Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Goodbye, California

California Research Adventure: Days 64-69

Hey, this is my 100th blog post! [Three cheers!]

Berkeley Fire Trail at dawn

Can you believe that I have "research-adventured" for seventy days in the Golden State? That's well over two months. But as I said in an earlier post, I have spent about four months away from home in 2013. I'm a traveling man. And in 2014 it won't be very much different. I don't plan to "research-adventure" anymore—that is, visit archives—but I am planning to spend time in Harlem, maybe D.C., Kansas in February, back to S.F. in March, Atlanta in April, and who knows what happens from there!

So how did I spend my last few days in Berkeley? Well, on Saturday morning I decided to wake up very early and start walking uphill—through town—through campus—up into Strawberry Canyon. There I hooked up with the fire trail(s), a set of footpaths through the hills above UC-Berkeley. I ended up hiking at least seven miles, and moving nonstop for about 3-4 hours. It felt great!

 Looking all the way to Oakland from the fire trail

View of Berkeley (and even the Golden Gate) from the fire trail
 
After a lovely hike, I then hiked myself all the way back down the hill to campus where I hooked up with the Berkeley Art Museum. The museum happens to have almost exclusively Asian art on display at the moment, which is fine by me. But I found this kind of interesting and I wonder if it is part of the mission of the museum or whether I just happened to find them in this fleeting vogue. 
Check out this museum floor plan! As you walk through, you get no real sense of being on the "first floor" or the "second floor." Rather each room is its own floor—its own space floating within a bigger space. Very strange and kind of beautiful. 
Berkeley Art Museum, built c. 1970[?]
 
I enjoyed the museum, then made my way back to the Y to rest my feet and read and relax in the glowing sunlight pouring in through my window.

The next day—Sunday—I woke to this:

video
The Berkeley Half Marathon, as seen (and heard) through my window at 8 AM!

If I knew this was going to happen, I would have sold tickets for spectators to come up to my YMCA room for the view. :)

Berkeley Half Marathoners running past my window
 
Watching all these runners motivated me to throw on my clothes and run outside, too. I ran as far as the sidewalk, at which point I discovered that all the marathoners were long gone on their journey to the finish line. My run became a walk and I moseyed down to the local coffeehouse to sip coffee and read a book. Take that, Exercise. (But, as you know, I have been faithfully attending 7 AM yoga on most days on most weeks this past month. I am definitely more fit than I have been for the past two to three years.)

After a lovely weekend, on both Monday and Tuesday I visited the library for the last time(s). I have finished my dissertation research. Yes, I can say that now. :)

Tonight I am meeting up with an old friend (it's been six years) for dinner. Tomorrow morning meeting an old friend (it's been five years). Then getting on a plane to New York City. I will arrive in the cold, rainy, messy city around midnight on Thanksgiving morning. Then I've got to take a bus upstate. Should be at my childhood home by 11 AM on Thanksgiving... also first day of Hanukkah. 

Happy holidays! and Happy travels!

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