For me, Berkeley is an odd mix of Midwestern and California, with its own unique additions of "only in Berkeley" phenomena -- which I may find odd only because I don't know California well enough. The neighborhoods and sidewalks (broken and uneven concrete pavement with little weeds growing in the cracks) feel Midwestern; the palm trees and exotic flowers seem California, and the people on the streets seem Berkeley-esque.
We met friends (Cynthia Wooten Cohen, and Mike Cohen) for lunch at Chez Panisse -- unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of them. And almost none of my pictures of the restaurant turned out either.
We had a delightful meal, and a wonderful time recalling the Odyssey coffeehouse that Cynthia and her late husband Bill started in 1968 in Eugene, Oregon; the Country Fair that they started in 1969 (which continues today); and catching up on life in the past forty years.
I felt that it was rude to take photos of the people on the streets. I don't always hesitate, but today's groups -- a mix of homeless, buskers, many students, people who appeared to be retired, a few who looked like tourists, more police and security guards than we expected -- didn't feel approachable.
We met other friends from Eugene for dinner. The restaurant choice was Mission: Heirloom, a block away from Chez Panisse, but a very different approach to food. Mission: Heirloom serves/sells "bulletproof coffee," a wide variety of Paleo-friendly foods,
and very few grains (they said that I could drink the decaf coffee that I brought with me as long as it was "gluten-free").
We are nearly at the end of our California sojourn. It has been an exceptional opportunity to catch up with relatives and friends, to make new friends, and to experience the delights of this state. We will be happy to get back to Anchorage, and look forward to our next trip here.