Moe’s Books

a Snapchat Lens to celebrate 60 years of Berkeley’s legendary book store.

Moe’s Books Snapchat Filter by Siciliana Trevino

India has the Taj MahalBerkeley has Moe’s.” 

The San Francisco Chronicle

We’re commemorating Moe’s 60th anniversary with a special Snapchat Filter that lets you and a friend wear black top hats like the one Moe wore during one of his infamous opening night parties.

On October 12th, 1959 Moe and Barbara Moskowitz opened the doors to their first paperback bookstore and newsstand on Shattuck Avenue in Downtown Berkeley. Later drawn to Telegraph Avenue by the radicals and U.C. Berkeley students, Moe introduced Fair Trade into the book selling industry and the four-level bookstore has survived riots, teargas, recessions and the Internet. It even appears in the 1967 classic film The Graduate, as Dustin Hoffman stares out the window of the now shuttered Caffe Mediterraneum.

Today the iconic store is owned and operated by Moe and Barbara’s daughter, Doris Moskowitz, who published Radical Bookselling: A Life of Moe Moskowitz in 2016, and is at the center of Quirkeley’s 2015 short film New Mo’ Cut David Peoples Lost Film of Moe’s Books, along with Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples and his 16mm workprint of the opening night party of Moe’s on Telegraph.

In late 2014 the little film can was recovered at the Berkeley dump and found its way into Doris’ hands thanks to Kevin Laird, a sharp-eyed, self-proclaimed “yeoman of past lives” who was salvaging for Urban Ore at the time. The film won Best Editing at the 2015 Filmstock Film Festival in Arizona, screened at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival and is archived at U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. It’s available for purchase on DVD at the store’s front counter.

Moe’s Books, located at 2476 Telegraph Avenue, is celebrating its anniversary this Saturday, October 12th from 12pm to 6pm with special edition fortune cookies, snacks, prizes and a raffle. Calle Ocho will be playing live Cuban son, danzon, bolero and jazz.

To activate THE SNAPCHAT filter, click here and install Snapchat if you don’t already have it on your mobile device.

The filter will be active in your filter menu for 48 hours and can be reactivated after the 48 hours is up.

On the right is Moe’s Books Snapchat Filter in action with Doris Moskowitz and Johnny Williams.

Get the filter today, take a snap with a friend and share it with #MoesBooks!

Hat’s off to Moe’s for 60 years of radical bookselling in Berkeley!

#Berkeley: Jugger with the Berkeley Riot

On our latest ‪#‎Berkeley‬ we geek out over a game of Jugger with the Berkeley Riot. Thanks to Valkyrie and Evan Savage, you can play the post-apocalyptic sport invented by Oscar-nomninated screenwriter David Webb Peoples, Thursdays 5pm at Cal Memorial Glade and Saturdays, 3pm at Codornices Park. ‪3! 2! 1! #‎Jugger‬!


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#Berkeley: reflections on the balcony collapse

An Irish flag hangs from a railing at Library Gardens. Photo: Siciliana Trevino

Two days after the Library Gardens balcony collapsed I visited the memorial for six of its young victims. I saw the news on Twitter around 6 am the morning it happened on Tuesday, June 16th. I resisted the impulse to go there and film knowing I’d feel more like a gawking tourist than a local filmmaker.

If I find myself close to breaking news around town sometimes I’ll tweet photos. I’m not in a rush though to play citizen journalist when the story involves thirteen young adults falling from the 5th floor of an apartment complex next to Berkeley’s Central Library. I didn’t want to see one of my city’s favorite gathering spaces through the lens of tragedy and death. I didn’t want us to be responsible for losing these kids.

Nor could I look away and deny it. I turned to the city’s best news source, Berkeleyside (where I used to work) and followed the outpouring of tweets on my favorite Twitter hashtag and the #BerkeleyBalconyCollapse thread.

As the producer of Quirkeley’s video series, #Berkeley, I’m glued to Berkeley feeds on social media, scouting them for inspiration. For this Berkeley resident (who doesn’t have cable) it’s a seductive, unpredictable mosaic of local identities and places to be – or avoid. The most Instagrammed pictures of the city typically are of the Campanile, CREAM Ice cream, sunsets and squirrels. On weekends The Rare Barrel brewery and concerts at the Greek take over. Just last week the city trended when Goats Gone Wilda Berkeley Lab video of hundreds of goats crossing the road, went viral.

It’s not all peace pipes and Smoke’s Poutinerie. Berkeley’s vociferous and controversial character is world renowned, yet I’ve never seen the city impacted by a tragedy of this magnitude.

#Berkeley on social media was frenetic, simultaneously mourning “The Berkeley Six”, celebrating The Warriors championship and crucifying the New York Times for its appalling 2nd day coverage of the tragedy which appeared to blame the victims.

One of the week’s most shared images on #Berkeley Instagram was of Berkeley spelled out inside of a heart shape. Sara Prender appears to be the first to have posted the image Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 7.44.00 PM
Screenshots from #Berkeley Wednesday June 17, 2015

By Thursday the time had come for me to put away the social media filter and pay my respects to Olivia Burke, Eoghen Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller, Eimear Walsh and Ashley Donohoe. Library Gardens is two blocks from my office.

It was quiet when I arrived. A couple of news trucks were parked across the street. I purchased a generic, plastic-wrapped Wallgreens bouquet and anchored it among the growing wave of blooms, messages and flickering candles, disappointed that I didn’t bring farmer’s market flowers. I bowed my head and closed my eyes. I’ll never comprehend this loss, what the families and friends are going through or how this could happen in my town. Berkeley’s new bond with Ireland is profound. Eternal.

I heard a passing child complain to his mother that the sidewalk was blocked. Gently she said, “Listen, you need to have respect. This is a sacred space, okay? Sacred.”

I opened my eyes relieved to see more people arriving with flowers from Walgreens. The Irish flag waved in the breeze. I returned to my office and the virtual sacred space of #Berkeley.

Click here to make a donation to the Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund. 

Click here for the City of Berkeley’s 2020 Kittredge Public Records Page




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As many of you may have heard, an unspeakably tragic accident occurred here in the city of Berkeley. In the early morning hours during a birthday party, a fourth floor apartment balcony collapsed killing six people and critically injuring seven others. The victims had recently arrived from Ireland to spend a fun summer working in the Bay Area, and they were no older than 22. They were just kids. When I was their age I had just finished my own study abroad program in Europe. The apartment complex where this occurred is just two blocks away from my apartment – I've heard the news helicopters flying overhead since 5AM yesterday – and this evening I went to lay some flowers to show my support for the victims and their heartbroken loved ones. I was touched by the beautiful makeshift memorial that had sprung up, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming sadness I felt and could not help but cry. My heart aches for them and for the people who love them. I don't know if it'll be seen, but to the loved ones of the victims and to the country of Ireland I send my deepest condolences. I know there is nothing that could fix your broken heart, but please know you're not alone and that the entire city of Berkeley is keeping you close to our hearts. We're here for you in any way we can be. More than anything, I'm just so, so sorry. I hope one day the pain and sorrow you feel gets better. ❤️🇮🇪

A post shared by Laura Jean (@laurabellejean) on


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To our irish in #Berkeley, we are praying for you.

A post shared by Agapé Ireland (@agapeireland) on

Siciliana Trevino is Quirkeley’s Executive Producer and the Director of New Mo’ Cut: David Peoples’ lost film of Moe’s Books premiering at the Elmwood Theater August 27th, 2015. 

#Berkeley: CupidCon Bar Crawl

Monroe takes the helm of our latest episode, steering us to three of the eleven Downtown Berkeley bars and restaurants participating in the the city’s first ever CupidCon Bar Crawl this Valentine’s Day. #BerkCupidCon.

Join CupidCon Grand Marshalls Kelly Ross-Journey and Alyssa Journey, the Arkansas couple who were married in BART plaza last year, for the bar crawl and scavenger-hunt kick-off at Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza.

Dress in your best cupid-themed love gear for a chance to win a Yelp Goodie bag and Elite Event tickets.

Check-in from 1pm – 2:30pm to receive the scavenger hunt map and your free wristband needed to get exclusive drink specials at participating downtown bars and restaurants including:

Beta Lounge:  $5 “Heartache” (vodka, muddled raspberries, lemon juice, club soda), $1 off draft beers & $5 glasses of wine

BUILD Pizzeria:  Happy Hour prices ($3 selected beers, $5 selected wines, $6 selected cocktails, $8.80 all signature cocktails, Valentine’s HIS and HER cocktail special)

Bobby G’s Pizzeria:  $1 off all beers and glasses of wine; $2 off pitchers; 20% off all bottles of wine

Eureka!:  $2 off all draft beer and bottled beer (except rotating and $3 handles) $2 off all wine, $2 off Buffalo Trace cocktails and Fugu Vodka by Ballast Point cocktails (excludes signature cocktails)

East Bay Spice Company:  $9 Cupid Cooler (rum, sugar, lime, pink guava nectar), $1 off select draft beer

FIVE Restaurant & Bar: $9 Valentine’s Day cocktails – Change of Heart (gin, blackberry shrub, apricot brandy, lavendar syrup), Bleeding Heart Daquiri with blood orange & kiwi shrub, Tokyo Rose (sake, raspberry puree, lime juice, pomegranate)

La Botella Republic:  $6 True Love Sangria, $6 Michelada con Amor

Perdition Smokehouse:  $1 off all beers, $1 off wine by the glass

Revival Bar + Kitchen:  $1 off Special Valentine’s Day cocktails

Sliver Pizzeria:  20% off all drinks (discounted to: $4 beer, $4.80 glasses of wine and $5 cocktails)

Triple Rock Brewery:  $1 off Special Valentine’s Day Beer – Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout

CupidCon is easily accessible by BART and bus so turn up downtown for Valentine’s Day fun. xoxo.