So it's ten years following graduation and we're once again walking the wonderfully, elegantly grimy (read: earthy) streets of Berkeley. More particularly, the Telegraph Avenue section on the southside of the University of California campus. Go Bears!
Not all that much has changed since 1995; at least not too drastically. Sure, our Unit 2 dorms now have these rather bulky additions that remind me of the condominiums in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood - not really low-rise, not really high-rise, lots of funky color. Most of the same stores are still around. And more importantly, most of the same cafes are still pumping out the best coffee this side of the world. Feel free to check out my Berkeley Walking Tour on the House of Lai website.
What has changed is the fact that we were now walking these sentimental sidewalks pushing our two boys along in strollers. The whole time going to Cal, I always wondered about those people who'd walk around Berkeley's southside with babies and strollers, thinking, "What's up with that? A baby? In Berkeley?"
Now we were those people. It really gave us a sense for how we've moved from one life-stage to another and another and still another! I guess you'd call it perspective.
Sadly for us, both Nolan and Jackson would appreciate none of the city's quirks and would instead fidget, complain, and simply want to release themselves from their strollers while we tried to shop for cool t-shirts and outfits for both them and their new baby sister who'll be added to the clan in November. We ended up having to ditch Berkeley in favor of romping around Jack London Square in Oakland (messing around in a fountain and visiting the Barnes & Noble).
(Epilogue: We managed a return trip to Berkeley the next morning to actually complete our shopping spree at both the Cal Student Store on campus and Bancroft Clothing, a local favorite.)