13 Places At Pomona That Still Take My Breath Away


  1. Wig Beach Palm Tree

    A palm tree? asks the Southern Californian, raising one bleached-blond eyebrow with an unimpressed sigh. YES. A PALM TREE. They may be the west coast equivalent of a pigeon but to a Chicagoan such as myself they are a signifier of leisure and tropical beauty. Plus, they don’t take craps on you, which pigeons are wont to do now and then.  This lil’ mama in the picture was the first thing I laid eyes on after emerging from my rental car on move-in day. My reaction from that first sighting has changed very little over the years, and can basically be summed up as: um, hell yes.
  2. The Creepier Frary Mural

    So our northernmost dining hall has these two murals. The indoor one is  infamous. It depicts an enormous naked Prometheus. Except his proportionately enormous genitalia is vaguely airbrushed out, and nobody knows how to feel about it.  So let’s move on. When you walk out of Frary’s front doors, you’re greeted by Genesis, a 1960 mural whose artist describes it as an exploration of “the evolution of form” and “the coexistence of good and evil.” I describe it as “weird yet glorious” Plus that fountain! So beautifully framed by that archway!
  3. Mudd Hammocks
    A popular naptime locale of pure tranquility. Need firmer back support? You can always repose on those slabs of rock next to the hammock. Doing so never ceases to make me feel like a sunbathing iguana.
  4. Marston Quad
    Yeah, yeah, OMG MY SKEWLS MAIN QUAD IS LYK SO PRETTY. It’s unoriginal. Deal with it. I can’t always be special! The place is usually writhing with human life, but here, as we see, it was caught in a moment of dusky solitude.
  5. Scripps Grove


    This is the part of the list where I cheat and include the other 5Cs. But guess what? When you come to Pomona, you get SUPER COOL neighbors. FYI, Scripps students are a collection diverse and totally modern ladies.  That being said, I like to imagine that, upon occasion, they don Victorian gowns and promenade down these tree-lined paths, occasionally settling beneath the branches in a pouf of petticoats to sing genteel lullabies to the tree nymphs.

    Being a nymph.
  6. This is also at Scripps.

    What’s cooler than a badass feminist graffiti wall?  Naught. Naught is cooler. It’s like the cave of Altamira, but less Paleolithic and more amazeballs.
  7. Harvey Mudd Dining Hall When you’ve ventured this far north of Pomona, you might as well eat dinner at what I believe to be the unarguable paragon of college dining: the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Common. The screens, the terrible word play, the futuristic plates…it all lends an aura of progress to the food experience.
  8. Pomona Hall Courtyard
    Mettlesome swinging
    Mettlesome swinging

    Phew, we’re back on native lands! TBH, I never made much of this little nook of campus. But sometimes, someone you like likes something and then you start liking it too, you know? My unpaid intern Aidan lives in Pomona Hall and he’s a big fan of this courtyard. Of course, he is an Albuquerque native and probably doesn’t understand what normal flowers are supposed to look like.  Not being a child of the desert, I find its native plants to be disturbingly tubular. Yet somehow this courtyard has grown on me.

  9. The Sundial

    Isn’t time an odd facet of consciousness? Why do we measure it so much? I think clocks are like little death meters and therefore super fascinating. Look at the sundial.  Look at the bench. Guys, this place is NO JOKE. I host all my auspicious engagements and discrete rendezvous at this location.
  10. Birds Eye View

    There are several places to access an awesome view of our mountainous horizon. We went to the rooftop garden of Sontag Hall and the 4th Floor of CMC’s Kravis Center. I illicitly plucked a cherry tomato and it was the best tomato I’ve ever eaten.  Thus is the nectar of forbidden fruit. So yeah, as our marketing materials say, we are a manicured East Coast gem nestled in rugged West Coast beauty. Check it.
  11. The Stacks

    Hello. Here at Pomona we are nerds, and books qualify as objects of breathtaking beauty. Nothing heightens your sense of intellectual gravity like descending into the stacks of a library. Also book smell.
  12. SkySpace A light-catching pool, pretty colors, the night sky…SkySpace is a beautiful architectural installation and also our version of the Makeout Reef in SpongeBob.
  13. The Fountain in the Academic Quad
    I actually think this fountain is most beautiful in the early morning. But after an exhausting evening of photography, we arrived at our last stop under the shroud of night. It’s not a particularly astounding or unique fountain, but it exudes an incredible calm. Unless there’s a weirdo dancing in it.

    There was a weirdo dancing in it.

    So there you have it. And here’s what I’ll say about living somewhere as beautiful as Pomona. Even in this most magical of sunlit kingdoms, you do sometimes get absorbed in the mundane and forget to be in awe. But then there’s these moments, where you’re walking around and your surroundings grab the aperture of your heart and force it wide open with a jolt. Those moments make you lose your breath, and they make it difficult for life at Pomona to be ordinary. CAN YOU TELL THAT I LOVE THIS PLACE VERY MUCH?