There is no other place in the world about which I have so many mixed feelings as Berkeley. I spent my most miserable teenage summers here, but it is an undeniably quirky and fun town. I can almost enjoy it now; with its innumerable coffee shops and cute boys; its lovely tree-lined streets and the best bread in the world. My dad's place is cozy and there is a tiny waterfall outside the door to my room.
I've been driving around in a rented car, doing my work thing and I've had such a flood of memories, I can't tell you. The time 16-year-old Jamy drove Grandpa and Aunt Sylvie back to San Francisco after dinner in Berkeley, slightly buzzed on the wine I was allowed to drink at dinner. My Italian step-cousin and super-duper crush was in the car too and he drove us back to Berkeley realizing that we'd erred in giving me the wheel
The first solo longish distance car drive I ever made, from Berkeley to Sonoma, with Wham!'s "Freedom" screaming on the stereo.
The grate across the street from Dad's house where my best-boyfriend ever flatted the tire on my car.
Searching, ultimately successfully, for the Esprit warehouse in SF's industrial district with my best friend from Knoxville.
Going to the movies, in South San Francisco, with an ex-boyfriend, who I still loved.
Then, yesterday, I decided to drive to Haight-Asbury on my way to a meeting and I got lost in SF. That is crazy. Just the night before, Dad said, "You have the best sense of direction, short of GPS, of anyone I've ever known." I don't do lost. Not in San Francisco. I once calculated that I spent a total of a year of my life in San Francisco/Berkeley, what with all the summers, vacations, etc. Yet, I got all turned around, off track and ended up seeing residential parts of the city that I'd never visited before. And, without stopping and only glances at a schematic map, I did, indeed find my way to the Haight, parking and free (weak) wifi. Then it was off to a meeting in San Mateo County.
And, now it's off again.
Grateful for: Berkeley (who knew?).
PS Yesterday, I ran 10min non-stop. Today, 12 min. I'm pretty damn impressed with myself.