Continuing the tour of my relatives in the Bay Area, our group struck out on the Friday afternoon over the bridge to Berkeley, connecting with my niece Nicole as the local tour guide. A late and leisurely ramen lunch didn’t leave us much time to see the campus. Without a specific destination, we just wandered. In comparison to the sprawling campus at Stanford, the Berkeley site seems more compact. The lush eucalyptus grove indicates a climate cooler and wetter than the south bay.
Although Berkeley has a long history of scholarship into Asia, the Chinese and Japanese collections were consolidated into the C. V. Starr East Asian Library as a new building only in 2008.
Since Nancy was an east asian studies major some years ago, and then a library studies graduate student, this building was a natural for a peek.
The atrium down the middle of the building provides a feeling of greater openness inside the modern structure.
A large group of high school students was taking pictures just outside the library, prompting us to do the same. Looking south, Sather Tower (Campanile) is a prominent landmark.
We wended our way south to Sather Gate, at the entrance to the campus closest to the central business district. We thanked Nicole, and allotted ourselves one hour for last minute shopping before returning to the other side of the bay.
I spent my hour (and would have spent more) in one of my favourite CD stores in the world — Amoeba Records — browsing through their used jazz collection.
We walked back to the car at dusk, and were caught in the Friday evening rush hour south onto the Bay Bridge. With four of in the car, we benefited by the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, only after we fought our way through the merging traffic. We checked into the hotel in San Mateo, split up for the evening, and met in the dark of Pacific Time early the next morning for the flight back east.
daviding December 30th, 2009
Posted In: travel