About Me

Credit: David Lance Goines

I've lived in Berkeley for over 20 years: I'm the girl in shabby black clothes who is always carrying a book. Hmm, that could describe half of Berkeley.


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David Weinstein, Author of 'It Came from Berkeley'

David Weinstein writes a popular series about Bay Area architects for the San Francisco Chronicle section, and he also writes about modern architecture for CA-Modern Magazine. He spearheaded the effort to preserve the long-abandoned Art Deco movie palace, the Cerrito Theater, and he is chairman of the Friends of the Cerrito Theater. His most recent book is It Came from Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World.

Dave WeinsteinHow long have you lived in the Berkeley area?

I live in El Cerrito and have done so for about 30 years. I lived in Berkeley for three or four years back in the 1970s. My house in El Cerrito is just a few blocks from the spot near Colusa Circle where Berkeley, Kensington and El Cerrito meet, so I feel sort of like a Berkeleyan.

How long does it take you to write your books? Was there anything you needed to accomplish first?

A year or a little less, at least for It Came from Berkeley.

Do you interact with other authors in Berkeley?

I know quite a few of the authors who write about architecture and history and am friends with several of them. We share tips on research, share bits of useful knowledge, complain about publishers.

How did the local community of authors or the cultural milieu in the Berkeley influence your books?

My books are about the cultural milieu so they wouldn’t exist without it. I’ve learned a lot from the works of other local writers and try to build on what they’ve done while doing something different.

What other activities, events, or other cultural resources could support and encourage your work?

I get inspired by going to local art venues and hearing live music.

Do you feel that people in Berkeley need opportunities targeted to their niche interests to participate in culture, or should there be more opportunities that invite broad inclusion?

I think there are both already. It would be nice if Berkeley had a real jazz club. I know there are some informal venues that feature jazz, but I remember when there were more. Blues too would be nice.

Any other thoughts on how to build cultural communities in Berkeley?

It would be useful if some publication, even an online publication, would keep track of all the musical and other such events happening in this area and present the information in a clear, concise way. In the old days the East Bay Express did a fine job with this. Today no one does.

David Weinstein’s most recent book is It Came from Berkeley.

It Came from Berkeley Cover 098

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