It’s been years since I’ve visited the People’s Republic of Berkeley. But now that I live nearby, no excuses not to truck down Telegraph Avenue—still ground zero for hip. The city still boasts great independent bookstores, like Moe’s and Shakespeare & Co. (Cody’s, alas, went out of business years ago.). Plenty of java joints, and radical street politics if you’re in the mood for absurdist sparring. (Favorite bumper sticker: “U.S. Out of America!”) Street vendors still hawk rad pamphlets and zines, while college kids on expensive bikes breeze by.
To get away from the buzz you can walk up into the hills and gaze out at the Golden Gate, shimmering in the hazy sun.
And then, of course, there’s the town next door.