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After a 4-year, 4-month hiatus, I am back in Berkeley. Robotland (a.k.a. Tokyo) was good to me, but finding myself shuffled in line at the Berkeley Bowl between one of these, and Zack de la Rocha's doppelganger on a weekly basis has got me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Not only is it great to be back under the California sun, it's specifically great to be back in Berkeley where I really feel like I can eat and buy locally.

I live five minutes away from the OG Acme Bread Company. Having access to the same fresh bread as Alice Waters within a three-block radius is phenomenal.


I went to Peet's the other day on Fourth Street in Berkeley. I had another "Oh yeah, Berkeley!" moment at Peet's, when I broke open my tea-bag package.


Okay, this isn't food, but I was equally ecstatic to find that the detergent that I picked out today at the market was based in Berkeley.



My twenties are almost over, and like clockwork, my body is ready to settle. During my time in Tokyo, I felt transient -- buying small bottles of condiments and cheap, temporary houseware. I couldn't even commit to a coffee filter holder!

But Berkeley has got me ready to commit and for the first time in my life, I've taken a giant stride into being commited - I bought my first coffee filter holder.


The lady at Coffee Conscious on Gilman Street sold me this lovely coffee filter holder made in Holland for $3, along with some amazing coffee grounds. The following picture symbolizes my full-fledged willingness to run into the arms of domestication:


I fully believe that if you break up once with a boy, you should stay away from him forever. But I never broke up with Berkeley -- I just told him to wait for me. Thanks for waiting... I am so glad I came back to you.


  • omg i can’t believe it’s been that long since both of us left for japan. blows my mind.
    we need to hang out!

    wen on

  • Hey Eric,
    Thanks for checking out Umamimart! Yes, I will never be able to shake off Tokyo – it’s a phenomenal city. I am gonna snoop around on your site now.

    yoko on

  • I lived in Japan for SIXTEEN YEARS and never shook that feeling. Eventually landed back in SF! Can totally relate.

    Nice site! I’ll be back.

    Eric Gower on

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