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

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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. 

●to have a junior high school (1910)
●to have a hot tub (invented here in 1915)
●to introduce exclusionary single-family zoning, in the Elmwood neighborhood (1916)
●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 ban smoking in restaurants and bars (1977)
●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 city parking meters)
●to adopt a “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages (2014)
●to ban single-use disposables in restaurants, which are also required to use compostable to-go food ware (2019)
●to ban installing natural gas lines in new homes (2019)
●to use gender-neutral language in the city’s municipal code (2019)
          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.

●comedian W. Kamau Bell
●musician Country Joe of Country Joe and the Fish, the Berkeley-based psychedelic band perhaps best known its performance of “I Feel Like I’m Fixin to Die Rag,” a Vietnam War protest song, at Woodstock
●actress Rita Moreno

●comedian/actress Whoopi Goldberg
●Vice President Kamala Harris

Born and Raised in Berkeley
●actress Rebecca Romijn
●comedian Andy Samberg
●baseball player Billy Martin (deceased)
●singer John Fogerty
●director Dave Meyers

Do you know of more people that belong on this list?

Sakai, Japan (1966)
Gao, Mali (1985)
Jena, Germany (1989)

Visit Berkeley
Berkeley Chamber of Commerce 

Berkeley Enough--
“Berkeley in the Sixties”--This 1990 movie provides vivid background regarding the Free Speech Movement.  Netflix describes it:  “University of California, Berkeley, alumni recount how their quiet school became the epicenter of 1960s campus activism, starting with the free speech movement and evolving into organized opposition to the Vietnam War. The students also championed civil rights, the women's movement and the Black Panther party. Archival footage is interwoven with present-day interviews and songs by the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and Jefferson Airplane.”
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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Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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