For those not familiar with Berkeley, it’s a college town with a reputation for one of the best public Universities in the world, left leaning politics, counter-culture (though many of the hippies are approaching Social Security age.) Depending on your perspective, the place is often lauded or disparaged as “the People’s Republic of Berkeley”, Berzerkeley. And researching this entry there’s another nickname I’ve never heard: The Athens of the West. I’ve been to Athens recently and will concede the city does bare some similarities albeit not just the positives. The campus is beautifully situated at the base of the eastern foothills. Off campus is hit or miss with some pretty gritty areas and homeless activities along with the usual bars, foreign food outlets, book and music stores etc. Pretty much as you might expect from a big college town.
My teenage daughter Ella (whom I often refer to as “baby genius”) is so interested in college, that she wanted to go out shopping for Cal Berkeley apparel. So the other day we made a trip out to Berkeley. We found a parking spot and moved on to the “colorful” Telegraph Avenue buying a hoodie and moving on.
My wife and I thought it would be good to take a look at the campus with our baby. So we strolled past the Sather Gate and made our way to the Life Sciences Building. Not sure what was open to the public, and being uncharacteristicly bold as I had my peeps with me, we opened the door only to find a fun exhibit full of Dinosaurs. Cool.
We mosied through the library. There were bands of what should have been dusty books given their age from Europe and Australia as well as modern. It was nice to just be able to pick up and look at a hundred year old foreign science volume and thumb through the pages.
What does one eat while in Berkeley? Indian of course! We made our way to House of Curries for a surprisingly bland Chicken Tikka Masala. Our last stop was some hippie-dippy shop with all sorts of knick-knacks like Buddhas, insects preserved in plastic, and pot smoking paraphernalia.