This past weekend, we 5C students were treated to our first break of the year. It was a blissful chance to avoid two days of school, Monday and Tuesday, and for many students an opportunity to get out of the routine of the Claremont bubble.
A number of students live close enough to campus to return home on long weekends. I’m from Florida, though; going home wasn’t an option. So instead, I decided to go to LA with Vannessa and stay at a friend’s house to explore the urban adventures waiting right at our doorstep (give or take an hour of traffic).
Here’s just a taste of what’s on offer in the greater LA area.
SCENERY. There are a lot of famous beaches in the LA area, each with distinct reputations. We went to Santa Monica, which has a pier with theme park-style rides and food vendors and style to it. We went right at sunset, which is highly recommended – the ocean and beach looked lovely. Right after we drove up into the foothills to look out over the city at night; we went from one view to the direct opposite. From the hills, the orange lights twinkled, most of the stars were actually airplanes (10 or so at all times), and the cloud of smog hung visibly over the city. It still looked beautiful.
MUSEUMS. We stopped by the LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) which is famous for the street light arrangement at its front entrance, called “Urban Light.” Fun fact: its creator is Chris Burden, Pomona class of ’69. He also created the yellow-and-black cube outside the Pomona art museum. At the LACMA, we didn’t actually have time to go inside, but I’ll definitely be heading back. There’s also the Grammy Museum for music fans and of course, the Getty and Getty Villa.
FOOD. Since our friend, Aaron, is from LA, we got the insiders’ view of the culinary arena. We had Japanese in Sawtelle, Korean food in Koreatown (big surprise), and gourmet fast food in Culver City and Santa Monica.
Aaron also took us to this great little hole-in-the-wall ice cream parlor with all sorts of weird delicious flavors; I got lemon jasmine, but their signature flavor is Brown Brown Bread. If you’re in West LA, check out Scoops!
OTHER. Disney Concert Hall – definitely worth going to, even if only to look at the outside (which is what we did). It’s incredible looking, and up on the second level is a beautiful garden with a balcony that looks over part of the city. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills – it was fun to just walk up and down the street and look at all the boutiques for stores that you usually only see in Vogue spreads. Also, there was a Bugati parked on the street, no big deal.
And, if you wind up in LA with work to do, like we did, UCLA has great facilities (though their library doesn’t open until 1:00 on Sundays!), as does the Santa Monica Public Library!