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Fun on Campus

posted May 6, 2011, 2:08 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated May 19, 2011, 4:36 PM ]

By Andy Luu

“The Whispering Bench”

(Photos by Andy Luu) 

Located in between the Bancroft Library and the Campanile, this unique bench provides sitters with more than the usual activity of sitting down and relaxing. The Whispering Bench doesn’t exactly whisper into your ears; however, people who sit across from each other, on this semi-circle shaped bench, can clearly hear each other’s voices without having to raise them. Some say they can hear each other’s voices clearer than if they were walking right next to each other and conversing. It’s definitely worth checking out just to have a conversation with a friend in this unusual manner!

Easy tip to get to the Whispering Bench:
    1. Begin on Bancroft & Telegraph entrance of UC Berkeley.
    2. Walk straight on Sproul through Sather Gate.
    3. Once passed Sather Gate, continue straight and make a right when you see the Campanile
        on your right.
    4. Head toward the Campanile and make a left before you reach the Campanile steps.
    5. Continue straight until you see a semi-circle shaped bench. If you reach Memorial Glade,
        then you have walked too far.

“The Echo Columns” of North Gate

(Photo by Andy Luu)

For those looking for a place to show their visiting relatives or friends, look no further than North Gate. Two great pillars stand right outside of North Gate Hall. Right in the middle of these pillars lies a circle plaque in tribute to the class of 1954, and that’s exactly where the magic happens. By simply standing on top of this circle, you can hear your echo as you talk in whichever direction you choose. Feel free to shout to generate a bigger echo effect.

Easy tip to get to North Gate:
    1. Begin on Bancroft & Telegraph entrance of UC Berkeley.
    2. Head straight through Sproul and through Sather Gate.
    3. Once passed Sather Gate, continue going straight toward Memorial Glade.
    4. Once you reach Memorial Glade, continue straight toward the East Asian Library.
    5. At the base of the East Asian Library, walk up the slightly steep slope and the pillars
        should come into view.

A College Student’s Guide to the Gourmet Ghetto Part II

posted May 6, 2011, 1:36 PM by Melissa Ou

by Samantha Giordano 

(Courtesy of Love at First Bite website)

Love at First Bite
1510 Walnut Street, Suite G

A while ago I read a “hot or not” list that determined that the cupcake’s time is up. It claimed that cupcakes are passe and that we should shift our obsessions to a different cute dessert with the potential for varied flavor combinations and themes. However, I will be like one of those middle-aged men who clings to his 80's hairstyle because of Love at First Bite bakery. Hidden upstairs in a weirdly designed building that also houses Peet’s Coffee and Tea and other stores lies this quaint establishment which offers a collection of delectable, old-fashioned desserts. The bakery offers an extensive cupcake menu (all varieties can be found on the website), but only a selection of flavors are available everyday. This is not an issue though because upon my first visit to Love at First Bite, I found myself wanting to try every flavor, which would have amounted to about a dozen cupcakes for myself. Classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and red velvet are always available in addition to an assortment of less common combinations: some of my favorites are “Pretty in Pink”, which is a strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream (both made with fresh strawberries) and “PB Affair, a devil’s food chocolate cake frosted with peanut butter buttercream and topped with a Reese’s peanut buttercup. 

I have visited countless cupcake shops in recent years, including Bay Area staple Kara’s Cupcakes and a little-known bakery in New York that goes by the name of Magnolia. These cupcakes taste mass produced compared to the offerings at Love at First Bite. The cake is moist and possess a perfect level of density, while the frosting is light, fluffy and absent of the greasy luster and artificial sweetness. Special care goes into the ingredients--local when possible and of premium quality-- and the decorations are simple. All in all, the cupcakes are a perfect mix of gourmet and homemade. I think I could actually taste the love injected into each cupcake--and then I fell in love in return.

FYI: Mosey on over to the bakery’s website where you can learn how to create a custom cupcake combination made to order especially for you. 

Prices: $2.75-2.95 per cupcake *full listing of prices is available on their website*

Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday  10AM - 6PM
               Sunday                       11AM - 5PM
               Monday                       CLOSED 

The Three C’s to Check Out

posted Apr 28, 2011, 5:04 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated Apr 28, 2011, 5:33 PM ]

By Andy Luu


If you’ve not hiked up to the Big C yet, then you’re technically not a Cal student (This statement should not be taken as fact). The Big C is literally a giant “C” painted on the side of a hill. It is accessible by walking up the parking lot of the Greek Theatre. The hike is more than manageable as it should only take around 15 minutes to reach the top (starting from the Greek Theatre). It is a great place to hang out and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of Berkeley.

(Photo of the view from Big C by Andy Luu)

Recommendation: Go at night to see the whole city lit up. Bringing a flashlight is advisable but cell phone light still works. Also, go with friends. The Big C is a great spot to sit and reflect on wonderful college memories.
Location: Start up from the Greek Theatre parking lot. Walk up until you reach a flight of stairs and go up until you reach another parking lot and make a right. Go straight and you will reach
the base of the path.

CONCRETE SLIDE at Codornices Park

If you have an itch for a daytime adventure, then take a stroll to the Rose Garden and Codornices Park! By literally walking up Euclid Ave. from North Gate, you will eventually reach the Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is a great attraction in itself, especially when the flowers are in full bloom. The garden area is shaped like an amphitheatre which makes for a great view from the base of the garden.

Codornices Park, which is across the street, is where it’s at. It has everything a playground should have - swings, slides, monkey bars, a basketball court, and more. What makes the park out of the ordinary is its giant concrete slide! Just take a piece of cardboard, go up the stairs and slide down! Mind you, it is not only for children. Parents also slide down with as much fun as their children. Riding down this concrete slide is definitely a must. The ride is worth the trip by a landslide.

(Photo of Concrete Slide by Andy Luu)

Recommendation: Go during the afternoon. Be sure to catch the Rose Garden along the way.
Cardboard for sliding can be found along the park.
Location: Walk up Euclid from North Gate. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk.


Everyone’s seen it. It’s the 3rd tallest bell and clock tower in the world. It’s in all the videos, pictures, and magazines that cover Cal. However, not as many people have actually gone up the tower. It’s definitely worth going up to the observation deck.

(Photo of Campanile by Melissa Ou)

Recommendation: Go up during a sunny day 5 minutes after the hour so the hourly bell toll does not ring in your ears.
Cost: Free for Cal students, faculty, and staff. $2 for general admission (18 years and over). $1 for seniors.

Hours:  M-F 10am-3:45pm
                  Sat 10am-4:45pm
                  Sun 10am-1:30pm & 3pm-4:45pm

SUPERB Upcoming Free-Screenings

posted Apr 21, 2011, 2:21 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated Apr 21, 2011, 3:09 PM ]

by Melissa Ou

Interested in movies? How about watching movies before it releases? Did you say yes to both? Then you're in luck! SUPERBthe Student Union Program, Entertainment, and Recreation Board of UC Berkeley, have TWO upcoming free-screenings you should look into. 

What: Free-screening of the movie, Beginners
When: This Friday, April 22nd at 7:30pm
Where: Shattuck Cinemas 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA (Right next to the Berkeley Public Library) 
Why: You get to get the first look at the movie before it releases (in June 3rd) AND you get a Q&A session after the movie with the director, Mike Mills, and actor, Ewan McGregor!  

*Click the link below for more information and the TICKET to this event*

What: Free preview of the new Winnie the Pooh movie! How can you say no to Winnie the Pooh??
When: Next Wednesday, April 27th at 7:30pm
Where: Shattuck Cinemas 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA (Right next to the Berkeley Public Library) 
Why: 1. Free-screening of Disney's classic Winnie the Pooh. 2 (which won't be out until July 15th). Don't you want to see the new and improved Winnie the Pooh?  
*Click the link below for more information about the event*

Tips for the Best Free-Screening Experience:
  1. Arrive 1-1.5 hours before the doors open (which is usually 30 mins before the stated start time)
    • Please don't be one of those people that just cuts in line
    • I suggest you check out the area 2 hours beforehand to see if there is a line forming. Better safe than sorry! 
  2. Buy/bring food while you wait in line because you WILL get hungry
  3. Remember to have your ticket or Cal ID with you in order to enter the free-screening
  4. Most important tip! Make sure you have fun :) 

A College Student’s Guide to the Gourmet Ghetto Part I

posted Apr 21, 2011, 11:18 AM by Melissa Ou   [ updated May 6, 2011, 1:40 PM ]

by Samantha Giordano
Berkeley is home to a cult of pretentious foodies. Ironically, this diverse city is also populated by thousands of financially underprivileged and hungry students. Northwestern Berkeley, home to the famous and pricy restaurant Chez Panisse and the pizza shop with the cult-like following, Cheeseboard, has acquired the nickname, “The Gourmet Ghetto.” However one can travel past Hearst and still find a deliciously unique and equally affordable meal or snack.
2109 Cedar Street
This tiny French-American cafe offers delightfully satisfying cuisine seven days a week and was recently voted Best Overall Restaurant by The Daily Cal’s Best of Berkeley poll. Its menu changes every month and offers different choices for lunch and dinner. Gregoire uses only the freshest organic and locally-grown ingredients, which is practically required for a Berkeley-based establishment. Dinner is a little out of the typical college student’s budget, but April’s lunch menu ranges from $4.50 for the soup of the day to $9.45 for Catalan Farm red leaf lettuce with garlic & rosemary dressing and baked gulf shrimp. The majority of the menu consists of a variety of intriguing vegetarian and non-vegetarian sandwiches. The few that caught my eye include the scrambled egg sandwich with grilled asparagus and parmasan cheese on pantofolina, house smocked Scottish salmon with chive cream cheese on puff pastry, and (for the less adventurous) a fried buttermilk chicken filet with spicy cole slaw on a sweet roll. For only $8, my friend ordered roast beef with shallot and malt vinegar jam and aged cheddar on a sweet roll. The serving size was more than enough; she was able to take half home, in the typical student fashion, to eat later.

In addition to the main courses, there are potato options that remain on the menu every month. The crispy potato puffs are a favorite and one of Gregoire’s most popular items. Desserts with seasonal fruits are also offered. With nothing on the menu exceeding $10 and fairly quick service--one simply orders at the counter upon arrival--Gregoire is ideal for the student looking to treat their taste buds. Though there is little room to sit inside or outside of the tiny restaurant, its cute takeout boxes make toting your order around convenient. In the time it takes to order a mildly flavorful wrap at Qualcomm Cafe at noon, you can walk to Gregoire (about 15 minutes from Evans), and order a satisfying and slightly French lunch. But, be warned: the convenience, deliciousness, and ever-changing menu may lead to an addiction.
(Photo courtesy of Gregoire’s website)

Roast Beef Sandwich

(Photo by Samantha Giordano)


My Favorite Lunch Time Spots

posted Apr 12, 2011, 3:47 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated Apr 15, 2011, 4:48 PM ]

by Peggy Lien

It’s lunch time and you are standing on Sproul, and you’re kind of hungry. In front you there is Golden Bear Café, ahead of you there is Subway, but where should you go? Stop. The answer is neither. Ditch those places and break out of your lame lunch samsara! Dare to be different. You’re in Berkeley!

If you’re in the UC Berkeley campus area and you’re hungry for lunch, try these places instead:

Arinelle Pizza (2119 Shattuck Ave )

Sitting on half a strip of Shattuck and next to Bank of America, this pizza joint is the place in the area for a good thin-crust pizza fix! Even though they do also have deep dish style pizzas, I’d personally save that fix for Zachary’s. Despite the relatively limited amount of topping choices, don’t-give-a-shit customer service, and rough on the edges décor, Arinelle can definitely fill that New York style pizza void that your belly has.

Café Panini (2115 Allston Way)

Not quite a diamond in the rough since most of food around campus is not horrible, but it is definitely a hidden gem. Café Panini is a cute little place behind Jupiter, the bar/pizza restaurant on Shattuck. The cafe is also accessible from Allston Way, across the street from Gaia Apartment. At night, the café serves as a second pizza kitchen for Jupiter and by day it makes delicious sandwiches. It’s not the cheapest sandwich place on the block, but they also use things other than your atypical lettuce, tomato and mayo (they still have these though). With less than $10, you can find yourself sitting out in the sun, munching on a toasty, opened face sandwich made in a brick oven, and drinking a nice cool drink!

Café Espresso Experience (2440 Bancroft Way)

Right across from Zellerbach and student union building, this place is sort of your typical Berkeley café—mediocure coffee and drinks, small pastries, extra transaction fee on credit card purchases—but it has a side menu that is one of a kind in Berkeley. The owners are this Korean couple who sell Korean-fusion bites in addition to lattes and cookies. Their most well-known item is the bulgogi sandwich—a toasty foot long white bread sandwich with Korean BBQ meat. You really cannot go wrong with good warm white bread, juicy meat, and some token vegetables. But what I like most about this place is its other Korean dishes. Though their menu is mostly written in Korean, they have pictures on the display board! I recommend their hwe-dup-bab (huge bowl of rice, salad, spicy sashimi and even more spicy & sweet sauce on the side). If you finish the entire bowl, you shouldn't feel so guilty because you ate an entire meal of vegetables and fish!! However if you don’t or can't finish it, you have just saved money on dinner! Also, check out their dukbokki, Korean spicy rice cake, the spice-level has been approved by the authorities (aka my Korean friends); and their shaved ice (fruits, shaved ice, condensed milk and ice cream, also served in a huge bowl) is great for those hot days.  

Musical Offering Café (2430 Bancroft Way)

A few store fronts down from Café Espresso Experience, Musical Offering Café is a great spot for both intellectual pretence and a classy lunch. Okay, maybe I’m the only one who comes here periodically to feed on my imaginary cultured self, but they do have pretty decent food. Half of the café is actually a store that only sells music records and provides great classical music for the entire café; the other half is occupied by many small tables and chairs and graduate students and professors, people who look like they’re real intellectuals. The coffee is decent; however, the tea is pretty bad, possibly because they serve the loose tealeaves with its own teapot and strainer. I highly recommend Chicken Foccacia; it’s a hot chicken sandwich inside a warm Foccacia bread (duh), along with other awesome sandwich ingredients such as provolone, served with a side of greens tossed in vinaigrette. I usually go for the Today’s Special when I go there because I don’t like to eat the same thing twice and it’s usually tastier. But, be warned poor college students and poor college students who don't dare look at their bank accounts and admit that they’re poor! This place is not your cheapest sandwich place. It’s a good place to bring your parents to for lunch, but don’t come here and expect to pay your typical Subway price. But hey what can you expect? After all, they do play classical music.

Spring Fashion Forecast: From the Runways to Sproul Plaza

posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:16 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated Apr 15, 2011, 3:32 PM ]

by Samantha Giordano

Though spring in Berkeley closely resembles the summer and fall in terms of pesky overcast mornings, deceiving sunshine, and a wardrobe of carefully planned layers, a new season in a fresh year calls for new pieces to brighten up the doldrums of college fashion. So toss out winter’s oversized (and overused) cardigans and scuffed boots for
some trendy, yet classic and totally wearable, spring looks.

Bold, Vibrant Hues
Prada, Jil Sander, and Marc Jacobs are three of the many labels to showcase highlighter-esque tones in their spring shows. Head to toe color-blocked outfits inject the past couple season’s of minimalism with a breath of new life. While such a look may be too outrageous even for Berkeley, a boldly striped blouse (reminiscent of Prada) or pair of red trousers are an easy addition. If you, like myself, are slightly afraid of bright colors, a striking bracelet, sandal, or belt is equally eye-catching.


Turquoise blouse, Urban Outfitters; belt, ASOS; gold button stripe tee, red trousers and sandals, Topshop; bracelet, Madewell

The Midi
Miniskirts are everywhere when the thermometer surpasses 75 degrees and even the updated maxi skirt has gained popularity around campus. However, this season the calf-grazing midi skirt has arrived in full force. Mad Men reinstated a longer skirt into the fashion world a couple of years ago, but this spring, light, airy and sheer skirts as seen at Chloé make this potentially awkward skirt length easily wearable. These are cool, casual, versatile and thoroughly modern. However, wear with oxfords or gladiators to avoid looking like an extra from The Black Swan.


Pink skirt, H&M via Stockholm Streetstyle; beige skirt, Zara

Jeans are always in style and recently, the denim/chambray shirt has emerged from the nineties and found a place again in our wardrobes. However, this spring denim is taking a cue from the seventies. The magazines and blogs relentlessly claim that skinny jeans have had their time and that flares are back, although most of us college students, including myself, would like to debate this (what is easier to put on for a lazy, yet slightly fashionable student, than a comfy skinny jean and a ballet flat?). For the wary, a slightly flared loose jean or a boyish-fitted trouser in a light wash are chic and easy springtime pants that are much more comfortable and heat-friendly than second skin skinnies.

Chambray trousers, Madewell; Flared jeans, Topshop; Pleated denim trousers, A.P.C


posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:11 PM by Melissa Ou   [ updated Apr 15, 2011, 3:32 PM ]

by Andy Luu

Senior year can be filled with a lot of anxiety, panic, and dread. Fortunately every Friday after 4PM is a time many seniors (or anyone over 21) can unwind and de-stress with their friends at Bear Lair’s, the local pub on campus. This end of the school week event is called BEAT THE CLOCK. Here’s the gist: a pitcher of beer starts off at a designated price such as $7 beginning at 4’o clock. For each passing hour the price of the pitcher increases by $1. By the time 6’o clock rolls around a pitcher will now cost $9. Thus, you try to drink as much as you can before pitcher prices climb higher and higher; hence everyone tries to BEAT THE CLOCK.

Going to BEAT THE CLOCK should definitely be on every Cal senior’s bucket list (even if you don’t drink). Drinkers can down pitchers to their heart’s content while non-drinkers will witness the increasing stages of their friends’ intoxication. It actually provides for a great bonding. It can also rekindle old friendships. You are guaranteed to bump into an old friend or acquaintance from freshmen year days, or a former class, or a student organization. Going to BEAT THE CLOCK is definitely one of the more unique social experiences Cal has to provide.

However, one downside of BEAT THE CLOCK is the overwhelming crowdedness. It is very difficult to get seats unless you get there early. The giant crowd also entails that most conversations will be drowned out by other conversations and that the restroom lines can be ridiculously long. Nevertheless, the overwhelming crowd every Friday just speaks to the popularity of BEAT THE CLOCK as people just keep coming back despite the noise, and regardless of getting tremendously wasted with your friends before dinnertime.

LOCATION: Bear’s Lair (On Bancroft)
TIME: Fridays 4PM-1AM
PAYMENT: Cash or Credit card
TIP: Have friends save seats at 3:30PM & have your I.D. ready

UC Berkeley's Campus Guide Launches

posted Apr 3, 2011, 1:26 AM by Stephany F.   [ updated Apr 6, 2011, 11:05 AM ]

Welcome to UC Berkeley's Campus Guide! We're very excited College Gloss is launching at UC Berkeley. We'll be covering where to eat, shop, and play all around campus and in our city.

Stay tuned for more!

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