Welcome to the comfy guest bedroom in my cozy, modest 2-bedroom home in North Berkeley, a quiet, safe neighborhood. Just 5 blocks from the North Berkeley BART station, it's a great location from which to explore Berkeley and the greater bay area!
My guest bedroom is approximately 10' x 12', with hardwood floors and a very comfortable pillow-top, full-size (double) bed with flannel sheets, a down blanket, and cozy, hand-knit throw. (Other natural-fiber blankets are available during summer and for people with feather allergies upon request.) Area rugs and a radiator-style heater help make it cozy, and there's a fan for warm weather.
The room has a large table for study/work, and a bedside lamp. Upon arrival your sheets and towels will (of course!) be freshly laundered, the guest room will be aired, and I will greet you with a smile!
You are welcome to use my compact kitchen for light cooking during your stay. It has a new gas stove, a brand new large toaster/convection oven, large frig and full-size dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, dishes, pots and pans, and most kitchen tools.
In addition to the guest bedroom and the kitchen, guests have access to the bathroom, the living room and dining area. Except for the guest bedroom, all areas are shared with me and the (2) kitties.
Interaction with Guests
I interact with guests as much as they want to, assuming our schedules overlap. I usually see people in the morning and/or evening, unless they are up and out quite early or return home quite late.
This is a great neighborhood for walking, so it is easy even if you won't have a car or bike during your stay.
We are six blocks from Acme (Bread) Bakery, with Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar, a good sushi bar called Genki, and Cafe Leila, a nice neighborhood cafe with outdoor seating. There is also Casa Latina, a good taqueria and Mexican bakery, as well as a great neighborhood bar, The Albatross, within 8 blocks.
We are 12 blocks from Berkeley's upscale 4th Street shopping area (Apple Store, Crate & Barrel Outlet, Sur la Table, Books Inc, Bette's Oceanview Diner, Peet's Coffee, The Pasta Shop, several clothing boutiques, several gourmet restaurants, etc.)
We are also only a fifteen-minute walk from Monterey Market (iconic local produce market), and shopping on Hopkins St. (Roma Cafe, Magnani's Poultry, Hopkins Street Bakery, Gioia Pizza, etc.)
Trader Joe's at University and Martin Luther King is a 20 minute walk away.
There is a very small community park with benches - perfect for meditation/quiet contemplation or to enjoy a cup of coffee or a sandwich - one short block away. There is a larger city park two blocks away, with a large field for soccer or frisbee, playground equipment, tennis courts, and a restroom. You can often see rope-walkers practicing their skills here.
There are many other good restaurants close by - just ask!
My house is located five blocks from the North Berkeley BART station, one block from the stop for the 52 bus to U.C. and downtown. For those driving, we're conveniently close to Interstate 80 and 580. There's also an Enterprise Car Rental office five blocks away on Virginia and San Pablo.
Street parking is usually easy, but you are also welcome to park in my driveway on Belvedere.
The easiest way to get from the airport (SFO or Oakland) to my house is via BART. Get off at North Berkeley and walk west (downhill) on Virginia towards San Pablo Avenue.
My next-door neighbor has a medium-sized bike to rent inexpensively if you want a bike during your stay.
Other Things to Note
I grew up down the street, attended Berkeley schools, Berkeley High, and U.C Berkeley (Cal), and am very familiar with the local sights, attractions, and restaurants. Additionally, I have over 15 years of experience hosting international students through a local language school. Over the years, more than 25 students have happily spent from 1 week to 3 months in my home, and I have become good at communicating with people who don't speak a lot of English.
Cat-lovers especially welcome!
Two cats live here, one is elderly and friendly, the other is super-adorable but shy. The guest room door is always kept closed, so even those with mild cat allergies can be comfortable here.
Update early 2015: My 18.5 year-old cat gets a little confused sometimes, so he is confined to a small area of the living room.
Please remove your shoes at the door. There is a shelf just inside where you can store your shoes.
The cats are indoor only, so please keep them inside! Do not hold the doors open any longer than necessary to enter and exit. When entering, look for cats and make sure to close door promptly and completely behind you. When leaving, always look around for cats before opening the door, and close door promptly and completely behind you.
This is a smoke-free home, so please smoke outdoors only, and at least 20 feet away from doors and windows. The back garden is probably the most comfortable place, where you will find patio seating.
You are welcome to use the kitchen for light cooking during your stay, but I ask that you please clean up after yourself!
Stephanie was a great host, and the apartment was exactly as expected. I was here for a few weeks while moving to the area. There was some room for me to have food in the kitchen, I had shelving/drawers in the bedroom for my stuff, plenty of privacy. The location is pretty nice for access to BART, it's something like an 8 minute walk. It's not really a location for tourism, but is great place to stay for a little while. About a 10-15 minute walk to 3 different grocery stores, and a little longer than that to get to a bunch of different restaurants.
Oh, you should either like or be okay with cats if you stay here, since there are two of them! They're nice cats, though. Also fairly shy.
Stephanie is a great host. She makes you feel at home, knows everything about the good place to go in Berkeley. Her house is very nice, comfortable and clean. Exactly as it is describe. The neighborhood is very nice, close to the train station, very convenient.
I will definitely recommend Stephanie's home.
I spent almost a months in Stephanie's apartment. The apartment and the room are as advertised, clean sheets and towels awaiting. The bed was really comfy! Stephanie is a great host, she made me (and my boyfriend who was there at the beginning of my stay) feel at home, we had some nice conversations; she's really friendly, helpful with a lot of advices on grocery shopping and on doing things in Berkeley, and interesting to talk to in general!
I was hence very sad to leave the apartment for the only problem that I had, namely the cats. They are both very friendly, and I did not even notice to presence of the young one, but unfortunately the old one needs to live in the bathroom as it does not use the litter box any more. This was just one inconvenience I would not mind it if I stayed for a couple of days only, but since I had two months more to live here in Berkeley, I decided to relocate.
In any case, thank you, Stephanie, for a great stay and for being such a warm and helping host!
I spent a weekend with Stephanie while apartment hunting in the east bay. She gave me directions to the nearby places of interest (Trader Joe's) and a good sense of the different neighborhoods that I might be looking at in my search. It was great using her house as a waystation in my relocation to the bay area.
Thanks, Dave. I enjoyed having you.
Regarding the shower head, as you know, we are currently experiencing a drought in California. Accordingly, I have a flow-restricting shower head. That said, it needs to be checked periodically for mineral build-up, and I will do so. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I stayed at Stephanies place for 10 nights and really enjoyed it. There is enough privacy, but if you want to get to know something about the area or only chat a while, she is always there. You can feel that she enjoys having guests from all over the world and she is really curious about different habits and cultures, but never brash. Of course, it is a cat house, but that was no problem for me.
All in all I would definitely recommend this comfortable and cozy room.
Stephanie is a great host, I felt super comfortable, there was enough privacy and at the same time one can always chat with Stephanie. Yes, it is a cats place, but it is not disturbing, especially as they don't go in your room. Stephanie took me to grocery stores and I even could rent a bike from her neighbor - all in all a relaxed stay and I definiteley recommend!
I had a great experience staying at Stephanie's place for three months. Stephanie is an amazing hostess and made me immediately feel welcome at her home. The communication before and after my arrival was unproblematic and Stephanie was very accommodating if I had any needs or requests. She was very thoughtful and inclusive, always willing to point out fun things to do in the East Bay and even included me on some grocery trips. At the same time, I had enough privacy at home. So all in all, it was a very relaxed and laid back atmosphere.
The room itself was functionally equipped and cozy. I slept really well there. The house is located in a safe and quiet neighborhood. A definite plus is the proximity to the North Berkeley BART Station, from which it is very easy to reach SF and the rest of the East Bay.
I would definitely recommend staying at Stephanie's home!!! Just be aware, that there are two cats present. Even though the room itself is strictly off limits for them and the cats mostly mind their own business, you should have no problem in sharing the common space (including the bathroom) with the cats ;)
Thanks again Stephanie for a wonderful time in Berkeley!!!
I'm very friendly, outgoing and creative, and I enjoy helping my guests see and do the things they want to while they are visiting the bay area. I've lived in Berkeley since I was 2 years old and grew up down the street from where I currently live. I attended Berkeley schools, Berkeley High, and Cal, and am very familiar with the local sights, attractions, and restaurants.
Additionally, I have over 15 years of experience hosting international students through a local language school. Many guests have happily spent from 1 week to 3 months in my home, and I have become very good at communicating with people who don't speak much English.
I'm an avid reader of historical fiction and historical mysteries, a cat and dog lover, and a Berkeley foodie. Tell me what kind of food you want to eat and I can likely tell you where to go! I'm also a frequent walker, so I'm happy to share my favorite local walks and hikes.
I look forward to meeting you when you come stay with me!