Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

06 Nov 2002, 15:43 p.m.

The Keillor intro: Leonard assures me that I didn't flop.…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

The Keillor intro: Leonard assures me that I didn't flop. But I think most of the audience didn't know or care that I spoke in abcb iambic pentameter. Well, no one booed me, at least, and I got a few moments with the master. This was the third time I'd met him, and he still didn't remember me, but he was gracious nonetheless, just like the last two times. He turned in a quite enjoyable performance, and I'm lucky to have gone at all.

Today I discovered that Parker and College (where I now live) is much closer to the Downtown Berkeley BART station than to the Rockridge BART station, despite its clear line-of-sight to Rockridge (which sits on College). On the upside, I also discovered the nearby Elmwood post office, with almost no lines! Compare to the depressing Durant Ave. and Allston Way post offices.

I love walking on College Avenue. It's a narrow, tree-lined street with a hundred little shops, and pedestrians abound. On the other hand, driving on College is a pain, since it's two lanes wide with lots of stop signs and stoplights. Contrast: Telegraph Avenue, for most of its length, feels inhospitable to pedestrians: wide, no marked crosswalks, shops large or far between. But I don't even notice traffic, most of the time, when I have to drive it.

Instructive exception: For four blocks, just south of the campus, Telegraph loses two of its four lanes and becomes a two-lane one-way street. All of a sudden it's nicer to pedest and much more frustrating for drivers. It's as though it briefly transforms into College!

But then I add one more transit option into the mix: biking. Sadly, the very narrowness of College makes it less hospitable to bikes as well. I fear getting trapped between an open car door and a huge car when I bike College. Soon I hope to learn the little side streets so I can bike those instead.