{photojournal} Hot Dogs, Harpoons, & Jive Talk: Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, CA

The stretch of Telegraph Avenue around the 50s in Oakland is home to an eclectic mix of businesses and buildings, and since the area is rapidly gentrifying it’s unclear how long some of these uniquely Oakland, uniquely ramshackle spots will be around. Hence, I felt the area merited a mini photo journal. Enjoy!

The Original Steele’s Skin Diving Supplies has been out of business for quite a while- but what I wouldn’t give to hang that decrepit sign in my house. What’s the skin diver doing anyway- harpooning a whale? The Miami color combo stands out against the mostly gray and brown tones of the ‘hood.

I love the name and font of this laundromat- for all of your jive-talkin’ laundering needs.

This bizarre faux windmill is wedged between 2 houses. What is it? The trash room? A secret clubhouse?

The tiny triangle-shaped Kasper’s Hot Dogs is no longer in business, and the boarded-over building falls a bit more into disrepair with each passing year.

However, just down the street from the defunct Kasper’s (with a ‘k’), Casper’s (with a ‘c’) will still sell you a hot dog, representing with the nostalgic graphics and the 1970s color scheme.

This highly personalized truck is often parked across from Kasper’s.

This sign used to point to a bunch of great stuff, I’m sure, but what?!!? Inquiring minds want to know. At the present time it marks the edge of a parking lot for a Chinese restaurant.

The pink confection of an estate that houses Hooper’s Chocolates has got to be one of the most stylistically and architecturally incongruous things around. It’s set back from the street and looks every bit like your Granny’s house.

The all-caps Hide A Way is a funky diner nestled among the trees.

Gotta love a drive-in liquor store!

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5 Responses

  1. coot says:

    Love this post. Makes me proud to live in Oaktown. Did you at least test the doorknob at the ‘windmill’??

  2. admin says:

    I did NOT try the doorknob! But you’re right… I should have!!!

  3. Hmmmm that’s cool.

  4. Anastasia Elizondo says:

    Believe it or not that is my old neighborhood. I actually grew up in the 80’s in the upper apartment of the house next to the windmill, 5979 Telegraph Avenue. I had a lemonade sale every year when Steele’s Diving Company had their yearly sale, and made bank. The Flea Market Newspaper building used to be a Doggy Diner, then Weiner Schnitzel. The Windmill was a ticket booth for an amusement park and the Miniature golf course was further down, I think it’s a gas station now, but not sure. Kids used it to skateboard at back when street skating was illegal. Did our laundry at the Laundry House and got BBQ and goodies at store across the street. My Dad would take us for breakfast at The Hide Away Cafe when he was in town, yummmmmm. I have info on the two different (C)Kasper’s as well. There are so many memories with all of the places you have photos of here. I love this photo journal. It brought up many memories of my childhood & reminded me of how I have always wanted to buy the house and windmill.
    I do love my City sooo much.

    Thank you for this trip down memory lane.
    Ana Elizondo
    Oakland Native

    • Karen says:

      @Ana – Thank you so much for sharing. I am tingling. That is my most favorite comment I’ve gotten on this blog EVER. You made my day!