More expensive than the $125 Huffy at WalMart, you make up for it in the quality of the product and the service.
The folks at Missing Link are concerned with making you the most effective rider you can be. Not certain which bike is appropriate for you? The staff at Missing Link made several bike suggestions than let me take them out on ten-minute test drives around the neighborhood. After the sale, I got a year of free adjustments, for brakes, seat position, etc. to make sure that the bike was properly fitted to me and that I would be comfortable on the bike. Missing Link offers free classes on topics such as brake adjustment, bike selection and how to change a flat tire.
Ill buy my next bike at Missing Link, too.
PROS: great service, adjustments with purchase, classes
Four floors of books. Some new and discounted books are on the lower floors, but just about everything else is used. Fiction (and most non-fiction) is half the cover price; if you can find an early printing, you can get some titles for just pennies! For those seeking rare antique books, on the top floor is Moes Antiquarian Shop, where books are kept behind glass and out of reach of my very meager pocketbook
If you have books to get rid of, Moes will give you cash or store credit. What was collecting dust on your bookshelf yesterday could be someone elses treasure tomorrow. Because of the constant inflow and outflow of books, the staff cant really tell you if a particular title is in stock, so you wont get the intimate, escort-you-to-the-bookshelf service you might receive in some other stores. But if youre looking for a book on a particular topic, the front desk staff can effectively suggest related subject areas that you should look in. If you cant find your title of choice, you can usually find a related book on the same subject thatll meet your needs.
PROS: four floors of books in variety of subject areas
CONS: distant & curt staff, hard to find specific titles
Wow! Codys is a great non-corporate bookstore. Yes, Codys does a couple of author events per week, and they offer a number of hard-to-find magazines, and yes they have journals & gifts & calendars & bookmarks and all the other paraphernalia, but the strength of Codys is their selection of new books. Generally, if its a current print, you can find it at Codys (if you cant find it, theyll be happy to order it for you).
Books spread across two floors of retail space. Fiction, literate, social studies, games & sports, local travel, art & photo books, cookbooks and more. It seems that every subject area under the sun has its own little section at Codys.
Then there is the sidewalk atrium with a broad selection of magazines, both mainstream and focused-interest. If what youre looking for are fashion or lifestlye magazines, Barnes & Noble will easily fill your needs. If you have broader interests, come to Codys. In addition to the mainstream mags, at Codys youll also find social critique, various hobby magazines, LBGT, & alternative culture magazines, as well as foreign language magazines. A small selection of comics and zines are also carried at Codys.
For those that are looking for a bargain, on the second floor, Codys offers its discount and remaindered books (as well as hosting author readings and events). Although I havent attended any of them myself (not my interest), Codys offers frequent author reading & events, a few every week, drawing some big-name authors. Over the last couple of years, theyve hosted Neil Gaiman and Bill Clinton.
PROS: hard-to-find magazines, author readings & events
Just across the street from Moes and Codys, a book browsing trek to Telegraph Avenue isnt complete without browsing the shelves at Shakespeare & Co. This little corner shop offers a cool haven from the bustle that is Telegraph,
Walking in from the bustle that is Telegraph Avenue, you are greeted by the cashier and a table of more recent selections. Childrens books in a back alcove, games & sports about midway back, English & sociology against a side wall, and many fiction titles near the cashier, the bookshelves are shelved by subject area and set on floor to overhead shelves, Ive spent many an hour just flipping through the various books available.
Mostly used books, with a some discount new, the prices at Shakespeare & Co offer a definite bargain. The owners constantly buy and sell books, so you never know what you might find on the shelf. Of course, that also means that if youve a specific book in mind, you might not find it on the shelf at Shakespeare & Co (well, maybe not on THIS visit); try again in a couple of weeks.
PROS: A variety of used fiction & non-fiction; surprising finds on the shelf
CONS: might not find a specific title
With few exceptions, Eastwind doesnt stock mainstream recent book printings, choosing to focus on the works of current Asian American writers. Eastwind Books of Berkeley is a niche bookstore, concentrating on Asian and Asian-American subject books and magazines.
Those wanting to learn about the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and more, Eastwind carries a number of titles about various aspects Asian language, culture, cuisine, tradition and heritage. Those wanting to learn about the Asian experience in America will find a number of books, ranging from histories of the Asian immigrant experience, to contemporary works about the development of contemporary Asian-American social and political identity.
This is not a general bookstore; the focus at Eastwind is Asian & Asian-American culture. All products sold here, whether they are books, magazines, CDs, t-shirts or anything else, reflect that theme. If youre looking for Asian or Asian-American culture, Eastwind is the place to go. If not, youre needs would be best served elsewhere.
PROS: variety of titles within the topic area
Comic Relief offers a place if relief for those tired of the mega bookstore. Now located in a larger retail space around the corner on Shattuck Ave, Comic Relief still has the same variety of comics & graphic novels and the pleasant & knowledgeable staff.
Interior decor looks a little bit 'rougher', with not so much spit and polish, but the aisles are wide and space plentiful for you to browse your selections. The staff is helpful and will assist you in finding your selection, but are more than happy to allow you to browse the shelves. Comic Relief carries superhero comics and fiction/literature titles, plus the associated paraphernalia (t-shirts, posters, autographed items, etc.). New issues are on panal racks for easy display and perusing, with back issues in easily accessible shelves and rack.
PROS: A breadth of selections, extremely friendly staff
Across the street from the Berkeley campus, at midday Julies Healthy Caf is heavily populated by students and staff seeking a healthier alternative to the typical burgers and fries fare. With sandwich options, fruit & healthier pastries and a variety of Asian entries, many people either enjoy the shaded patio seating, or get their lunch on the go.
The lunch fare is a bit more expensive than the norm, but also a good value for the dollar.
PROS: cheap $3 breakfast deal, hot food for a good price
IB Hoagies offer a basic menu of hot meat in a hoagie bun with toppings (from the classic Philly Cheesesteak, BBQ-steak, Pepperoni-steak, Corned Beef Ruben, and so forth) and burgers. The meal can be rounded out with cheesy curly fries, onion rings and a fountain soda.
The menue is not only simple, but eminently tasty and good. The sides deliver a large-sized helping in exchanged for what I think is also a large-sized price. But then, the reason to eat at IB Hoagies is for the hot sandwiches, not the sides.
PROS: Cheesesteaks & hot hoagies
CONS: side order prices
More than just a place to grab a beer, the Starry Plough also offers a band, show or dance every night, from poetry slam, to open mic, to local bands, an Irish dance with lessons.
The bar offers domestic and foreign brews, as well as wines, ciders and sodas. While I greatly enjoy the Guinness conconctions available, I think the non-alcoholic drink selection limited and overpriced. The kitchen is open until ten and offers pizzas, burgers and dinner entrees hot and made to order. While the food is entirely palatable, it is nothing remarkable and I think it overpriced for the quality
The Starry Plough is a place you go to for the atmosphere and entertainment, not for the food and brew.
PROS: nightly entertainment events
Not a pizzeria, La Vals (Durant) is a sports bar that also serves a lot of pizzas.
The pizzas are of a thin-to-medium crust variety (contrast to the thick crust pizza of Blondies or Fat Slice), with a basic assortment of toppings to produce a completely unremarkable product.
The large dining room offers an abundance of seating in a dim room with multiple projection-screen TVs, so that you can cheer your team as you eat your pizza and drink your beer. For those not wanting to watch the game, pool tables and a variety of video games are available. This isnt really a place to carry on a conversation (the background noise will have you yelling into others ears), nor necessarily a place where youd bring your family.
The bathrooms.arent necessarily clean, but they are functional.
PROS: mediocre pizza
CONS: dark & noisy main room, dirty bathrooms