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Road Trip: Cal

Posted: Thursday September 21, 2006 12:21PM; Updated: Wednesday September 27, 2006 3:12PM
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By Steffi Chan

Imagine for a second that the scenario of the movie Armageddon were to come true tomorrow and the world was in need of the very best engineers, mathematicians, physicists and architects to save the world. Cal, with its world-renowned academic programs, would undoubtedly be one of the premier providers of these rare commodities.

Cal may be known for its Nobel Laureate professors, but the students are still crazy about football, as shown here during a game against Arizona last October.
Cal may be known for its Nobel Laureate professors, but the students are still crazy about football, as shown here during a game against Arizona last October.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Now imagine that nothing could be done to prevent this disaster and the world was calling upon its citizens to cite, instead, the best place to party it up, enjoy a few days' vacation, watch a great sports team dominate -- a place where people would want to spend their last days before the end of the world. Chances are, Cal would not make the Top 10.

Cal is known for only a few things: its Nobel Laureate professors (there's a plethora), its chilly weather (most of the year, yes), its not-so-attractive female students (debatable!) and a few unmentionables (Mary J and the homeless population). But beyond the stereotypes, there are things about this institution that keep us sane and leave us with a feeling that we couldn't have had a better college experience anywhere else.

Best place to get your dance on: Blakes on Telegraph Avenue. It's frequented by students and athletes, and though the lines are usually long, the entrance fee is cheap if you go earlier in the night. Open late, drinks available, and dancing -- what more could a college student ask for?

Best place to grab a slice: Zachary's. Hands-down the best pizza place just about anywhere. Only available in Northern California, Zachary's has won numerous awards for its unique stuffed pizza. With chunky tomato sauce on top, cheeses and your choice of ingredients inside, and a two-inch-tall toasted crust on the side, you really can't go wrong with Zachary's.

Best place to watch a big game: Bear's Lair. When there's a big away game going on, students crowd into the bar/lounge to watch, drink and socialize. There's one big-screen TV in addition to a good number of other screens scattered throughout the bar, plus couches and tables for big parties. Note: If you're a Lakers fan -- or an L.A. fan of any kind -- cheering for your home team, expect to be booed. I would know.

Best place to go after a victory: Henry's. Students get pretty rowdy with the taste of both victory and alcohol in their mouths and head there in droves for dancing and celebrating. The band usually shows up, along with the cheerleaders.

Best place to spot athletes: The GBC (Golden Bear Café) on campus. There are always a good number of athletes milling inside and in front of the GBC on any given morning or afternoon, before or after practice and class. They're pretty easy to spot in their team gear -- although they might not be as easy to approach.

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