Best of Berkeley 2013: City

Read here for Best of Berkeley 2013: Food and Best of Berkeley 2013: Campus.

Best place to break a sweat: RSF classes
From busy schedules to tight budgets, the average student’s life simply does not seem compatible with exercise. It is something of a miracle that many Berkeley students do manage to get their sweat on at least a few days a week. This is in part thanks to the RSF, which offers memberships at $10 per semester for Cal students and provides facilities right on campus. best-place-to-break-a-sweat.anthony-martinez

Monotonous jogs on the treadmill, however, can quickly get boring, and lifting in the weight room next to frat boys and gym buffs loses its appeal pretty fast. Mix it up and try some yoga, kickboxing, aqua exercise, spinning or Zumba. Access to a plethora of group exercise classes is included in your membership, and it’s a deal that’s tough to beat: That $10 gets you unlimited classes for the entire semester.

Anna Carey

Best place to get a tattoo: Zebra Tattoo and Body Piercingbest-place-to-get-a-tattoo.anthony-martinez

For many, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of getting tatted or pierced — especially here in Berzerkeley where people are all about self expression in every way. Thankfully, conveniently located only three blocks from campus on Telegraph Avenue, is our very own Zebra Tattoo and Body Piercing. With reasonable prices, a crazy wide array of body jewelry and personable body art professionals who will answer your every question on the spot, it’s no wonder that Zebra is the place everyone flocks to for all their body alteration needs — and the tattoo shop has been at it for over two decades now! While there are many other places nearby that can accommodate the same services, there’s something comforting and personal about the Zebra experience that makes it the best of Berkeley.

Michelle Lin

Best place to stargaze: Big Cbest-place-to-stargaze.michael-tao

“Ambition,” a poem by Walt Whitman, said it best: “’At night, go view the solemn stars / Those wheeling worlds through time the same.’”

Rekindle your celestial ambition with a walk atop Charter Hill. The breathtaking view is enough to inspire camaraderie among UC Berkeley students. In the past, the sophomore class rolled freshmen down the hill as initiation, but this tradition ended when the Big C was built.

Instead of the usual rush, the classes of 1907 and 1908 created the hillside symbol that marks the California spirit. At significant campus events like Homecoming, the “C” is lit up or painted blue and gold. Still, what makes it brighter than the brightest star is the Cal student’s desire to reach a lifelong ambition. When he or she gazes at the cosmos, the amateur astronomer can’t help but to be inspired, ready to take on any challenge.

Amabelle Ocampo

Best place to take a date: Berkeley marinabest-place-to-take-a-date.michael-tao

Berkeley Marina is a place with many things that may tickle your fancy. You can woo your, or will-be-your, significant other with a nice romantic morning brunch at HS Lordships, take-out Cheeseboard in the car parked near the dock, classy drinks at Skates On The Bay or thrilling late evening walks on the dock. The Marina is perfect from day to night. You get a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco with that great ocean breeze. No car? No problem. Take the 51B bus and it will bring you straight to the marina. No money? Just take a stroll near the docks. No date? Seagulls are everywhere. No matter what your situation is, this place is all around one of the most romantic places in Berkeley.

Michael Tao

Best trivia: Pappy’s Grillbest-trivia.kevin-foote

There are many reasons that readers picked trivia night at Pappy’s to be the Best of Berkeley, but the main one has to be Geeks Who Drink, the absolutely ridiculous group that runs the competition. Imagine a mix of self-deprecating stand-up, bizarre pop culture banter and the occasional public shaming of those not quite geeky enough to hold their own, and you get Geeks Who Drink. While Pappy’s is certainly the better deal when it comes to bar trivia in Berkeley — we are talking $12 for a nice beer, burger and fries versus $20 for the same thing at Henry’s — it is really the geek factor that puts Pappy’s over the top. It isn’t uncommon for the MC, Chris, to pontificate on the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony or Patrick Swayze’s greatest films between rounds. The trivia is a fun challenge, the beer is cheap and because there are almost no graduate students around, you just might win. What’s not to like?

Javier Panzar

Best place to watch a movie: Shattuck Cinemasbest-place-to-watch-a-movie.bowen-xiao

You can watch a movie any ol’ place — on your computer, in your bed, alone, with tears that contain the same amount of salt as butter so you can at least pretend you’re in a cinema. But if you opt out of that option, Shattuck Cinemas isn’t half bad. Situated in the midst of what I like to call the Shire of the Silver Screens, Shattuck Cinemas offers a tip-top film-going experience complete with lush chairs that don’t chafe, comfy bean bags, cupholders wide enough for an entire trough of boba and an Egyptian-themed theater straight out of that one scene from that one movie with the prince who was from Egypt.

Jessica Pena

Best bookstore: Moe’s Booksbest-bookstore.anthony-martinez

If nothing else, go to Moe’s because it was in “The Graduate” and you want to commemorate Benjamin Braddock’s road trip to Berkeley.

That said, Moe’s’ eclectic window display epitomizes what awaits inside: the utter mix of high and low, hit and miss. Moe’s most likely has every book ever written. And since the majority of the stock is used books, you can show up two days in a row and find a new selection each time. (Sometimes you even can find a used version of a book they’re selling full-price in the “new” section downstairs.)

There are the obvious classics: the Tolstoys, the Hemingways. They have poetry, travel guides and every branch of psychology.

Then there are the mavericks, such as “Knit Your Own Cat” — undoubtedly a well-worn classic in the making.

Annie Gerlach

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