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Berkeley is synonymous with protest, activism and left wing politics. Beyond those tropes is a busy, attractive city, a blend of yuppie and hippie and student, all existing side by side with great Asia-Pacific regional restaurants, twee toy stores, Latin American groceries, high-end organic food halls and the misty green campus of the University of California, Berkeley (aka 'Cal'). It’s easy to stereotype ‘Beserkeley’ for some of its recycle-or-else PC crankiness and occasional overbearing self-righteousness. But some of that attitude is justified: at the end of the day Berkeley has, more often than not, been on the right side of environmental and political issues that have defined the rest of the nation.

Berkeley is also home to a large South Asian community, as evidenced by an abundance of sari shops on University Ave and an unusually large number of Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese restaurants.

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