Berkeley Revisited

United States' flag
North America » United States » California
October 5th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
Edit Blog Post

Well, I'm back here after spending the summer at my apartment in Paris (with side trips to Marseilles and the Calanques, county Dorset on the south coast of England, London, and oAmsterdam) . On the way back to California, I stopped off for a week in Boston and NYC. You'll see some photos of my stays in those wonderful cities, as well as of the San Francisco Bay Area and my activities here in Berkeley. My "home" until December 15 is an apartment 5 blocks from the south entrance of the UC campus. Last year when I was here, I was about 9 blocks from the NORTH entrance of the campus, so I am discovering a new neighborhood this year. Lots of students around in off-campus housing and lots of churches on my street (Dana Street).
What is a typical week like for me here? Well, here goes: Monday, I go to 2 classes at Stagebridge in Oakland (see for a description of this wonderful senior arts organization that goes into the community--senior homes, Oakland schools and museums, etc.): beginning acting and playwriting. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I go to my tennis class with the Berkeley Recreation Department. Tuesday afternoon I've volunteered to provide English conversation for graduate students and spouses at the YWCA. Thursday morning, it's back to Stagebridge for an intermediate storytelling class, followed by a mime class. Friday mornings I play tennis with some gals I know, and every other week is one of the two bookclubs I belong to.In addition, once a month, I attend a memoir-writing class on Tuesday afternoons. And in the late evenings I often attend talks or booksignings on or off the UC campus or go to the theater in Berkeley or San Francisco. VERY busy, as you can tell!
I do miss my sons and baby granddaughter, though. As some of you already know, Elea was born in a town outside Paris on July 24th. Being a proud grandmother, I'm posting a few photos of her and my son and daughter-in-law on this blog entry. SO PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO PAGE 2 to see them!
Retirement has, of course, been treating me well. For the past two years, I've been able to rent my apartment in Paris for several months and to divide my time between Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area. It's been fun and rewarding, but I must
Elea, 2 1/2 months, with SebastienElea, 2 1/2 months, with SebastienElea, 2 1/2 months, with Sebastien

(this is a "preview" of the photos at the end of this blog entry!)
admit I tend to suffer from "culture shock" and "reverse culture shock" the first few weeks I come or return to either place. In fact, I'm writing an article about this entitled "Chez Moi?", which you'll soon be able to find at or on my website at
That's all for now folks! I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to reply to this message or to the email address you have for me. Bye!

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 23


Lake Merritt, OaklandLake Merritt, Oakland
Lake Merritt, Oakland

This is where I come for a picnic lunch during my classes at Stagebridge. Oakland has some very nice parts to it.
special birthday treatspecial birthday treat
special birthday treat

a massage and facial at the Bellissima Spa, given by son Sebastien, daughter-in-law Aurela, son Marc and Marlene.
HK and ThanHK and Than
HK and Than

my masseuse at Bellissima Spa
concert in the squareconcert in the square
concert in the square

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by "MTT" (Michael Tilson Thomas), gave a free noontime concert across from the Ferry Building the day of my birthday
Aida at the AT&T BallparkAida at the AT&T Ballpark
Aida at the AT&T Ballpark

32,000 people watching a "simulcast" of a live performance at the San Francisco Opera
birthday dinner at Tadich Grillbirthday dinner at Tadich Grill
birthday dinner at Tadich Grill

Hk with Tom before going to AT&T Ballpark for Aida Simulcast
UC Berkeley singing groupUC Berkeley singing group
UC Berkeley singing group

men's group during day of free artistic performances on campus
weekend in the Sierrasweekend in the Sierras
weekend in the Sierras

driving around Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side
weekend in the Sierrasweekend in the Sierras
weekend in the Sierras

HK hiking at Squaw Valley
Joan BaezJoan Baez
Joan Baez

at bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park
Central Park, NYCCentral Park, NYC
Central Park, NYC

My friend Lana lent me her studio apartment, which is only 2 blocks away from Central Park, for 5 days. I had a great time going to the Met,sightseeing, visiting friends and family, etc. while there. But boy was it hot (about 95° F)
nephew Tyler with Lindsaynephew Tyler with Lindsay
nephew Tyler with Lindsay

They made me a great dinner on the deck of their apartment in Brooklyn.
NY harborNY harbor
NY harbor

taken from the ferry that took me out to Governor's Island
breakfast in the East Villagebreakfast in the East Village
breakfast in the East Village

with my cousin Helena, her husband Peter (they're on the right), and their friend Rudi
Charles River, BostonCharles River, Boston
Charles River, Boston

My friend Pam, with whom I was staying and who lives in the Back Bay part of Boston, took me out for a sail. Unfortunately, though, there was hardly any wind that day, and we had to paddle back to shore.

7th October 2010

Lucky one!
When are you coming back from this long and lovely trip? You spend so much time in the U.S. that you might some day end up as... an Americ
7th October 2010

keep the emails coming
Hilary, Good to hear about your numerous activities. Your time is filled with interesting activities. You are one busy lady!!! What you didn't mention is your social life. Is Tom Mr. Wonderful these days?? Any chance that you'll be in Chicago as you move from place to place? Keep me in the loop. Nothing much new here. My pleasure at the moment is in what my grandchildren are doing, ie: grad school at the U of Michigan (Peter) and Teach America (Leslie) and studying electrical engineering (Ariel) at the Hebrew Univ. The world is their oyster. Stay well and happy. Best, Betty
7th October 2010

I am in oakland too
Hi Hillary, lives can take so many paths. I am in Oakland, exchanging my property in Georgetown for a property in California. I leave for Wash.d.c. on Oct 18th. I am unable to return to France as I have some problems with walking and climbing. Will go to Buenos Aires for medical tourism. Phone number 415 310 4834
7th October 2010

I loved your photos
Your grandchild is a cutie. It was fun seeing the Bay Area Tourist photos. You do have a busy schedule--wore me out reading it. See you next week
8th October 2010

Thanks for the news Hilary...busy busy busy as usual, but you are right to take advantage of retirement! Sorry to have missed you when you were in Paris - we were working on our house extention, which has been almost finished for 2 months now (can you hear my teeth grinding?!) but we have a beautiful new bathroom which (almost) makes up for no vacation this year... bises, Martha
9th October 2010

reply from a uufp friend
You are indeed very busy Hilary. I am sure you are enjoying life to the fullest. Your granddaughter looks wonderful. Perhaps a future member of the fellowship? :-) We are all gearing up for the retreat in Alsace at the end of the month. It should be great: we have nearly 140 people signed up. My father died in July at nearly 91 but it was fairly quick and painless. Now sadly our best friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer in London. And I am starting to have signs of age-related weaknesses. Lucky to have Claire to rescue me when I need it. Hugs, Peter

Tot: 0.186s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 8; qc: 45; dbt: 0.071s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb