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Sunday 29 July 2018

Stomper in the Town

If you're following Little Hiccups on Instagram you would've seen our adventures this Summer finding Stomper statues around Oakland. I figured it was time I shared them all here on the blog as well. We've found quite a few of the Stomper statues so far, so prepare for a lot of fun photos. But first, a little background...

If you're not familiar with the Oakland A's then you're probably wondering just who Stomper is and why there are statues of him around town. Stomper the elephant is the mascot of the Oakland Athletics (or simply the A's) baseball team. This year the A's are celebrating fifty years in Oakland and as part of the celebration they have teamed up with local artists to bring the Stomper in the Town exhibition to the streets. Fifty Stomper statues decorated by fifty artists can be found dotted around Oakland. From the port to the hills, from the northern border with Berkeley all the way down to the Oakland Zoo, Stompers can be found all over. Intrepid Stomper hunters, like us, can download the Stomper in the Town map and checklist (or pick one up from Visit Oakland in Jack London Square) and head off on a city wide treasure hunt. 

We've spread out our treasure hunting over the Summer, and so far of the fifty Stomper statues on display we've made it to thirty four. The statues will be on display until the end of the current baseball season, so we still have time to make it to the rest - fingers crossed.

Here's a look at the Stompers we've found so far. I've put them in the same order here that they appear on the numbered Stomper in the Town map and list.

A Show of Hands
Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Avenue

This fun Stomper is covered in hand prints and is just as colorful as the lights that shine above him at the Grand Lake Theater. Fittingly, he features musical and stage motifs all over his outfit. Check out those piano key pants!

Babar Stomper
West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline Street

With his location outside of a library it only makes sense that this Stomper is decorated like a much loved literary character - and an elephant one at that! All hail King Babar - I mean Stomper. 

Bat Boy
Temescal Branch Library, 5205 Telegraph Avenue

Another library, another favorite character! Not only is this Stomper based on a favorite comic book character, but he has a fun baseball pun in his name. You'll notice that the girls are wearing disposable sunglasses in this shot (and a few others). We went on a Stomper treasure hunt right after an opthamologist appointment and I forgot to bring regular sunglasses to protect those dilated pupils. Oops! Disposable sunglasses for the win!

Bay Area Scapes
Lugomare, 1 Broadway

This Stomper stands outside of a restaurant at Jack London Square. The girls were impressed by his red nail polish and long eyelashes!

Bleacher Creature
Fenton's Creamery, 4226 Piedmont Avenue

Stomper and ice cream! Does it get any better than this? We couldn't visit this Stomper outside of Fenton's without stopping for a frozen treat now, could we? While many of the Stomper statues share a theme with their location, this Stomper is all A's. His body features Oakland Coliseum, home of the A's. I think we've been in the same seats as the people painted on his legs, you know, the seats all the way at the top from which the players look like ants! 

Captain Stomp
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, 2777 Middle Harbor Road

Ahoy maties! Captain Stomp has to be the Stomper statue with one of the best locations. He stands on the small pier over the water at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park with the Port of Oakland's cranes, containers and container ships behind him and a view over the Bay, bridges and San Francisco in front of him. Everything that goes in or out of the Port does so under his watchful captain's eyes.  

Color Swirl Stomper
Pyeong Chang Tofu House, 4701 Telegraph Avenue

This colorful Stomper certainly lives up to his name! I loved the swirling colors of this particular Stomper, but he's a little tricky to photograph given that he stands right along the edge of the sidewalk on a busy street. I had to stand on the road and hope not to get hit to get this shot!

Cool Kicks Stomper
Shoe Palace, 4900 Telegraph Avenue

Check out those cool kicks! When you're located outside of a sneaker store you can't help but have the coolest shoes out of all the Stompers! 

Cosmic Stomper
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

Cosmic Stomper is out of this world! Lola was pretty excited to spot a black hole on this Stomper's side and Mathilde, suitably dressed in her astronaut t-shirt, happily pointed out lots of stars. 

Day to Night Stomper
Department of Make Believe, 2301 telegraph Avenue

I'm not really sure what's happening on this Stomper, but the kids were drawn to his colorful attire - especially the eyes on his feet. As you can see, we've visited this Stomper on more that one occasion. The first time was before the map was released and was a pleasant surprise when Mathilde and I spotted him from across the street. 

Entangled in Green & Gold
Beauty's Bagels, 3838 Telegraph Avenue

This fun Stomper, decorated in the A's colors of green and gold, stands outside one of my favorite bagel stores - which, unfortunately, was closed the day we stopped by for photos. 

Foxy Stomper
Calavera, 2337 Broadway

The Oakland sunset scene on this Stomper certainly is pretty with the orange and pink tones. His name comes from the Oakland's iconic Fox Theater which can be see on the street scene on his belly.

Golden Roots Stomper
Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, 1805 Telegraph Avenue

The first Stomper that Mathilde and I visited. This black and gold Stomper pays tribute to Oakland's past and, quite fittingly, stands in front of our favorite Oakland diner of the past. The very recent past. The Oakland location of Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe closed down this past week and I'm not sure of Stomper's fate yet. I'll update if he gets moved to a new location. If you're a fan of Rudy's, don't worry... the Emeryville location is still there.

Golden Stomper
One Kaiser Plaza, 1 Kaiser Plaza

The girls were super excited about this Stomper. He may be the simplest of them all but he's gold. GOLD! We came across this Stomper after attending a Families Belong Together event at Lake Merritt. We thought Stomper looked quite good holding Lola's sign

Heart of the White Elephant
3401 Telegraph Avenue (Opposite Taste of Denmark Bakery)

The girls had mixed feelings about this Stomper. They liked the plants, fruits, birds and butterflies decoupaged all over his body, but they were in agreement that his shell eyes gave them the creeps! He stands across the street from a bakery, so it wasn't too hard to convince them to come check him out though!

Hella from Oakland
Rockridge BART Station, 5660 College Avenue

Step off Bart at the Rockridge station and you'll be greeted by this hella good Stomper! Until we moved to the Bay Area I had no idea that "hella" was a real word as I'd only ever heard Cartman using it on South Park. Now it's a part of our vocabulary!

Hip Hop Stomp
4496 Broadway

This Stomper is located at a small strip mall along Broadway. It was pretty sunny posing next to him hence Mathilde's "hand sunglasses"!

If You Build It They Will Come Stomper
Marina Lawn at Jack London Square, opposite 55 Harrison Street

Mathilde was pretty excited to see this particular Stomper. If you've been following Little Hiccups for a while you may remember that she had quite the obsession with all things construction when she was a little younger. She even had a construction themed 2nd birthday and dressed as a construction worker (complete with her stroller converted to a digger) for Halloween

Kingfish Stomper
Kingfish Pub, 5227 Telegraph Avenue

The teeny tiny Kingfish Pub is home to Kingfish Stomper. It's also right next door to the Temescal Library Branch and Bat Boy. I've never been to this pub, but I'm always a little intrigued by it given how un-pub-like it is! Real pubs don't really seem to exist here.

MC Stomper
Center 21, 2100 Franklin Street

You can't touch this! Well, actually, you can, but you won't be able to go past this Stomper without breaking into some MC Hammer. This one is definitely one of my favorites. Look at those Hammer-pants! You just know that this one gets a lot of dancing visitors, right? That includes us, of course. In case you're not familiar with famous Oakland residents and are wondering the connection, MC Hammer lives right here in the Bay Area. I'm still yet to bump into him. I wonder if he'd say "You can't touch this" if I were to literally bump into him? There's only one way to find out.

Night-Night Stomper
Walgreens, 1333 Broadway

It was far from bedtime when we found this Stomper, but he was dressed in his pajamas anyway. The girls decided to give themselves finger mustaches to match his pjs - and then squint because it was super sunny! Maybe a sleeping mask would come in handy.

Oakland A'stec Stomper
Everwtt & Jones, 126 Broadway

As you can probably tell from the first photo, the girls were a little scared of this Stomper at first. In fact, Lola didn't want to stand near him because of his crazy eyes and the giant yellow teeth on his belly. Luckily he didn't come alive and eat them while they posed for photos!

Oaklove Stomper
Oaklandish, 1444 Broadway

One of our favorite stores in Oakland is home to one of the few indoor Stompers. Luckily he's right in the window so passersby can check out the Oakland landmarks on his front. Those venturing into the store will see yet more well known spots on his back side - and can even give him a little hug. Going crossed eyed while doing so is totally optional!

Our Town, Our Team
Peerless Coffee & Tea, 265 Oak Street

This Stomper is another one of my favorites. I love the mosaic detail on his head, arms and legs. It's so beautifully done. He also happens to be standing outside of a coffee shop which comes in super handy after a day of Stomper hunting! All treasure hunts need a good coffee break.

Pacific Slugger
Mad Oak, 135 12th Street

This Stomper is a little tricky to get a photo with if you're under 21 as he lives in the beer garden of a bar. At first we thought we'd only get to see him through the gate, but we were able to sneak in for a quick photo as the bar was opening for the day.

Steppin' Out with Stomper
East Bay Municipal Utility District, 375 11th Street

It took us several attempts to get a photo with this indoor Stomper. He lives on the mezzanine level of the EBMUD building and we happened to always be in the area outside of business hours. We finally made it there in time one day and then Mathilde pretended to be asleep for the photo.

Plank, 98 Broadway

This psychedelic Stomper stands outside of Plank at Jack London Square. He watches over the small playground, the outdoor tables, the bocce area and scooting preschoolers while just behind him sail boats bob about at the marina. 

Stomper is All of Us
Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 9th Street

You just know that a Stomper covered in tiny mirrors is going to be popular with kids. The girls loved seeing their reflections repeated all over Stomper however he also reflected the sun, which was quite bright. He's certainly dazzling!

Stomper On Point
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, 350 Hawthorne Avenue

This pointillist style Stomper is decorated in hundreds of different colored spots to make up his A's uniform. It's such a simple idea but it looks fantastic. 

Stuck on the A's
McNally's Irish Pub, 5352 College Avenue

Another decoupaged Stomper - although no creepy shell eyes this time. We found this Stomper standing outside a suitably green Irish pub. His pants are covered in the word "baseball" in different languages. Beisbolas, anyone? Maybe a game of besiboli?

5900 Shattuck Avenue

Another Stomper with eyes that freaked out the girls. This time they were squirrels on this nature themed Stomper. With vines twisting up his legs, a shirt and hat made of ivy and a wood-like finish to his head and body I can see where Stumper got his name. 

The GOAT Stomper
4521 Telegraph Avenue

The girls quite liked this bright red Stomper that we found along Telegraph Avenue, but they were a little confused as to where the goat was. Turns out, GOAT stands for "Greatest Of All Time" and refers to hall of famer Rickey Henderson who started his career playing for the A's and was part of the 1989 World Series winning team.

The Oakland A's Rock
1901 Harrison Street

This Stomper is definitely a lot of fun. The girls thought he was pretty fantastic and head banged to pretend 80s music when we checked out this rock god! Check out that purple guitar! 

Tourist Stomper
Visit Oakland, 481 Walter Street

This Stomper is dressed in all the tourist cliches. Hawaiian shirt tucked into shorts? Check. Toursity fanny pack? Check. Socks and sandals? Check. Camera around the neck? Check. Actually, that last one could very well refer to me - but trust me, there were no socks under my sandals! 

If you've made it this far you'll be pleased to know that you've reached the end of our Stomper treasure hunt. There are still another sixteen Stomper statues around Oakland for us to find so I'll have another post coming at some point.

If you're in the Bay Area make sure to download the Stomper In The Town map (here) and get out there and find those Stompers. It's a fun activity to do with the kids and you might just discover a part of Oakland you never knew existed.

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