by David Hollander
On an unseasonably warm October Friday evening, I took Uber over to campus to watch Cal play the Ducks.
Before the game, I met my daughter, Claire, and some of her Alpha Phi sisters and fellow parents at Top Dog on Durant. We all gathered in line, and I started to enjoy the charge of Berkeley. Where else on the planet will people of all ethnicities, religions and socio-economic status gather to wait for a delicious 1/8th of a pound of meat on a sourdough bun?
I finally arrived at the front of the line and ordered my usual calabrese with a lemonade. The guy flipping dogs, Karl, has been there since I went to Cal in the 1980s. Karl asked me how I like it, to which I replied, “Well done.” I paid cash (he likes cash), moved over to the right and joined the crowd anxiously watching him make their pre-game meals.
The excitement doesn’t stop there. When you get your dog, the variety of mustards, relish and onions are exceptional. I like mine hot, with relish and onions.
All of us ate ours, standing outside on the curb, talking about our daughters, comparing notes on fall semester experiences thus far and savoring this time together. We then proceeded up Durant and then over to Bancroft.
We stopped by Alpha Phi on the way up to the game. Alpha Phi is located at the bottom of the steps that lead to the south entrance of the stadium. A perfect location. Again, it was nice to meet other parents and daughters in the house and enjoy some of that Go Bears! spirit.
At that point, my daughter and I walked up to the stadium and easily found our seats. I figured out that it is better to sit on the easternmost side, near the center and as close to the players as you can get. Seats are easily available online, and I typically splurge, as I deeply enjoy going to the games with my daughter. I find that I have her full attention, for the most part, and it is a great way to talk about things away from her friends. I call it dad/daughter time and so deeply appreciate it.
Oh, and we won that day!!!