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mosquito0016

Berkeley, CA

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BellJarred, thanks a lot for the detailed reply! That surely helped me (and probably others on the board, too) understand Oakland a little better!

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I'm also considering moving to Berkeley, and I'm curious about this safety thing everyone keeps talking about. I currently live in Central Sq in Cambridge, MA which has a gritty reputation, but I've never felt unsafe as a single woman walking alone at night. I would never expect someone to shoot at me or something like that. There are heroin addicts that might look at you funny or yell at you, but they're mostly harmless. I guess I'm curious what happens in "unsafe areas." And, also, in these areas, is there a problem of robberies, or breaking and entering? I hope to live alone, and save as much money as possible, but I guess I'd err on the side of caution if that's what is meant by unsafe.

 

In a similar vein, a lot of people have mentioned biking, I hope to do this all without a car. Is that completely insane? I'm also curious about the safety of cycling in the city. Are drivers accustomed to bicycles? Are there bike lanes? Is there a lot of bike theft (a major problem in Boston at the moment.)

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I'm also considering moving to Berkeley, and I'm curious about this safety thing everyone keeps talking about. I currently live in Central Sq in Cambridge, MA which has a gritty reputation, but I've never felt unsafe as a single woman walking alone at night. I would never expect someone to shoot at me or something like that. There are heroin addicts that might look at you funny or yell at you, but they're mostly harmless. I guess I'm curious what happens in "unsafe areas." And, also, in these areas, is there a problem of robberies, or breaking and entering? I hope to live alone, and save as much money as possible, but I guess I'd err on the side of caution if that's what is meant by unsafe.

 

I just had the opportunity to pay a short visit Berkeley, and against the advice of others, I took an evening stroll OUTSIDE the People's Park. It scared the heck out of me. A case in point: I saw a weird-looking man literally chasing a pedestrian, while making horrid noises (echoing, unintentionally, the ones inside the park). Since I was halfway through the block, it wouldn't make much sense just to turn around. At last I decided that walking on the road (despite the traffic) was (/felt) safer than walking on the sidewalk next to the park. ** That said, I think that was just the experience of a very inexperienced visitor. **

 

As you asked about crime, here's some (mapped out) data: http://www.crimemapping.com/map.aspx?aid=3f1738a8-6160-4c68-998a-ae00f597613a

And, on general safety: http://police.berkeley.edu/

 

BellJarred, as her previous posts show, will be capable of giving FAR better answers.

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I'm also considering moving to Berkeley, and I'm curious about this safety thing everyone keeps talking about. I currently live in Central Sq in Cambridge, MA which has a gritty reputation, but I've never felt unsafe as a single woman walking alone at night. I would never expect someone to shoot at me or something like that. There are heroin addicts that might look at you funny or yell at you, but they're mostly harmless. I guess I'm curious what happens in "unsafe areas." And, also, in these areas, is there a problem of robberies, or breaking and entering? I hope to live alone, and save as much money as possible, but I guess I'd err on the side of caution if that's what is meant by unsafe.

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Hi there. I'm currently polishing my budget to study at Berkeley. 

 

Does anyone know approximately up to how much could the living expenses amount for a single guy? Excluding rent and utilities. Just regular expenses like food and having a drink every once in a while?

 

Thank you for your help.

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Im also interested for the answer in the post above. Also, I was admitted to the MS/PhD in Mechanical Engineering, what does the schooling cost? Some sources say $15,000 and others $25,000. I am from out of state.

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I currently live in one of the two grad/re-entry co-ops, and am happy to answer questions about specifics!

 

I'm a re-entry student, in the decision process for grad school, so will be leaving at the end of May, but have been at Berkeley, and in the co-op for two years.

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Hi there. I'm currently polishing my budget to study at Berkeley. 

 

Does anyone know approximately up to how much could the living expenses amount for a single guy? Excluding rent and utilities. Just regular expenses like food and having a drink every once in a while?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

The financial aid office has a breakdown of general costs of living, which might be helpful: http://students.berkeley.edu/finaid/graduates/cost.htm

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Another question as a cyclist commuter - how feasible is it to cycle year round? Are there ever many days where it rains heavily enough to make cycle commuting a bad idea?

 

Secondly - how bad is bike theft? I lock my bike around central London often and I've never had any problem (although I'm pretty sensible about locking up the frame and looping a cable through both wheels).

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Another question as a cyclist commuter - how feasible is it to cycle year round? Are there ever many days where it rains heavily enough to make cycle commuting a bad idea?

 

Secondly - how bad is bike theft? I lock my bike around central London often and I've never had any problem (although I'm pretty sensible about locking up the frame and looping a cable through both wheels).

So I bike year-round in San Francisco and it is really not too bad. There are a few days a year when it is down pouring and I don't like to bike. But people still do. HOWEVER the weather is really unpredictable in the Bay Area and can vary greatly from year to year. This year, for example, there has not been much rain. But two years ago it felt like the rain never stopped!

 

Bike theft exists but you just need to be smart enough to lock your bike with a u-lock. People steal wheels if they look nice but otherwise aren't super interested. I only have one friend who has had his bike stolen and it's because he didn't lock it. It seems like you would be just fine.

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Awesome cheers! BTW, did you by any chance (assuming from your username) stay in BSC accommodation? I'm considering their graduate house (Hillegass Parker House). Do you have opinions for or against staying there?

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Any hints on getting an August rental locked down before leaving for overseas work in June?

Edited by IuliaMaior

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Any hints on getting an August rental locked down before leaving for overseas work in June?

 

Check out Craigslist rooms and shares for East Bay and just filter by search term 'august'. You'll get a bunch of summer sublets there but should be a handful of listings for the start of August. I've been checking it for a few weeks now and should hopefully have somewhere sorted now for August.

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I need housing help ASAP, need to make a decision by tonight. I am looking to live in a studio apartment and have narrowed it down to eith Manville or Campanile court. Any suggestions? Any information helps!

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I need housing help ASAP, need to make a decision by tonight. I am looking to live in a studio apartment and have narrowed it down to eith Manville or Campanile court. Any suggestions? Any information helps!

 

Which department will you be attending for classes? Campanile Court seems quite far from the university - possibly too far to walk regularly. Manville looks like a much better location.

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I currently live in one of the two grad/re-entry co-ops, and am happy to answer questions about specifics!

 

I'm a re-entry student, in the decision process for grad school, so will be leaving at the end of May, but have been at Berkeley, and in the co-op for two years.

 

Hello! I've heard so much about the cleanliness problems with co-ops, so which would you say are the most "clean" or reasonable?

 

I have a preference for closest to campus, specifically Evans Hall, and reasonably clean. I like the social aspect of co-ops, don't mind small parties, but of course don't want to live in a frat house. Which would you recommend? Thanks!!!

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Shameless bump - but we're still looking for a third housemate - http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/roo/3750565764.html - the apartment is really close to the Haas and cycleable to most parts of the campus.  Send me a message if you're interested or have any questions!

Edited by ssk2

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Is anyone headed to Berkeley this fall? I'm deciding between UCB and one other school, so I'm doing some research about logistics. I live in the city right now and am trying to figure out whether I should BART or drive.

The parking permit seems really steep! $327/semester! In the city it's only $100/yr to get a street parking permit! Are there any alternatives to campus lots or are street spots and other garages just as expensive? What with the bridge toll (and it's about to increase!) that would be some $1400/yr (not including summer) if I went three days per week, and that's not including gas! That seems a bit excessive as I don't even spend that much on gas annually.

On the other hand, BART would be $8 round trip, making it about a grand a year. However, grad student work spaces are off campus and not really accessible via BART, especially if we are carrying a lot of materials and supplies.

I saw that carpool permits are cheaper ($92/person) but that would limit my mobility and schedule, making it hard for me to go and work in said grad workspaces at all. And depending on the class/work schedule I might have to spend more days on campus. Ion that case, I might actually break the $2000 mark, which just seems insane.

Are there any cheaper alternatives if I want to drive? I hadn't realized it was so expensive!

Oh and if anyone has other questions or comments about the town, I'm curious to hear. Just thought I'd start a thread. Thanks!

Edited by seeingeyeduck

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Hi, I see that this post hasn't been active in nearly a year, and I was wondering of any of you are still around to answer questions. I was notified of my admission to Berkeley for grad school about two weeks ago, and I'm going to the visit day in two weeks. I live overseas and this will be my only chance to see the city/university before I possibly move there, so does anybody have recommendations about what I should see/do/ask the current grad students about while I'm there? Most of my questions center around housing, shopping opportunities, and getting around without a car (I will be bringing a bike, but I don't have a car and don't intend on buying one before I move). Is it hard to live in Berkeley without a car? I've heard that the parking permits can be really expensive, and that there is a fairly good public transportation network, but is it cheaper not to have a car?

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Hello! I've heard so much about the cleanliness problems with co-ops, so which would you say are the most "clean" or reasonable?

 

I have a preference for closest to campus, specifically Evans Hall, and reasonably clean. I like the social aspect of co-ops, don't mind small parties, but of course don't want to live in a frat house. Which would you recommend? Thanks!!!

 

If you don't want party all the time, stay away from Casa Zimbabwe (which I also found kind of dirty). Cloyne is nice but is incredibly big and the parties get crazy, but the people I know who lived there really did love it. The Convent, for graduate and older students, is quiet, clean and nice, with occasional parties completely controlled by the residents.

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Hi, I see that this post hasn't been active in nearly a year, and I was wondering of any of you are still around to answer questions. I was notified of my admission to Berkeley for grad school about two weeks ago, and I'm going to the visit day in two weeks. I live overseas and this will be my only chance to see the city/university before I possibly move there, so does anybody have recommendations about what I should see/do/ask the current grad students about while I'm there? Most of my questions center around housing, shopping opportunities, and getting around without a car (I will be bringing a bike, but I don't have a car and don't intend on buying one before I move). Is it hard to live in Berkeley without a car? I've heard that the parking permits can be really expensive, and that there is a fairly good public transportation network, but is it cheaper not to have a car?

I was freaking out about transport costs but I did some digging and it looks like we can get something called the Class Pass which allows students to ride local AC Transit for free. It doesn't work for BART but there is a line that goes over the bridge into the city. That's a relief.

I think you can get by without a car. There are bike paths in Berkeley and it's still dense enough for stores and most things to be accessible. Berkeley Bowl isn't too far from campus or Ashby BART. You can always take your bike on BART when needed. Maybe you can google map some types of stores that you need and see how far from campus/housing they are.

Though I assume street permits are a lot cheaper than the campus student parking permits since they're residential rather than for campus. It's just that I don't qualify since I wouldn't be living in the city.

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Hi, I see that this post hasn't been active in nearly a year, and I was wondering of any of you are still around to answer questions. I was notified of my admission to Berkeley for grad school about two weeks ago, and I'm going to the visit day in two weeks. I live overseas and this will be my only chance to see the city/university before I possibly move there, so does anybody have recommendations about what I should see/do/ask the current grad students about while I'm there? Most of my questions center around housing, shopping opportunities, and getting around without a car (I will be bringing a bike, but I don't have a car and don't intend on buying one before I move). Is it hard to live in Berkeley without a car? I've heard that the parking permits can be really expensive, and that there is a fairly good public transportation network, but is it cheaper not to have a car?

 

It's entirely possible to live at Berkeley without a car, and in fact it's my impression that that's what most people do, as I did myself during my two years as an undergrad. The city is extremely bike-able. If you live reasonably close to campus, your longest bike commute is unlikely to exceed 15 mins, as there are a number of grocery stores, cheap restaurants/eateries, and drugstores around. If you need to go a greater distance, you can always take the bus or the BART (underground metro) and take your bike with you. There is a Bicycle Co-op (more of a student club) at the school where they'll help you fix your bike for free (unless, of course, you need to replace parts). They were also installing these "self-service bike repair stations" on campus when I left last year (O alas the day!)—with pumps and wrenches and related paraphernalia.

 

All this said, there is a reasonably-priced car rental service (don't remember the name, but they always advertise near campus), and if you need to transport something large once in a while (furniture, for example) you can also rent a truck through UHaul.

 

(Also, I don't know about Germany, but I've been to Vienna, and I'd say Berkeley's public transportation is comparable, though not on par.)

 

I assume you'll also take a look at San Francisco while you're at Berkeley. I'd suggest you also explore North Oakland a bit to get a sense of the larger context of the city, in case you ever decide you're sick of Berkeley and want to live away a bit (I know a lot of students who live at Oakland, esp. if they're slightly older).

 

A trip to Cheese Board Pizzeria on Shattuck Ave., and the cheese-and-bakery shop next door, wouldn't be wasted either. You'll get to eat great pizza and also get a feel for the type of cooperative-run business that Berkeley seems to be famous for. If you have money and decide you won't be returning to Berkeley, it might be worth checking out Chez Panisse, also on Shattuck. I haven't been but it's the best known higher-endish restaurant in town. Incidentally, this part of Shattuck Ave. is referred to as the "Gourmet Ghetto" (self-explanatory name).

 

What else . . . Oh, most people would tell you about Trader Joe's, Berkeley Bowl, and Whole Foods, but you'll find yourself shopping at these three very rarely if you live close by Monterrey Market (15-20 min North West of campus), which is a kind of ongoing, 7-days-a-week farmer's market—fresher and cheaper fare than the triad I mentioned.

 

You might also want to check out the Bancroft Library, where they keep most of their rare manuscripts etc., if you're into that aspect of history.

 

Do get a late meal at the International House and watch the sunset across the bay.

 

Do the same (without the meal) from on top of the Campanile (aka Sather Tower aka campus penis; on a related note, google "The Balls of Texas").

 

Edit to add that you'll can ride the bus (AC transit) for free as a student.

Edited by davidipse

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