Biff's in Oakland Mosaic Trashcan

Remember Biff's on Broadway at 27th St? It made me really sad when that iconic round Googie building just sat there derelict for years and then was finally demolished in 2016.



While I didn't actually get to go to Biff’s, I vividly remember going to its later incarnation as JJ's Diner with my friends in the 90's at 3 AM and seeing lots of amazing things.
(Ok, this is actually Biff's, not JJ's, but you get the idea.)

As an Oakland resident, I've been a long-time admirer of all the cool trashcan mosaics that have been popping up all over the city and I've always wanted to make one.

I have gone through the process of officially "adopting" the trashcan located across the street from the old Biff's site through the City of Oakland's adopt-a-spot program.

My plan is to create an amazing happy colorful glass mosaic version of the Biff's sign located on this fine trashcan.

The other sides of the trashcan will pay homage to other amazing signage from Oakland in the 50's and 60's. Dave's Coffee Shop, also located on Broadway and Giant Burger which had several locations.

I'm also going to install a QR code made from nano tile which will allow viewers to augment their viewing experience with historical information about the restaurants using their mobile device.

As an artist, I've been experimenting with using a waterjet at my local Techshop to cut both metal and glass.

I make a lot of things with the help of robots but I'm also not afraid to get my hands dirty. The waterjet will allow me to make precise intricate cuts in glass that would be impossible to do with traditional glass cutting tools. But don't worry, I also know how to do traditional glass cutting so I'll still get plenty of tiny glass shards embedded in my skin and all over my house.

Here’s a prototype I made as a proof of concept. This demonstrates both hand cutting and waterjet combined on the same piece.

I'm honored to have received a small grant for this project from Keep Oakland Beautiful . These funds will almost pay for the cost of materials needed for this project.

Thank you for your support. I can’t wait to get started!

For lovely donors who are going to place a piece of glass in the mosaic, I’ll try my best to accommodate your schedule. You’ll either come to the Club Fizz Annex in North Oakland or will stop by at 27th and Broadway during the final installation. In the event that our timing doesn’t work out, I’ll make it up to you with extra special hors d'oeuvres at the afterparty. :)

Please help me get the word out by sharing this campaign with your friends!
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Lizz Milota 
Oakland, CA
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