|VE15. My Favorite HangOuts in Berkeley|
I attended UC Berkeley during Aug/1991 and Jan/1996, and still visit every weekend after I moved to San Jose in May, 1999. Most of my favorite hangouts are still there, so I still enjoy going there.
Cafe Mediterranean is where I go to write thesedays. I turn on my laptop and concentrate on writing easily. I prefer to sit at the second floor to look down the ground floor and streets outside the window.
If I'm lucky, I can find a sit by the window, on the right side of the entrace, to look at the streets outside unobstructed. Somehow sitting at Cafe Med is comfortable to stay there for long hours, or it may that distances between tables are so spacious compared to any cafes in Berkeley or SF area.
Only drawback is sometimes there are street people with obnoxious smells, which id difficult to bear with, then I pack and leave.
Moe's is a used book store, where I bought many rare books I collected at the cheap prices. During my Berkeley years, it was ritual to visit Moe's every Friday evening after dinner to browse over the used titles there.
Cody's Books is book store where you can find hard to find philosophy or metaphysical books. I was occasionally asked by friends in somewhere in America that, books they are looking for are stocked only at Cody's. I purchased the books for them, and read all before I sent those to them. The sore is not that spacious, but has books which you can't find elsewhere.
Amoeba is a record store and I bought the significant portion of my CD collection from Used Selection there. I used to go there weekend evening, but when I was stressed, I went there in the morning or during the day to relax by browsing through collected used CD titles there for a couple of hours. It was the best relaxing cure for me.
Berkel Berkel and Teiyaki House are Korean restaurant where I use to eat, and still eat there. Those are not the best Korean food experience, but those still suit my taste.
Sufficient Grounds is a coffee shop where I used to go to write, but I take a sit only when there's a sit avaiable by the window. As the inside is so crampy, I don't feel comfortable if I don't sit by the window. For a while that was the favorite place to meet friends.
There were several chances I could have bought the coffee shop myself to run it, and I became friends with a couple of owners of it. That's why my heart is still attached with it.
C'est Cafe is where I went most to drink coffee and write. As I used to get up early, I used to be there around 7:30 AM and spent a couple of hours to do my stuff, and sometimes I returned in the afternoon or evening. C'est Cafe is a new name and it used to be different which I can't remember.
One thing I didn't like about it is, as it's located at the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph right acrosss fromt he Berkeley campus, it's open to be seen from the streets. Every passers-by can see who's inside the coffee shop. Although I went there everyday while a student at Berkeley, I go there only once in a while now as a visitor there.
Cafe Milano is also a coffee shop, but I went there less often as the inside is kind of dark to read or write. I stayed there hardly more than 30 minutes.
Blondie's Pizza is a place where you want to get a quick bite.
Durant Place is where most students in Berkeley eat. There are dozen or so eateries in the court and quality of food is good compared to its cheap prices, and I still eat foods over there.
Cafe Strada probably is the most famous cafe in Berkeley, and I go there less often as it's too crowded. Sitting outside table is a blessing that you live in the nice-weathered California.
Bancroft Cafe is a sandwhich shop where I spent fair amount of afternoons, as it's less crowdy around then. I thought about buy and run this one to supplement my income while attending UC Berkeley, but the owner somehow was hesitant to renting it to a student. I really liked the view by the window. And the Jamba Juice next door is where you get jamab juice after coffee or sandwhiches.
Espresso Experience is also place I thought about running it myself with a partnership with a friend and his wife, which didn't work as his wife was objecting it. Once in a while, I went to there early morning hours before it gets too crowdy with sandwhich-mongers, but usually didn't stay there long.
Drawback of there is it closes early on weekdays and closes on Sundays, which was the reason why my friend and I wanted to run, as such hours would have allowed us time to study.
Henry's at Hotel Durant is a pub, where people flocks usually during and after the football game. Once in a while, I went there in the morning to drink coffee in the pub environment.
The Drunken Boat is a restaurant, where the real food is served. I went there occasionally for classy dinner as necessary, which was a kind of burden to a student's budget.
The cafe on the first floor of Beau Sky Hotel used to provide nice brunch, although it changed such tradition while ago.
Corn Dog on the left and Burrito shops on the right provide good meal for to go, as there's little space inside the stores.
Kips is where I used to drink beer with pizza or chicken with friends. As it's located at the second floor, when you sit by the window, the view down below adds to your intoxication with alcohol.
La Valle's is also for beer, but as it's located at the ground floor, I don't feel comfortable that much as it's dark inside.
Taiwan Restaurant is where I got one of my favorite foods, fried squid. In America, it's rare to find restaurants which serve fried squid.
That Hong Kong Restaurant was where you can get food even after midnight, but I'm not sure they still open that late thesedays.
Baja Fresh is where I eat Burritos, which I recommend one of the best in the bay area. Taqueria is also for burritos.
I visited Au Coquelet Cafe less often as it's far from the campus, but once in a while, I went there during weekdays to get away from the stresses of daily routine. That's the cafe where students who come there to study were not welcomed.
That McDonald's is too far from the campus to walk. Anyway it's still there for my Big Mac.
I still go to Shattuck Cinema to watch independent or foreign films, which are highly acclaimed by critics, but are rare to see in most theatres. I guess having such cinema in Berkeley is the advantage of living in Berkeley. As I now live in Sant Clara, I drive to Berkeley to see a movie a week there. After purchasing a movie ticket there, I usually go either to Starbucks for a coffee, or Pizza next door to grab a bite.
That UC Cinema used to be the home for independent, artistis, classic, and foreign films, where people come all around bay area. Although the cinema itself is closed now, other Landmark Thaeatres in Berkeley take over the role.
I've never been to that Tibet Cafe yet, as whenever I go there, it's closed. I guess that's still in business, though.
(November 18, 2002)