Berkeley, CA

Berkeley is a liberal, multicultural Bay area city, known around the world for it's left leaning politics, counterculture identity, and its famous university.
Added on 12/26/2005
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8 Reviews

CarrollCountyK id
06/07/2014

Berkeley, CA 2

I had to run to the west coast one time when two of my ex-wives were after me at the same time. I got to Berkely but ran out of money. Everything is expensive there. My truck got the headlights bashed out in some kind of riot. I only had enough money to fix one headlight and had a tough time getting back to New England.

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minkey
06/06/2014

Berkeley, CA 4

I lived here for about 6 months and got to discover it a bit more. I always thought the Cal campus was cool, but aside from Shattuck (which I find to be kind of a cheesy street) I didn't know much about it. I definitely appreciate the weather, which is so much better than SF because it doesn't get the fog, so there are a lot of sunny days while the climate is still mild, even in the summer. There are some hippies/weirdos sure, but the places out West that most consider to be cool (Austin, Portland, SF, Denver) all share those residents. Many great restaurants, coffee shops and parks in Berkeley, and College is my favorite street the whole way through. Buying a house, like most of the Bay area is debilatating for sure, but it's a great place to live for a while, or if you're a baller, live for the long term.

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slickear
03/22/2011

Berkeley, CA 3

Without a doubt, Berkeley is one of the weirdest places on earth. It can be fun, colorful, and oh, so progressive. If you are a functioning adult, it can also be quite maddening.

Contrary to popular opinion, Berkeley is more than just a student ghetto. The city has an interesting restaurant scene, lots of ethnic markets and shops, and very nice neighborhoods the farther you get away from the campus and Oakland.

Those contemplating living in Berkeley need to have a healthy bank account and a lot of patience. When I lived there, I was fortunate to have a good friend who managed my apartment complex. Otherwise, I'm sure I wouldn't have been selected from the dozens of poor souls who lined up to rent my apartment. You see, that's what happens in Berkeley. When a good apartment is available, it's common for an open house to be held and the beauty contest to begin. It's great for a landlord, but pretty lousy for renters. And don't plan on buying a home in Berkeley unless you plan to spend about $500,000 for an average property.

Your average denizen of Berkeley is likely to be either a student, a professional who works in San Francisco or the East Bay, a smelly, burnt-out weirdo, or an equally smelly, and newly minted hippie want-to-be. This makes for an interesting mix, but for the more sober among us, it can be annoying. Berkeley's equal opportunity welcome to crumble bums of every race, color, creed, and nationality has made it one of California's largest open air flop houses. Visitors will be well advised to steer clear of areas where these children of God like to hang out.

But Berkeley isn't all bad. I like the climate, the shops, and most of the people one can meet there. I never met a dull or boring person in Berkeley, although I suppose the same can be said about visiting an insane asylum. There is something about an academic community that can bring out the best in a city. It's special, unique, and off-beat. I recommend people consider a visit to Berkeley, but that's all. There are better places a person can spend their time and money.



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ILoveBarefootW omen
12/20/2010

Berkeley, CA 4

Berkeley doesn't deserve to be so far down on this list. It's actually a really cool college town and the most vibrant part of the East Bay.

It's a really cool mix of people, creeds, and cultures; I love people watching at Berkeley Bowl! Telegraph Avenue is always a fun place to walk around and hang out. And how can you not like the world's greatest record store Amoeba Music? Yeah, the one in L.A. is bigger, but this one is the original.

The Bay Area is arguably the best region in the country as far as things to do, diversity, progressiveness, and all around fun. And Berkeley definitely deserves some of the credit for that.

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xcuses
08/04/2009

Berkeley, CA 2

This town definitely had its heyday in the 1960s. Currently, it’s dominated by smelly, confrontational homeless people and a fine mist of urine. When walking through downtown Berkeley, hold your breath as you pass corners and doorways, as they tend to function as urinals for the homelessly inclined. The rent is insane, like, a shitty studio in a shitty part of town costs $1000/month, pre-utilities and post-bargaining. The weather isn’t nearly warm enough to make up for any of this. Positive aspects include a) inexpensive, delicious, and multi-cultural restaurants, b) quirky shops (games, clothing, books), and c) the beautiful UC Berkeley campus.

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Loerke
02/08/2007

Berkeley, CA 2

The Cal campus has everything that makes Berkeley an attractive city. So it's a bit of a surprise when you open the paper every so often to hear its city council complaining about how the campus is taking all of its resources or not paying the right share for this or that. If it weren't for Cal, Berkeley would be another Vallejo. This is part of the reason I never liked Berkeley all that much as a city, despite having spent a lot of time there. Many long-time residents are freeloading flower children who charge students exorbitant rents (generally higher than San Francisco, a REAL city!) without having the know-how needed to fix anything. I never had a good landlord in Berkeley. Not all non-student residents are that bad; it just seemed like the majority were. The Shattuck area has gotten better restaurants lately like La Note and Beckett's, but Telegraph is a wasteland now that it's been "cleaned up," with very few unique stores left. The students are wonderful, though, and it's still a heck of a lot better than most college towns (Durham or Hanover, anyone?).

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GenghisTheHun
02/08/2007

Berkeley, CA 4

I have spent lots of time in the Bay Area and some in Berkeley. The campus is first rate, and the rest of the town is so/so but acceptable.

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caphillsea77
01/07/2006

Berkeley, CA 3

The Cal campus is gorgeous. Telegraph Ave is populated by stoners, indy rocker, slacker, generation X/Y wasteaways, white guys in dreadlocks (this should paint the picture). Downtown is just OK... nothing really good or bad except good BART access to San Francisco and the Bay area.

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