We curse it for its high cost of living and high-density traffic. We celebrate it for its free speech ideals, influential history and colorful array of socially-conscious residents that strive to make it a better place everyday. This is Berkeley, and this is our city.
Every spring, The Daily Californian puts together a Best of Berkeley issue shining a spotlight on the people and places in Berkeley and on the UC campus that tugged on our heartstrings and tickled our funny bones. In this year’s edition, we present to you the winners of our Best of Berkeley reader survey through the lens of our writers, photographers and illustrator. Over 600 of you answered our call on Twitter, Facebook and our website and made your selections in over 50 categories that matter to the Cal student body and Bay Area residents.
Inside, you will find everything from the trivial to the intellectual. Where is the best untapped secret study spot? Which one of Cal’s esteemed professors will take the crown this year? Who makes the best boba tea? Is Lil B really the Based God? We attempt to answer these and other pressing questions in the issue.
Of course, not all of us agree on the winners of each category, and in this year’s Best of Berkeley we have attempted to spark a debate. As our readers and staff increasingly shift their gears to traverse the Internet world, on our website we have provided a video of reader responses to the most contentious winners of our awards. In addition, you will find many instances of thumb wars in the issue — where our writers give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to the winner of a selected category and provide a voice for the kings and queens with cult followings that lost the majority vote.
As our many obligations push and pull us every which way, it can be difficult to take a pause and consider the many threads that constitute the fabric of our city. I hope that with Best of Berkeley, you find a new appreciation for our mundane yet very peculiar surroundings.