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mosquito0016

Berkeley, CA

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Anybody living in Berkeley care to chime in with some insights on living there?

Here are some tidbits I've found through my research (Berkeley people please correct me if I'm wrong):

  • International House (I-house) is the most desirable on campus housing
  • North Berkeley/north of campus is the safest area within walking distance of campus
  • "Gourmet Ghetto" in North Berkeley is a collection of very nice and unique restaurants
  • Stay away from Peoples Park
  • South of campus gets sketchy very quickly
  • If there are protests/riots they often start south of campus and end up in Downtown Berkeley
  • Use campus shuttle/door-to-door/escort service at night, don't walk home alone at night
  • Don't put your guard down even on campus
  • Parking is often at capacity plus parking garages have been targets for muggers so commuting isn't desirable
Edited by miesvanderrohe

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20 hours ago, miesvanderrohe said:

Parking is often at capacity plus parking garages have been targets for muggers so commuting isn't desirable

That is an understatement. My friend had this car stolen while parked inside a gated apartment complex.

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On 3/12/2018 at 10:36 PM, miesvanderrohe said:

Anybody living in Berkeley care to chime in with some insights on living there?

Here are some tidbits I've found through my research (Berkeley people please correct me if I'm wrong):

  • International House (I-house) is the most desirable on campus housing
  • North Berkeley/north of campus is the safest area within walking distance of campus
  • "Gourmet Ghetto" in North Berkeley is a collection of very nice and unique restaurants
  • Stay away from Peoples Park
  • South of campus gets sketchy very quickly
  • If there are protests/riots they often start south of campus and end up in Downtown Berkeley
  • Use campus shuttle/door-to-door/escort service at night, don't walk home alone at night
  • Don't put your guard down even on campus
  • Parking is often at capacity plus parking garages have been targets for muggers so commuting isn't desirable

I finished undergrad at Berkeley in 2016.  My responses to each of your points in italic:

  • International House (I-house) is the most desirable on campus housing I guess, but it's very expensive.  The vast majority of students (grad and undergrad) do not live in campus housing.
  • North Berkeley/north of campus is the safest area within walking distance of campus I literally never felt unsafe anywhere around campus.  I'm a 6' tall male so that probably helps.  Northside is quieter than Southside.  More grad students live on Northside compared to Southside. A lot of co-ops over there too.
  • "Gourmet Ghetto" in North Berkeley is a collection of very nice and unique restaurants True but there's good food in every direction.
  • Stay away from Peoples Park You can walk by it during the day with zero issue.  You can mostly likely also walk by it at night with zero issue.  People camping out there rarely bother passersby and if they bother you it's usually just yelling...pretty harmless.
  • South of campus gets sketchy very quickly Nah.  With the exception of People's Park, Southside is fine.  Tons of undergrads live over there, there are plenty of shops and restaurants too.
  • If there are protests/riots they often start south of campus and end up in Downtown Berkeley Sure, but the protests are rarely as dramatic as the media makes them out to be.  Once I got secondhand teargassed on my way home (Southside) but honestly that's on me because I knew the protests were going on and I chose to take the shortest path home (through the protest) rather than go around.
  • Use campus shuttle/door-to-door/escort service at night, don't walk home alone at night Campus shuttle/Bear Walk are great, but certainly not necessary.  Campus and streets are well lit.  I've taken the shuttle because I'm lazy and don't want to walk.  Tons of people take it for safety and/or convenience.
  • Don't put your guard down even on campus Ok this is bonkers.  Don't be dumb, but it's not like someone is gonna come snatch your laptop out of your hands in broad daylight.  Be smart and aware of your surroundings at night, don't leave your stuff unattended, and lock your bike up very very well (U-lock for the frame and one wheel, cable for the other wheel, and probably a seat lock for good measure). Also don't go in the eucalyptus grove at night.
  • Parking is often at capacity plus parking garages have been targets for muggers so commuting isn't desirable True.  I've been in the area for 5+ years and haven't owned a car.  Don't need one (shout out to BART and AC Transit)

 

ld;dr Berkeley isn't anywhere near the level of unsafe/scary that people on the internet seem to think it is.  It's and awesome place.

I hope you (and others) find this helpful.  Also, based on your username, I'm assuming you're a M.Arch. candidate, so I might see you around.  I might be starting the Architecture MS this fall.

Go Bears.

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On 3/22/2018 at 3:23 PM, gradapp2k18 said:

 

ld;dr Berkeley isn't anywhere near the level of unsafe/scary that people on the internet seem to think it is.  It's and awesome place.

 

I hear most people that go to Berkeley are smug and overly defensive about their school since it's in an undesirable city, is this true? Oh wait nevermind you already answered.

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