Okay, I have to admit that living in Berkeley is starting to grow on me. When I moved out here two and a half years ago, I was convinced that nothing could compare with living on the East Coast. I was adamant about not becoming a “California girl.” But I’ve come to discover that living here has not been all that different from living in Cambridge, with the exception that here I don’t have to dig my car out of a bank of ice and snow every winter. I can’t say that’s something I miss doing anyway.
One thing I really like about living here is the fact that I can pretty much walk everywhere I need to go. And I can walk all year round without having to put on my long johns, hat, scarf, gloves, etc. Not that it doesn’t get cold here, in the winters it can get all the way down to the 40’s! Yes, I know, I’ve become quite a wimp.
Being able to walk places is important now that we have a baby who demands to be taken out everyday. Christopher, or “the pook,” as Larry and I endearingly call him, will fuss at home, but quiet down the minute I take him out in the stroller. He can stay up for hours just looking at the scenery outside. In the course of our daily walks, I’ve begun to appreciate living in Berkeley, especially how convenient and accessible things are. Also, strolling about aimlessly has given me the opportunity to notice things and places that previously I would never have paid attention to.
The first thing that struck me about Berkeley when I moved here was how many places there are to eat. I try to keep a mental list of all the places I want to try, but there just isn’t enough time (or money). Now that list gets longer every time “the pook” and I go out for a walk. I’m glad there are so many places I can stop for a snack while we’re out. Just this week alone, I’ve had Mexican for lunch one day, a “woofle pup” (imagine a waffle corndog), Yogurtland on a warm afternoon, Pie in the Sky pizza, and sushi for dinner on another day… all without ever having to get into the car.
In addition to perusing the local eateries, our daily walks also include going to the drug store, going to campus, going to Berkeley Bowl (I saw my first dragonfruit there yesterday; it does indeed look like a dragon!), and my favorite place, the downtown Berkeley public library. So all in all, I guess Berkeley is not a bad place to live. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that we live a stones throw from the meeting hall and that we have brothers and sisters living next door, upstairs and downstairs. Living in this bubble, I feel a little more protected from all the weird and sketchy people that roam around Berkeley.
Maybe I’m becoming a little too comfortable here. Maybe I am becoming a “California girl.” Well, if I find myself using the words “like” and “for sure” in conversation too much, that will definitely be a sign that we need to migrate.