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BERKELEY

The always-fascinating community of Berkeley is a study in contrasts.  Visitors arrive with a variety of expectations.  Some seek the intellectual climate associated with a community built around the University of California, the state’s most prestigious public university.  Others expect to see weird people and hippie communes.  Those who know their food come seeking the acclaimed restaurants, and those who know one of the town’s nicknames, Berserkley, expect to see a bit of that.  Then there is the well-known ultra-liberal political climate, in which someone who would be thought a liberal elsewhere is here considered a conservative, which explains another nickname--the People’s Republic of Berkeley.  In reality, Berkeley is all these things, and, making any stereotype impossible, it is also the place where the word “yuppie” was coined.  Berkeley has also pioneered many frontiers.  It was the first city in the nation:
with a public health department
to have a lie-detector machine
●to become a nuclear-free zone with warning signs at its borders
to have police bike patrols
to have a junior high school
with curb cuts for wheelchairs
to ban corporal punishment for children
with a dog park
to ban Styrofoam
to rename Columbus Day the more politically correct “Indigenous Peoples Day” (it’s listed that way under “holidays” on parking meters)
and most recently, in 2014, to adopt a “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages

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          And it is the place where plutonium and berkelium--the 97th element--were discovered.  Additionally, I’ve discovered as a resident that you could never leave this city and yet still enjoy endless explorations and discoveries. 

MORE INFORMATION
Visit Berkeley
Berkeley Chamber of Commerce 

BERKELEY RESOURCES
Berkeley Enough
video
Berkeley Parents Network--community forum
Berkeleyside--community news
The Berkeley Voice--newspaper
Weekend Adventures Update--Carole’s  blog about new travel discoveries in Northern California

 

 

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers