accomplished author, book and magazine editor and critic, active from the 1940s to his death in 1968.

A.P., or “Tony” to his friends, was influential as a mystery book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.  He was also an author, founder of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and co-writer of hundreds of scripts for radio shows in the 1940s, including Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

This remarkable home can now be yours!

This gracious home, built in 1941 and beautifully updated since features unusually spacious rooms, arches, crown molding, and a big welcoming entry.

The Main Level

Entry hall and open staircase. 

The large living room (with fireplace), which hosted regular writers’ workshops attended by with notable mystery and science fiction authors.

Updated kitchen with cherry cabinets, roll out trays, drawers, recessed lighting, stone counters and stainless appliances and its own cozy fireplace with bookshelf surround!

Dining room with French Doors to the generous backyard!

Mid Level

Two bedrooms (one is huge) and full bath

Upper Level

Two bedrooms, including the master bedroom … and which was used by Anthony Boucher as his study.

Lower Level

Finished bonus room, half bath, laundry and two car garage!

The Garden

From the family to the next owner

I love the traditional layout, large rooms and generous backyard, as well as the fact that our family has so much history here.

We’ve enjoyed many holidays and memorable family events in this home. I especially love that my daughter is being raised in the same home my Dad and Uncle grew up in and I lived in while I attended UC Berkeley.

I also love that everything is nearby, from the dentist to the grocery store and the park. The neighborhood boasts a wide variety of dining options, ranging from cheap ethnic “student eats” to lovely bistros and coffeehouses, as well as convenient services.

UC Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley and Elmwood shops, restaurants and theaters are all about a mile away.  The bus line is just a block away.

A family history at 2643 Dana Street, Berkeley, CA

Four generations of my family have lived in this home since 1947; my husband and I have lived here since 2002.  My grandparents were the original owners and my Dad and uncle lived here through college at UC Berkeley. My grandmother lived here until her passing in 2000. Her husband was William A.P. White, who worked under the pen name Anthony Boucher, was an accomplished author, book and magazine editor and critic, active from the 1940s to his death in 1968.

A.P., or “Tony” to his friends, was influential as a mystery book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.  He was also an author, founder of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and co-writer of hundreds of scripts for radio shows in the 1940s, including Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. He wrote almost everything he ever produced here in this house, using the master bedroom as his “study.” He also hosted regular writers’ workshops in the living room, with notable mystery and science fiction authors.

He was most beloved as an editor because he took the time to mentor writers and was seminal in attempting to make literary quality an important aspect of science fiction and mystery writing.  So much so, in fact, there is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction named in his honor.  Called the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention or “Bouchercon”, the event is held annually every fall. 

[Ira Note: I just found out that Bouchercon was held a few days ago in a blog post House of famed mystery writer/editor Anthony Boucher for sale (Mystery Fanfare) picked up by Berkeleyside!]

My love for this house stretches back to my childhood; I’ve always loved the look and feel of it. When my grandmother passed away, my husband and I took on the challenge of updating it so we could live here and keep the house in the family.  We have raised our daughter here, hosted numerous family gatherings and celebrated many milestones.  We hate to leave this beautiful house but find it necessary as my husband’s career pulls us to Hawaii.

This is a wonderful neighborhood to raise a family in, with great schools, lovely parks and every possible amenity nearby.  Hopefully, the new family will love how walkable this area is, with great neighborhoods, restaurants and shops in every direction.

Built in 1941, the house itself is well built and has been lovingly updated from top to bottom.  Please see list of improvements for a full description of what’s been done to the home and property.  This is an ideal place for entertaining with a generous backyard and lots of living space.  We have loved every minute in this house and hope the new owners will too.

My grandfather in his “study”, which is now the master bedroom.

This was taken in the living room – you can see some of the books he wrote on the shelves behind him, as well as his beloved classical records.

The Berkeley Historical Plaque Project will be placing a plaque on the home


The Sleek, Green, Sustainable, Elegant 3 Level Live/Work Town Home you’ve been waiting for

 Berkeley’s 4th Street / West Berkeley Neighborhood

2211 5th Street Unit B– $950,000
Beautifully finished 3 Level live-work Town Home … so much more than a loft … 2 bedroom home or 1 bedroom and live-work space

Property Photo Portfolio on this Blog Post and at

A fortunate buyer had his offer accepted!  Open House Cancelled!  Open Sunday 4 Oct 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm 

For other showing schedules, call 510-526-6668 or email

Doing biomedical research at Novartis … or creating magical animations at Pixar?

Emeryville’s a short bike ride away.

Work in the city … Take the AC Transit FS Express Bus and be San Francisco in less than 45 minutes!

Lower your bike from the ceiling rack … there’s plenty of room for your car below

Yes … those are inverters for the GreenPads PhotoVoltaic System on the wall

Make espresso at home … or stop at Catahoula, Peet’s or Artis nearby

Return home through the serene bamboo grove … and think of the Kyoto bamboo grove

Have dinner at Zut!, Cafe Rouge, Tacubaya, Brennans … or simply make your own fabulous creation

Perhaps you’re working from home today

10 pm Berkeley is the perfect time to call your colleagues in Shanghai and Paris

1 pm Shanghai – 7 am Paris – 10 pm Berkeley

Here’s what awaits you at your wonderful new home …

Green – Sustainable – Graceful – Elegant Live/Work Loft

2211 5th Street Unit B is now on the market for $950,000.

You’ve dreamed about living in a beautifully designed modern home for years … now you can! Make this environmentally friendly Greenpads unit your next home!

Want to know more about what makes this home special?  Read the wonderful comments one of the owners wrote to you.

Convenient to 4th Street/West Berkeley Shops, Restaurants and Cafes, less than 40 minutes to Downtown San Francisco via AC Transit Trans Bay Express Bus, and just a short distance the Berkeley Amtrak Station or I-80.

Photo Portfolio @

Cool sophistication in this serene, green-built, environmentally friendly live/work condo;

3 spacious high ceiling’d levels; elegant high end appliances (Liebherr; Miele; Jade); custom built Scavalini cabinetry; 2 wine coolers

Beautiful heat-reducing shades throughout the house, plus an exterior remote controlled shade in the master suite; Nest controls; solar panel (electricity & hot water!); skylights; deck at top floor master suite; each level has radiant heating; Brazilian cherry & polished cement flooring; garage parking; 2 garden patios & gorgeously landscaped common areas

Interior: 1,498 sq ft; Built: 2005; sq ft – Square Footage Not Guaranteed By Agents/Seller


And the movie is … ?

 #Berkeley @Berkeley #Serkes @Serkes



416 Evelyn Avenue, Albany – Near El Cerrito Plaza & BART

$600,000 – 2 Bedroom 1 Bath – Bonus Space + Large Garden

Open Sunday 20 Sep 2015 and Sunday 27 Sep 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm – see you there!

Spanish/Med split level; adorable Albany bungalow near El Cerrito Plaza shopping/dining & BART Station has two bedrooms up, bonus family room/guest space down; opens to big back garden & covered patio; living room with barrel vaulted ceiling; dual paned windows; wood & tile flooring; detached storage; recessed lighting; Bosch dishwasher, newer fridge, washer/dryer included.

Per Public Records: Interior: 908 Sq Ft: Lot Size: 3800 Sq Ft Built: 1937

Neither Agents nor Sellers have verified square footage amounts

License #00936453/01143916


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5480 Barrett Avenue – El Cerrito’s Mira Vista Neighborhood.  Find out what makes El Cerrito special in today’s Pacific Union Blog Post

4 Bedrooms 3 Baths Formal Dining & Big Family Room

1929 Grand Traditional Home – Offered at $800,000 – MLS Details

Open Thursday 9 Jul 2015 9:30 am to 12:00 Noon

Open Sunday 12 + 19 Jul 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm

Tall elegant leaded glass windows, exquisite wood & wrought iron period details

Updated kitchen; stone counters; center island work space & breakfast bar; 5 burner counter gas; SubZero; great cabinetry storage; recessed lighting.

Upper master suite opens to roof deck & partial bay/city lights views.

Fabulous Deco master bath; 3 bedrooms upstairs; guest/office with full bath on main level.

Big back garden

2 car detached garage

Designer colors; refinished hardwood floors

Interior: 2,772 sq.ft. Per Appraisal; Lot: 6,784 sq.ft. Per Public Record

Photo Portfolio at and

@Serkes #ElCerrito #JustListed

Near El Cerrito Del Norte BART Station, direct bus to San Francisco, and Highway 80


Happy Birthday, United States Of America!

by Ira Serkes on July 4, 2015

May 28th, 1915 … just 100 years and 1 month ago … my father became a proud United States Citizen.

So glad he did.

I’m the son and husband of immigrants

What a great country this is!


The Star Spangled Banner – Fort Mc Henry – Baltimore



We are very sad to leave our wonderful home and neighborhood, which we planned on being our forever-keeper home.  A career change requires a move.   

We will truly miss the regular block parties, the lovely chats with our neighbors with a glass of wine around the fire pit, the neighborhood children coming to make s’mores or play with our cat, the easy walks to Kensington village on the quaint town pathways, and the charm of small-town local politics with its town hall meetings. 

We will miss the views of all three bridges and The City and the stunning sunsets.  Watching the fog roll through the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco while we sit in blue sky is spectacular.   We’ll never forget the multiple Fourth of July firework shows we see from the upstairs balcony!

Heartier walkers can walk to the Solano restaurants ands shops (but we admit that sometimes we took the convenient city bus back home!)  We are just 4 minutes from BART and a short walk to the highly regarded elementary school.  But our favorite strolls were along the forested Olde School walking trail in Wildcat Canyon just up one of the town paths behind our home.

You will fall in love with the small-town charm and quaintness of Kensington that is unique to the Bay Area.  And you’ll fall in love with Saint Albans Road as the best block in Kensington, from its social neighbors, to its quiet cul-de-sac, to its walkability to the school, the village, Solano, and wilderness strolls.   


Mike and Debbie

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 40704139 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.


120 St Albans Road – Kensington Village
$800,000 2+ Bedrooms

Open Sunday 21 Jun 2015 and 28 Jun 2015 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Romantic English Country Cottage! Spectacular Views: Golden Gate & Bay Bridges, San Francisco City Lights, Bay & Mt. Tam too!

Peak roof detail & welcoming flower-box windows, all on a coveted cul-de-sac near a public path down to small-town Kensington Village shops & library; up to Tilden Park & Ye Olde School Path!

Open kitchen/living/dining; cook’s kitchen with cabinetry rollout trays, amazing storage! bar sink; recessed lighting, built-ins; in-cab lighting.

Two bedrooms & plus room ideal as guest/office/play space.

Amenities include: heated bathroom floor; recessed lighting; built-ins;  fireplace featured in Sunset magazine; interior access garage; new HVAC ducting; basement & attic storage galore!  Recent earthquake reinforcement;  drought sensitive landscaping; CAT 6 wiring; data center in kitchen cabinet; whole house surge protector & AFCI/GFCI on many circuit breakers.

Indoor/Outdoor Living: floor to ceiling sliding glass doors lead to a wide back deck with wall mounted heaters, overlooking a large back garden; front entry brick patio & walk ways; greet friends with the warmth of a natural gas firepit!

Near Kensington Elementary – call school district to verify the elementary school admission availability

More Photos

Per Appraisal Interior: 1,633 sq.ft. Per Public Records Lot Size: 4,641 sq.ft. Built: 1938

MLS – Multiple Listing Service Link – active while this wonderful home is available for you to purchase it

Neither Agents nor Sellers have verified  square footage amounts.

#Kensington #JustListed #OpenHouse


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