Rule of thumb with Berkeley CA is when the students get back- get the hell out of there. I havent tried arriving early like May, perhaps I should. It starts to get cold about now, like suddenly and it rains. If you are from the northeastern USA generally Cali weather that has any breeze or cold to it at all will make you feel chillled and begin to weaken you. There is something about the cold in the northeast, its crisper in the fall and it gets.cold more slowly. By winter many of us can walk around in a tshirt in the snow. There's somethng insulating about the snow, I dont know what it is. Also the contrast between true cold, inside heaters especially the healthier old fashoined metal steam or water heaters that dry the air out. Hot showers, ending in cold water so u dont get sick- all this seems to have a stimulating effect. Also the northeast is geared to remain a happy productive place through the seasons. Berkeley gets depressing and the people seem so as well when it turns cold. Its not really built for inclimate weather. If you wear flip.flops in the rain around Berkeley you are taking your life in your hands for a possible slip and fall.
If you have money this area seems really tolerant and politically aware. But the students make it difficult. One gets tired of looking at good looking young people whos whole lives are ahead of them and the UC students are not Ivy League, lets put it that way. They dont just ignore you and mind their own business like at Harvard. They are quite insecure and also seem offended by the very idea of people asking them for money.
The population here has this general guilt or pity for people like me, which we all should know by now is one of the deadliest emotions in existence.for oppressed people trying to keep.thier confidence up.
And many of the older affluent hippie types seem to turn their noses up most of all. Its all done in a very horrid upper middle sort of way. New money....something.
It might just be TIs or specific ones, like maybe they know who I am, i never know right? Due to being gas lighted.
There are cool black travelers that come through so thats not an issue. There are cool homeless in Berkeley who are ethnic. There are nice housed people like this as well, but there are also some.of the most uppity blacks I have encountered anywhere in the US in Berkeley also. And if rhey are ghetto the men are waaayyy to forward, upfront and domineering without any kind of fear of consequence. Its not the northeast. The whites are not tough ethnic types with strong Euro roots and gangs etc. Often these men mean well but its disrespectful to a northeasterner. The women are fine usually other than a strange pre occupation with race it seems. North Cali, especially Berkeley is in many ways stuck in what seems like the 1970s in Boston as far as race issues. Its kinda bizarre sometimes but at least we can understand a bit about where they are coming from.
I ran errands in a placw called Emeryville where all the blacks I met and interacted with were very nice. It felt like a place youd want to move to. They simply treated me as a human being, no tension and bs.
Telegraph is always safe, it feels like that as a traveler. But it can suck you in and it feels like it begins to stunt growth. The effect is that as a northeasterner you begin to lose force- focus. You put the gloves down too often, you get what we consider lazy.
Whites have no fight here, no Blarney, no swagger. You dont need it to survive here...and for a TI that can mean death as an activist.
You wont starve to death, you have showers morning and night, and can squat in a large variety of places.