Artists need supplies, and there is an abundance of suppliers in Oakland/Berkeley. Just a few, on my route to work:
There are 3 large, traditional art supply stores, but the one on my route, and my favorite, is Artist and Craftsmen Supplies on Shattuck Ave.
Oola and I like finding new ways to make marks, like this chunk of graphite which draws unpredictably and which we immediately had to own (and use).
They have similar chunks of charcoal too. Big, glorious mess time!
Then, if your hands are clean, you can cross the street to Stonemountain and Daughter, a family owned and operated, one-of-a-kind, unionized fabric store. It is one of the few places left in the country where you can buy high quality wools, silks, linens and other good things. You don’t see Oola because she is inside looking for decorative furs.
Supplies for the mind — It’s getting harder and harder to find a local bookstore. (The big boxes are getting hit too.) But there are still two bookstores within blocks of our destination. One is Pegasus Book Store, and another is HalfPrice Book Store. Both have great collections of new and used Art Books.
Then, there is always the need for supplies for the body — like food. For that, Berkeley Bowl is a favorite.
This place has such an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that the smell of them brought tears to my eyes the first time I visited. I had just moved back to the Bay Area, and this store made me realize that I was really home.
There are other good supply places in Berkeley, like Urban Ore where you can buy a good used toilet if you are into the Duchamp thing. And there is the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, which has been located in three places since I moved here, due to the rising rents I think. But they are not on my route.