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about Berkeley

Berkeley is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area of northern California, United States. Its neighbor to the south is the city of Oakland, California. Its eastern border is formed by the Tilden Regional Park. Berkeley is located in Alameda County.

Berkeley geography

Berkeley is located at 37°52'18" North, 122°16'29" West (37.871775, -122.274603).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.9 km² (17.7 mi²). 27.1 km² (10.5 mi²) of it is land and 18.8 km² (7.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 40.94% water.

Berkeley history

The history of the city is inextricably linked to its university. According to the Centennial Record of the University of California, "In Founders' Rock, a group of College of California men were watching two ships standing out to sea through the Golden Gate. One of them, Frederick Billings, was reminded of the lines of Bishop Berkeley, 'westward the course of empire takes its way,' and suggested that the town and college site be named for the eighteenth-century English philosopher and poet."

The University of California first operated in Berkeley in 1872. Much of Berkeley's economy, status, and reputation has long derived from its relationship with the institution.

Both city and university have long been famed as a center of activist politics and radical social ideas. The Free Speech Movement began on the Berkeley campus, arguing for free speech on campus, despite its ownership by the Regents. Many student demonstrations against the Vietnam War occurred there in the 1960s, which American news organizations dramatically televised.

Another notable series of events that helped to solidify this popular conception of Berkeley is the repeated takeover by populists of an open lot owned by the University of California. The University has long sought to build on the lot, but the populists have demanded that the lot remain undeveloped and open as a public park. Today this lot is called People's Park and 1960s era culture and spirit still lives on Telegraph Avenue.

Due to the generally liberal to radical views of the Berkeley public, the city is sometimes mockingly referred to as the People's Republic of Berkeley.

The city's radical reputation, comfortable weather, and university atmosphere attracts large population of homeless people who often panhandle the sidewalks downtown and around Telegraph Avenue, many of whom (like many homeless) often suffer from mental illness.

In 1986 Berkeley officially became a Nuclear Free Zone after a local vote, disallowing the operation of nuclear reactors within city limits and preventing work from being done on nuclear weapons within its borders. While this can be played a major role in the development of nuclear weapons during World War II, a DOE National Laboratory still sits above the city. Signs posted at the city borders declaring its Nuclear Free Zone status are the most noticeable effect of the measure.

More recently, Berkeley has become known as a gourmet food center. Even by the standards of the Bay area it has an exceptional number of specialist food shops and restaurants, and a Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse, is regarded as the birthplace of California cuisine. Its proprietor, Alice Waters, has been called "the mother of American cooking."

Since the 1970s, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART), a metro train system, has linked Berkeley to San Francisco and the other cities of the Bay Area. Berkeley has nevertheless maintained its own character. Originally the planners of BART proposed an above-ground route through Berkeley, but Berkeley residents voted for a below-ground tunnel route instead, whose extra cost was funded by a bond issue. Consequently, BART runs entirely in a subway through Berkeley, but not in the neighboring cities of Oakland and Albany.

Humorous saying: "Three things have come out of Berkeley: LSD, BSD, and the SCA. This is no coincidence."

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Berkeley, California".

This city is also known as: Berkeley.

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