The Berkeley Bucket ListHiking to the Big C was so freshman year. Here are some other Berkeley essentials.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Near sunset on any given day, take a trek up to the top of Indian Rock for a great view of the San Francisco Bay Area. It could be romantic, although that becomes more difficult when the conversation around you consists of the typical Berkeley "emotional" discussion about the last episode of "Gossip Girl" or the "war crimes" of Donald Rumsfeld.
But whether or not the romantic notion of watching a sunset is what floats your boat, you cannot deny the great view from Indian Rock.
And I'm not just talking about the view of the bay, down to Oakland and those things that look like futuristic robot-horse hybrids, but also the view of shirtless rock climbers.
If it's solitude you crave, head up to the rock on a cloudy day, put on some emo tunes and ponder the meaning of life. If that sounds a little too depressing, consider adding pizza.
Hit up Cheeseboard before and have a sunset picnic, although you may be tempted to devour some slices during the hilly mile between restaurant and rock.
Head north on Oxford Street; it's about two miles from the west campus entrance. Just keep on keeping on up and down the hills. You literally cannot miss it-it being a huge rock and all.
A good portion of this campus, including yours truly, are fans of the oh-so-very dangerous habit of binge drinking.
Now as awesome as it may be, binge drinking gets a tad cyclical from time-to-time. Sure, I love nights playing games upon games of beer pong, or downing Popov that has been placed in a Grey Goose bottle for aesthetic purposes, but sometimes I desire something a bit more adventurous.
Ladies and gentleman of Berkeley, I give you the campus shogun tour. (That refers to shotgunning beers, for those of you who study on Friday nights.) Grab about eight beers, throw them in a backpack and reinvent the campus tour with a group of friends.
Here are the stops I would recommend, but feel free to add your own:
Memorial Stadium: At the 50-yard line or student section, your choice.
North Reading Room: Yell "NERDS" before and after the shotgun.
Memorial Glade: Play a little Frisbee while you're there to buy some time for your stomach to settle.
Campanile: Time it with the playing of the carillon.
Wheeler Hall: You're cheating yourself out of the experience if you don't pull this one off while class is in session.
The Greek Theatre: Because the Dalai Lama sucked.
Sather Gate: Picture opportunity, much?
Some people say the Big C, but come on - by the time you get up and down from there, you'll be sober.
If you really want to go for the gold, stalk an actual campus tour group. When the guide starts to sell the kids on the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, start pounding.
Something tells me the prospective students will no longer have to ask whether or not we have time between studying and class to have a grand ol' time.
'The Graduate' Seat
You want to know what should be on your graduation bucket list? One word: plastics. Yeah, you know where this is going. That's because "The Graduate" is an iconic movie - and not just for those classic one-liners or the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack. Are you trying to seduce me, post-college disaffection and malaise? Damn right, you are.
Not only does this alternative coming-of-age story tap deep into every impending graduate's anxiety stores, but it also has a special resonance for Berkeley folk. The film partially takes place in Berkeley. And while you can whine all you want about how, technically, many of the campus shots were filmed at USC, director Mike Nichols got the important stuff. Benjamin Braddock stalks Elaine Robinson right down Sproul Plaza and Telegraph Avenue.
Which brings him to the Dustin Hoffman seat at Caffe Mediterraneum. You're probably already familiar with the Telegraph landmark, whether for its lattes, its activist history or its, um, potent street energy, but you might not have noticed the movie still posted in the front alcove.
The accompanying sign explains that, based on the fact that in "The Graduate," Hoffman looks out across the street at that precise view of Moe's, he must have (probably) been sitting at that very table in the Med.
So go sit in the Hoffman seat and raise your coffee to Mrs. Robinson at least once before. Maybe it'll inspire you to get off your ass and do something worthwhile. Like fall in love with the daughter of your cougar mistress.
Patty Hearst's Apartment
You may not have heard of Patty Hearst, but she was kind of a big deal back in the 1970s.
Hearst was then a sophomore art history major at UC Berkeley when she was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment on Feb. 4, 1974 and held for a ransom. She was an heiress to the massive Hearst Fortune (think Paris Hilton without the annoying dog) and the story attracted national media attention.
The story took another spectacular turn when Hearst announced she had joined the cause of the her captors, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and participated in a violent bank robbery. She was eventually convicted of the crime before being pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001.
All of this is just another part of Berkeley's "rich" history, except for one thing: the apartment from which she was kidnapped still stands at 2603 Benvenue Ave., apartment #3.
While it may seem anti-climactic to walk a few blocks to see a building, her kidnapping and the ensuing media frenzy were a turning point in the campus's history. UC Berkeley, once the crucible of progressive social change, became a place where over-privileged students took up meaningless causes simply to attract attention.
It became hard to romanticize their methods or their mission. And it all started in that apartment.
Comments (0) »Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.