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Thread: Berkeley?

  1. #1


    Anyone have good or bad advice and opinions on Berkeley?

  2. #2

    Oct 2004
    Arlington, Va.
    Quote Originally posted by FL_Planner
    Anyone have good or bad advice and opinions on Berkeley?
    The city or the university?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Oct 2001

    How about some BAD advice?

    Get a handgun, a "My President is Charlton Heston" bumper sticker, a copy of Wango Tango, and a set of mud tires for your SUV. You should fit right in.

    If you have to ask you are too liberal to deserve a straight answer.
    el Guapo is a former 20 year +/- urban planner (just like you) who thought becoming an attorney was a good life choice.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    May 2003
    City of Low Low Wages!
    I nearly took a ferry from San Francisco to Berkley but was thrawted by the fact that there is no ferry to Berkley from San Francisco.

  5. #5

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    The University is arguably the flagship of the University of Callifornia system (contested by UCLA). It's a well-known research university with an extremely diverse student body that while stereotypically "left-wing," has plenty of hard working students and even some conservative activists that would name El Guapo their furious leader The Planning program, I am told, emphasizes theory, but I'm sure a Berkeley degree would stand you well. (Many native planners here have degrees from the purportedly more practical, hands-on Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo. I do have coworkers who went to Berkeley for their undergrad work.

    The CITY of Berkeley, despite its problems, remains one of my favorite places on earth.


    *Great setting-a coastal plain rising into 1200 foot tall hills with creeks, canyons, and the diverse neighborhoods thatg this topography would suggest.

    *Great climate-the Bay Fog keeps it cool, but it is much sunnier and warmer than San Francisco proper

    *Parks and open space/vegetation: Much of the ridgeline east of the city proper is one big regional park. 35 miles of parkland extending all the way from Richmond to San Leandro. The neighborhoods, especially the more affluent hillsides, represent the best of the Calfiornia "garden suburb," with fascinating, overgrown front gardens, carved gates, a network of shaded pedestrian paths, and flowers everywhere. Fantastic!

    *Architecture: Ranks near the very top, imo, for pre-WWII suburban residential architecture. Some of the most creative designers and builders in the United States have graced Berkeley with an eclectic, sometimes bizarre, collection of housing. This housing complements the University's buildings (including some quite colorful new dorms) The downtown is a true downtown, and the City is really pushing infill mixed use along the commercial corridors to the west and north.

    Food: One can argue endlessly aboput whether or not American culture has "declined," but one element of our culture that has vastly improved is FOOD. You can eat amazingly well-and cheaply (or expensively) in berkeley. Both restaurants and fantastic grocery stores.


    Street crime: Not all of Berkeley is affluent hillside suburbs for the liberal intelligentsia. There are poor neighborhoods in the city, and there is crime. The Police Force seems very professional and responsive. I tripped a burglar alarm once by accident, and they were there within three minutes.

    Homeless: Berkeley is a magnet for the lost, the drugged, the degenerate, the brken down, the luckless. Some are professionals-there is one beggar that has been at her post for 16 years.

    Blazingly political correct/involve citizenry. Berkeley has dozens of citizen committees. There is always someone opposed to something. A true BANANA town (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). Still, they resopundingly defeated an initiative aimed at reducing heights along the city's aging commercial strips.

    Probably too much information,. but there you have it. Just my opinion, of course.

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