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Happy days in Berkeley
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jducoeur
[Like I said, this is a hard month. Today would have been our 25th wedding anniversary. (In the contrapositive world, we're having dinner tonight at Campania.) In memory of July 1987, I here transcribe our joint Honeymoon Diary, which I found while digging through the books last week. My writing is shown as plaintext and indented; hers is in italics. This pretty much mimics our styles in the book.

Keep in mind the era. This is before the Internet per se; considerably before the Wed; and *long* before blogs. Hence, I wasn't exactly a practiced diarist. And I tend to be much more concise in longhand.]


Waks
California
Diary

Our honeymoon
July 1987

Staying at:
Gramma's
2740 Telegraph Ave.


1st 2 nights:
A "small" room in the Carriage House. Our own micro-deck. If this is small, I can't wait to see a large one.
Good breakfast. Croissants + Muffins. & Fresh fruit.


Cozy room with fireplace surrounded by pink tile. High, queen-size bed with fluffy, flowered comforter + matching shams. Deck for two. Pine furniture. Stairs to bed! Armchair and wide table. Deck overlooks part of garden, with palm tree encrusted with ivy, apple tree, flowers.

Saw a hummingbird feeding at the gladiolas yesterday - tiny little thing, drab green, wings only a blur, oblivious to everyone staring.

Monday:

Wandered around Cambridge Berkeley (sorry). Started the day at a wonderful bookstore on Telegraph, called Moe's. Fantastic used + off-price selection. Bought about 20 books. Lunch at Kip's; good pizza. Note: it is weird, the way that you can buy liquor anywhere. You can even get hard liquor in the supermarket.


Hit all the used-book stores on Telegraph Avenue, plus some of the little antique/jewelery stores. Fabulous store selling only hats! The thing to wear here is a t-shirt, message of your choice. Fascinating contrasts on the street - mostly students, some diehard hippies (selling tie-dyed shirts to nouveau punks). Many many homeless and panhandlers.
Review:

Napa Valley Grill.
Corner of University + Shattuck in Berkeley.
They only serve grilled
(A) steak
(B) fish
(C) chicken
with your choice of 8-10 sauces.

Get the dinner; it comes with the wildest french fries I have ever seen for about four bucks.
Cheap, quick and good.

Tuesday:

San Francisco,
Chinatown + Union Square.

Took the BART for the first time - nice + easy. Remember for future that there is an unlimited monthly pass for about $23. (For comparison, Berkeley to SF is about $1.75.)

Went (walked!) to the top of Nob Hill. Puff! Went into Grace Cathedral - gorgeous traditional Gothic. Went down from there to Chinatown. Had lunch at Tung Fong (see review). Hooofed it to Union Sq. Walked up Geary to cathedral hill. St. Mary's Cathedral is stunning - the best application of modern architecture ever!


Of course, I liked Grace Cathedral. I always like Gothic. Design from the front looks like Notre Dame de Paris, as does inside, but smaller. Wow, am I out of shape. Had to stop lots on the way up Nob Hill to get my breath. Makes me feel old (or asthmatic?) to get so winded. Passed lots of status-y hotels, including the Mark Hopkins, with the doorman's nose in the air.

Cute little playground across from Grace Cath., with adorable Chinese children playing on wooden swings, ladders etc.

Surprised myself by liking St. Mary's Cathedral. I don't usually like modern. Graceful curves (parabolas, says the guidebook) up to peaked roof. Inside you look straight up + there's a golden stained glass perfect cross on the ceiling. Each arm bends down to the center of one side wall, shading as it goes, front + back to red via orange, sides to blue via green. Huge organ, the choir sits right in front of it, must be deafening.


Tuesday (cont'd):
Came back down Geary, had dessert at David deli/restaurant/hotel. Tried a cookie at Blue Chip cookies - outrageous! Soft, warm, white-chocolate chip cookies.

Took our dessert to Union Square, and watched the pigeons watch us eat. They are very aggressive, and it is against the rules to feed them.

Went shopping (drooling, actually) in I. Magnin on the square. Got tired, gave up and came back to Berkeley via The Sharper Image, near the Montgomery BART stop. Had dinner at Fred's Fondue, and collapsed.

Reviews:
Tung Fong (I think that is the name)
808 Pacific Ave, Chinatown
Lousy atmosphere, good service, great dim sum.
Lots of good food -- they practically shove it at you. Tends to treat tourists like dumb round-eyes, though.

David's Deli, restaurant, hotel.
On Geary St., near Union Sq.
All we actually had were dessert cakes, but they were top-flight, as good as any in New York. If the rest is anything like this, its great.

Reviews:
Fondue Fred's
Telegraph Ave., in Berkeley
Great idea - just fondue. They have about 15 varieties of fondue, all interesting. Their huge drinks claim to be the biggest around, and are in fact, Viz-sized. (Goblets 8" tall and 6" in dia.) Good fondue. About $20 for 2 fondues + huge drinks.

Review:
Au Coquelet:
On University Ave, Berkeley
Don't be fooled by the front; there is a restaurant back there. The front is just the lounge.

We both had "Fettucini w/ Bacon + Mushrooms" (spelled C.A.R.B.O.N.A.R.A.) One of the best Carbonara's I've ever had. Mostly, they do sandwiches at lunch, with a few specials.

Moderate ($15 for lunch + wine for two)
V. Good, from this taste

Review:
Chez Panisse

Possibly one of the best restaurants in the world. Certainly one of the more expensive. Dinner for two is $45, prix-fixe, plus wine (we paid $125, incl. tip).

Marvelous food. We had Ratatouille, Lobster Soup w/ caviar, Roast Pigeon w/ "Potato Puree" (Mashed Potatos), a bitter salad, and the most intense fruit ice cream I have ever tasted. The wildest part is, I liked it all! The pigeon tasted like meat, but was incredibly tender + moist. The Ratatouille was made from fresh zukes, intensely flavored.

Make reservations 3-4 weeks in advance.

Wednesday:
We spent the day in Berkeley. We hit a few more bookstores, including The Other Change of Hobbit and Dark Carnival, both of them very good s.f. bookstores. Lunched at Au Coquelet, which was excellent. Dinner at Chez Panisse, which was better. Cat at Change of Hobbit, the sign of a tasteful bookstore.

Thursday:
Touristed. Had lunch at Tung Fong again (what better indication of how much we like it?). Did Pier 39, much like Quincy Market, but even more touristy. Good shops, but very claustrophobic.

Also did Ghirardelli Square. Also very touristy, but had a shop called "The Nature Store", which was great. Bought a 5-pound chocolate bar.

Bought dinner at the supermarket near Gramma's, called Andronico's. Wonderful place - wish they had one at home.

Friday:
Did the Exploratorum. Took all day. Grand fun - $4 for a six-month pass to the best science amusement park I know.

Dinner at Joshu-ya, near Gramma's. Good sushi, but not always great.

Note:
There is a marvelous videotex system in the S.F. BART stations. It had neighborhoods, restaurants, + things; called Teleguide. Clearly NAPLPS based, with pretty good graphics. Useful place for videotex; we have used it several times already (Sat.)
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