This blog post will be more about my experience in the city of Berkeley than working at the university!
Berkeley is honestly a really strange town, and often I hear it likened to Ann Arbor but really, I think the comparison is ill-founded. Berkeley is bustling, it’s a part of a much larger metropolitan area- there’s always things going on from the hills to campus to the flatlands. Staples of Berkeley include People’s Park (occupied almost entirely by the homeless population), street vendors on Telegraph, multi-millionaires in the hills, probably a hundred miles of trails through Tilden Park, and campus.
All of that (and more!) compacted into a town of 120,000 creates a diverse and “alive” experience. Ann Arbor strikes me as cozy, a sleepy college town with a few blocks downtown that feel like a city and a few blocks on South University brought to life by the college crowd. In a day walking around Berkeley though, you won’t have touched the tip of the iceberg, and that’s exactly how I feel! I’m pretty busy with work here but I always go on an evening walk and explore the area and I’m always finding new trails, sites, and places to check out.
You’d think with all this cool stuff there would be a climbing gym close to campus, but nope! Historically I’ve climbed four times a week but I strained a muscle in my hand two days before coming so I’ve only been going once a week while I’ve been here but it’s a 30-minute bike ride to the closest gym. The climbing gym has been a key place for me (as it always is) to relax, decompress from work, and really focus on something new and challenging. I’m hoping to meet locals at the gym who might show me around town or give me the inside scoop.