The Vine Street UFO is a delightfully kitschy front-yard display less than a block away from the original Peet 's Coffee on Vine Street.
The scene is tucked into the beautiful greenery of the home: the classic saucer-shaped UFO appears to have crashed between the succulents, the bug-eyed (and well-hung) extraterrestrial pilot standing with his arm stretched over his downed interstellar craft. At night, twinkling lights make the old-school science-fiction movie feel better. Don't miss the "Berkeley or Bust" bumper sticker stuck on the alien ship.
Why is that there? Turns out, Oakland artist Kyle Milligan donated the installation to the residents who, it should be noted, transformed the entire stately home into a shrine for artistic "quirky" aesthetics.
Where to see: 2155 Vine Street, Berkeley. It's in the backyard of a private residence, but you can see the UFO display from the sidewalk.
George McNeil, who has lovingly and beautifully restored the once-lost grandeur of 2155 Vine Street with his artist wife Joanna Salska-McNeil, has two explanations for the flying saucer and the alien. A few years ago, the UFO landed in their front yard, and the alien passenger stepped out of the vehicle. The landing was calculated on the basis of the location of the original Peet's. Kyle Milligan, an Oakland artist, made the saucer and the alien, and gave them to McNeil's for their front yard.
McNeil has long been a member of Pile Drivers Local 34 in Oakland. He 's working on marine construction. He's a divers' tender these days. McNeil and Joanna 's wife have been living in the house for about 25 years. They've taken it from collapsing and neglected to lovely and bright and quirky.
The three cats on the front of the house, on the second floor, were found by the flea market. No meaning, only random finds. The front yard is a well-planned jungle filled with objects. The front yard – a well-planned jungle – is full of objects. There's a fire hydrant George found abandoned on the side of the street when Oakland's Preservation Village was under construction. There are marine fixtures, cleats and bollards, and a rope winch. And there's the art.
Shortly after they moved back to the house, Joanna painted this bucolic mural in the dining room, evoking her childhood in Poland. The bottom picture also shows McNeil's National Geographic Collection, back in 1905. Salska-McNeil 's art hangs all over the house, including this stunning baby / doll / face in the front room downstairs.
This hidden gem in Berkeley, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:
- Cafe Ohlone
- Games of Berkeley
- Morrison Library
- Fairy Post Office
- Founders Rock
- Fish House
- East Bay Vivarium
- Indian Rock
All of these wonderful - but not so well known - attractions are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!