So we all missed Holi in its original location this year. Seriously, Lower Sproul redevelopment, quit messing with our paintball fights … or religious expression. If we’re leaving Berkeley for good mid-May, we can’t exactly fit in the hip-hop DeCal that we’ve always wanted to take, and since many of us shirked our homecoming responsibilities completely, we’ve never attended one of the “100 fun-filled events.” Some of this stuff we’ll have to take care of in grad school, or when our kids come to Cal. Though we’ve missed out on some things, the good news is that we still have time to cross a couple things off our bucket lists! Facebook friends and fellow seniors, get ready for an onslaught of event invitations!
In San Francisco
Alcatraz – This is certainly a full-day sort of a thing that up until now we’ve convinced ourselves we just don’t have time for. But we know that you want to take that creepy night tour, and we suggest that you do so. Remember, it’s expensive ($30 for a day tour and $37 for a night tour, plus transportation to the city) and time-consuming (site says give yourself two to three hours; we know you’ll actually need five or six). If you can find the time before finals (we suggest the pretty pointless first weekend of dead week), Alcatraz is the place to be.
Twin Peaks – This is yet another day-trip-type dealio. We think it’s safe to assume that if you’re going to San Francisco to finish up the “Last Semester, Thank God” Facebook album, you’ll be spending the day. First you’ll need to take a bus over to the base of the mountain — bring hiking shoes, you’ll be walking from there. Then you’ll walk to the top and Instagram the crap outta the city. We suggest going the Saturday after your very last midterm.
That mid-air jumping picture everyone’s in on the Golden Gate Bridge? – Go there. Give your camera to a stranger. Jump with friends. Best day ever.
In the East Bay
Oakland Art Murmur – This is an art festival on Telegraph between 19th and 27th streets that happens all day the first Friday of each month. That means today, people! But also on May 3. Here you’ll find music, food trucks, a free art walk and tons of crafty stuff to buy. If you’re unlucky and burdened by classes on Friday, they do the same thing on a smaller scale each Saturday from 1-5 p.m. East Bay souvenirs galore.
Thai brunch at Wat Mongkolratanaram — We all have friends that have made the trek down to MLK with $10 in their pocket in search of cheap and delicious Thai tea. If you’ve really never heard of this, it happens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This Berkeley Buddhist Temple cooks a ton of food to sell for super cheap to whoever walks by. There are long lines, but we think it’s worth it considering the amount of extra time you’ll have to tweet the pictures you’re taking.
Berkeley Farmers’ Market – Last but not least, we’ve been telling ourselves to go since our first year here. Another gem on MLK, it’s every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it’s really, really fun. People complain about the parking all the time, but we can easily walk from campus (score!).
Whether you’re leaving soon with a degree in hand or you’re just arriving on campus, it’s important to balance the must-see tourist attractions across the water with local gems like these. Especially for those of us who are graduating, events like these will help us wrap up our time here, leaving us with mental pictures of these super cool cities that we’ve called home for the past eight semesters.