Berkeley is perhaps California’s most misrepresented city.
It’s more than the Cal Bears and the great university for which they play.
It’s more than the student demonstrations for which the university became famous.
And it’s more than the “People’s Republic of Berkeley,” the oft-said slight to the liberal city and how it is managed.
Berkeley is a wonderful place to visit:
- for its beautiful residences, many of which are handsome examples of California Craftsman architecture;
- for its many fascinating shops, which often feature quality handcrafts and fine arts; and
- for its wealth of great restaurants, including Chez Panisse where kitchen artist Alice Waters conceived farm to fork cooking.
Though, it is in Berkeley’s gardens where bears meet beauty.
One of the state’s loveliest gardens is the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley.
Though it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, a truly “Berkeley” way to experience Black Friday, would be to protest the day’s in-your-face consumerism and make it an Orange Friday at the Botanical Garden.
Sandy Steinman, editor of Natural History Wanderings and a longtime friend and gifted observer of all things natural, sent these images taken in the Asian Section of the garden, showing it at peak.
The layered colors of crimson and gold are impressive, though it was the royal purple American beautyberry, genus callicarpa, that made us stop to look it up.
Clearly, we’re bearish on Berkeley’s beauty.
Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley