Left-tackle trees

People in Berkeley age beautifully.  I’ve never seen so many straight-backed seniors in my life.  They’re often wearing outdoor active wear and — contrary to the Birkenstock myth — a pair of high-end running shoes as they stride around town....

The boo!ing bush

I don’t know whether to call them homeless, or street people, or beggars, but there are an awful lot of them here and in San Francisco.  It seems the numbers are up from when I was in California before (1986-89, 1994, and almost yearly thereafter). There’s...

Hot jazz with broccoli and cheese

I’ve been trying to find my feet here by walking around, but I first went on the Bancroft Way side of the campus.  That’s where Telegraph Ave. is, land of the stoned, and the buildings are run down and the pharmacy is full of ersatz products made in China....

Those who climb to the summit

Almost a third of the students attending Berkeley, says the university website, are the first members of their families to attend university at all. Yet it has dozens of Nobel laureates among its alumni and is, for its graduate programs, ranked No.1 in American...

A crash landing

I was looking forward to coming here for many reasons, but I didn’t think skateboarder-watching would be one of them.  The Berkeley campus is set in the hills above the town, threaded with redwoods and brooks and ivy (naturally.  Is it against the law for a...
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