A city of contrasts

Berkeley displays an immense amount of wealth. People drive expensive cars, dress well and exude an air of satisfaction and prosperity. I see lots of expensive shops, restaurants appear to be flourishing, and coffee shops on every corner do a roaring trade. I’ve been to at least 20 bookshops since I got here. Yet I also see beggars (mostly African Americans) on most main street corners. Last night I went to a talk by a vice-president from Google about the future of the media. As I walked back through the town about 9.30pm, I saw scores of vagrants. Earlier, I saw them lining up outside St Mary’s Episcopal church, which borders the university, waiting for a meal and presumably a warm place to sleep. Also saw numerous men sleeping on cardboard in shop entrances. Again, almost all African Americans. The contrast is stark.

Categories: Not home, Uncategorized

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