An Epic Scavenger Hunt

#50. A reflection of one local business in the window of another. Albany Arts Gallery and Mr. C's For Hair.

An Epic Scavenger Hunt

December 2, 2013  |  Events, Local Interest

I can’t remember the last time I participated in a scavenger hunt. High school, probably. But when I heard that my favorite camera store, Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley, was sponsoring one for Small Business Saturday, I was intrigued. When I picked up the clue list Saturday morning, I was motivated. As I wandered up and down Solano Avenue all by myself, I was strangely compelled to complete this challenge. And by 3:30, I was exhausted.

The rules were simple. 60 clues. You must take photos of at least 30 of them. You may not take more than 2 in any one establishment. You must get back to the store with your checklist by 5:00. “Check-ins” on Facebook earned extra points, so I was doing that like a madwoman. Friends started following me online, cheering me on even though they didn’t know why exactly. I had a badge (“Local on the Hunt” ) and a camera and I was on a mission. This was my neighborhood, so I had good ideas about where I might find certain items. But others required that I go to new places and approach people I didn’t know. That’s not my strength, but like I said . . . I had a badge and a camera and I was on a mission. People may have been puzzled, but they were friendly and game. I am particularly fond of that tattoo photograph. :-)

I do love this town. Even when they were baffled by my requests, folks helped me out. Thank you to Carly at Flowerland Nursery, Maggie at Five Little Monkeys, Ian at Cafeina, and especially my friends at Five Star Video. “Hey guys. I’m so tired I can’t think. I need a foreign flag. What movie might have a foreign flag on the cover?” “Um, Dorothy? We have a whole foreign movie section.” “Oh.”

So I got it done. 30 shops, 34 scavenger hunt items, 19 Facebook check-ins. Not many good images came out of it, but that wasn’t the point. It was fun. I do wish I had seen a small dog and a big dog hanging out together in front of a local business though (#51). Peet’s is usually a great place to find that, but alas, there was only a big dog.

There’s always next year.

Many thanks to the creative folks at Looking Glass Photo — a wonderful small business spreading the love to other small businesses, and making it fun. If you haven’t visited their new store on Ashby, you should go. Talk about a kid in a candy store (#36).

Click on an image below to enlarge it and scroll through the gallery.



  1. This looks like it was so much fun, Dorothy. Love the tattoo picture too but also the one from Flowerland Nursery. That one speaks to me 😀

  2. Sorry we missed you with our big & little dogs — they would have loved to pose. It was fun to follow you on FB and great to see the pictures from your adventure.

  3. Love it, Dorothy! What fun! I was wondering what you were up to with all the checkins on FB. And I was especially curious when you checked in at the Tattoo studio………… 😉

  4. Dorothy, I absolutely love this piece, and you are the perfect person to have done it–I loved following your progress, and am glad to now know what it was all about!

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