As a resident of your city and once an eager visitor when I lived in another, I think I can truly call this place my home--first and foremost. Whether it was attending your wealthier schools, or staying at my Grandmother’s house in Central Berkeley, I was always impressed with your breathtaking city.
Since Berkeley is one of the Big Four in the Bay Area, anyone from San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose will first notice the abnormal integration of beautiful homes into nature areas. A huge hill that establishes the Berkeley Hills, that overlooks the bustling downtown and avenues with much ethnic and foreign diversity. A Friday night Downtown could be ever-lasting, and there’s always easy convenience with Berkeley’s high-tech infrastructure. During the day, a trip to the park could just as easily be a trip to the typical, relaxing Berkeley afternoon-styled festivals. Berkeley can always be a little warming to everyone, but it's never smart to underestimate the liberalism in Berkeley--especially if you run into an Anti-war protest. After all, it’s one of the many things the elite University, CAL, is known for. Everywhere I look I see overly nice people who reside in their little suburban homes, metropolitan apartments, or million-dollar mansions. There’s a lot of weird in Berkeley too, walking through Telegraph is like walking through a 70’s pot-smoke-a-thon. The free-speech environment to extremists and social outliers is as welcoming as a leaf or vine in a South American rainforest. Its also pretty easy to get around, just in case you don’t have time to enjoy the sights--we have an efficient East Bay bus system. The gentrification remains controlled and not horrid like San Francisco’s, and its great to have all kinds of people around during your typical Elmwood neighborhood late-night party.
With that said, let's address some things that make me go ‘eh’, about Berkeley. First its those spiders--I guess it comes with the trees, but whatever. Nothing says Berkeley like running into fifteen spiderwebs on your way to school in the morning. While you’ll never go hungry with Berkeley’s abundance of restaurants, don’t expect to do much else since Downtown just means Mass-Food court. We need some more stores! Also we need stores that won't shut down and turn into another business in like a year. Also I regret the fact that Berkeley took out it’s Key System, we could’ve used a light rail running down MLK or Sacramento, linking to the Bart Station. The homeless however, makes me remember why Berkeley is somehow related to San Francisco--if not the fact that everyone from the City comes here for better housing, its the homeless people as well. Lastly, if we have to have a McDonalds in downtown, can it not be the most repulsive, smelly one in the East Bay? Thanks Berkeley!Sincerely, Darrell O.