Berkeley extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

Berkeley and Beyond


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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. 
Berkeley was the first city in the nation:
●to have a junior high school (1910)
●to have a hot tub (invented here in 1915)
●to have a public health department
●to have a lie-detector/polygraph  machine (invented here in 1921)
●to become a nuclear-free zone with warning signs at its borders
●to have police bike patrols
●to have a cyclotron (1931)
●to have listener-supported radio (KPFA, 1949)
●to have a wet suit (1952)
●to serve a latte (Caffe Mediterraneum on Telegraph Avenue, in 1950s)
●to make gourmet coffee (at Peet’s, 1966)
●to have a biotech company (Cetus, 1971)
●to have curb-cuts for wheelchairs (1972)
●to ban corporal punishment for children
●to have a dog park (1979)
●to have a computer mouse (1963)
●to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers (1991)
●to ban Styrofoam
●to rename Columbus Day the more politically correct “Indigenous Peoples Day” (it’s listed that way under “holidays” on parking meters)
●to adopt a “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages (2014)
          And it is the place where 18 elements on the Periodic Table, including plutonium and berkelium--the 97th element--were discovered.  More discoveries include:
●vitamin E (1922)
●flu vaccine (1940s)

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          Additionally, I’ve discovered as a resident that you could never leave this city and yet still enjoy endless explorations and discoveries. 

Visit Berkeley
Berkeley Chamber of Commerce 

Berkeley Enough
Berkeley Parents Network--community forum
Berkeley Path Wanderers Association--list of Berkeley’s 137 paths
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

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