How to make all of your friends fall in love with Berkeley

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Taylor Vega/File

We all have different types of friends who appreciate different kinds of things. We at the Clog love everything about Berkeley and want our friends to fall in love with it the same way we did. So we’ve compiled a list with customized Berkeley itineraries suited to whatever your friends’ interests might be.

1. The “music-aficionado” friend 

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Christopher Bowns/Courtesy

  • Concerts: Surprise your friend with concert tickets to one of multiple awesome Bay Area concerts. He or she will be head banging to his heart’s content in no time. Plan ahead and book tickets to see your friend’s favorite band or artist on the dates that he or she will be in town. You should plan to get to the venue at least a couple of hours early in order to get a good place in the crowd.
    • Upcoming events at the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre: Lorde on Oct. 2 and 3, Childish Gambino and Erykah Badu on Oct. 17 and Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band on Oct. 23
    • Upcoming events at the Fox Theater: Sam Smith on Sept. 28, Thievery Corporation on Oct. 2 and Lily Allen on Oct. 8
  • Record stores: Take your music enthusiast friend to peruse Amoeba Music or Rasputin Music, both located on Telegraph Avenue. Prop open a book or find a nice space to take a nap while your friend meticulously inspects row after row of records for hours, exclaiming gleefully when he comes upon a particularly good sale.

2. The “outdoorsy” friend

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Carli Baker/File

  • Berkeley Marina: If you’re feeling a bit adventurous or looking for something active to do, consider taking your friend to the Berkeley Marina. Pack a picnic lunch and some snacks, hop on the 51B and cautiously dip your toes into the water while your friend strips and dives in head first. Bring plenty of blankets to wrap yourself in while your friend enjoys a swim.
  • Big C Hike: Pack a knapsack with trail mix and water and invite your outdoorsy friend to join you on a trek up to the larger-than-life golden C. Along the way, stop to braid leaves into one another’s hair, muse about the harmonious beauty of nature and take a ride on the swing to feel one with the birds. When you get to the top, take in the fresh air and sweeping views and discuss your oneness with the universe.

 3. The “foodie” friend

Kelly Fang/File

Kelly Fang/File

  • Student Organic Garden Association: Show your persnickety friend that the Berkeley community really cares about what goes into its food. Your friend can dig his or her fingers into the organic, lead-free dirt and be assured that the food comes from the best sources. 
  • Gourmet Ghetto: For the friend who turns his or her nose up at fast food, the Asian Ghetto or Top Dog is just not going to cut it. Impress your finicky friend by taking him to a high-end cafe in the Gourmet Ghetto. Some of our favorites include Crepevine, Guerilla Cafe and Bistro Liason, all on Shattuck Avenue.

4. The “social-justice” friend

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Ariel D. Hayat/File

  • Free Speech Movement Cafe: Start a conversation about Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement over lunch at FSM. Tell your friend about Savio’s political activism and sit back as he basks in Savio’s glory, awestruck and inspired. 
  • Sproul Plaza: Guide your passionate friend to the plaza, where he or she will naturally encounter one of the numerous political, social or religious preachers or protestors and start up a heated discussion with said preacher or protester. Pry your friend from the discussion right when his face is a blotchy, vibrant red and when his head looks to be in danger of bursting.

5. The “philosophical” friend

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  • Smoke shops: Stock up on incense (and whatever else you may need) before finding a grassy spot where you can lay down and look up at the clouds, contemplating the vastness of the universe. Some of our favorite smoke shops are Big Al’s Smoke and Gifts, Gypsy Trader and Hi-Times, all on Telegraph Avenue. 
  • Tea houses and coffee spots: Take your friend to one of the vibrant cafes and cozy tea houses and order him or her an exotic tea or an elaborate coffee creation. Listen to his introspections about the complexities of life as he leans back into plush coffee-house chairs. Some of our favorite spots include Asha Tea House on University Avenue, Philz Coffee on Shattuck Avenue and Cafe Strada on College Avenue.

6. The “turn-up” friend

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Michael Drummond/File

  • Frat row/Co-ops: Get dressed up in your cutest jean shorts and classiest crop tops and head down to frat row for a wild night of dancing and debauchery — complete with proclamations of love for one another, scuffed shoes and smeared eyeliner.
  • Karaoke joints: Encourage your friend to get up on stage and belt out a powerful rendition of “Turn Down for What,” which is totally his or her anthem. Our favorite spot is Jaguar Karaoke on Telegraph Avenue.

 7. The “architecture-junkie” friend

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Andrew Kuo/File

  • Libraries: Some of the most striking buildings on campus are the multiple libraries. Leave your friend to examine the elaborate banisters while you curl up in your favorite study spot for a quick nap. Our favorites are Doe Memorial Library and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.
  • The Campanile: Your friend’s enthusiasm will know no bounds when he or she gets to scale the famous Sather Tower. Watch him gleefully prance around the top of the 307-foot tower, explaining its structural integrity. Now, your friend can return home and report back to his family that, yes, he did scale the famous Campanile at UC Berkeley. You can also stop by Campanile Court to rub the 4.0 ball for a little extra luck.

Contact Sravya Singampalli at [email protected].