Now that the school year is winding down, inquiring minds want to know – what should one look to do during what is sure to be another sunny Los Angeles summer?
1) Hollywood Bowl
Just ten miles from campus is one of the coolest venues in California: the Hollywood Bowl. I have had the pleasure of experiencing several concerts there, featuring artists like Joshua Bell and John Williams (ever seen lightsabers at the symphony before?). The Los Angeles Philharmonic calls this historic site home during the summer (so did Spring Sing back in the day!), but the outdoor location also features soundtrack play-alongs (Pixar!), jazz luminaries (arranged by Herbie Hancock), and lots and lots of fireworks. So pack a picnic basket full of your favorite munchies and enjoy life like the locals at the Bowl!
This probably goes without saying, right? I mean, entire careers have been built around California’s golden shores. My personal take is that if you’re actually hoping to play in the waves, make the drive up to Malibu – the water’s a bit cleaner. Anywhere north of Pepperdine works. Places closer to UCLA like Santa Monica and Venice are great for walking around in, but trust me, the water there is more icky than you would want to know. And of course, if you have the time, some of the more southern OC and SD beaches are actually quite nice.
3) Dodger Game
Watching the sun set over the waves is a Californian privilege, but watching the same spectacle framed by the cantilevers of Chavez Ravine is pure Los Angeles. Luckily for you, the Dodgers (color-barrier-busting Jackie Robinson being the obvious UCLA connection) are doing very well this year, headlined by breakout star Matt Kemp and Koufax-ian pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Cheap seats abound (I’ve watched games against mediocre opponents for like $5), but paying a bit more for a better view is always worth it, in my opinion. And if you’re a glutton for punishment (or just a glutton), there is an All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion behind center field where for something like $25, you can get a seat along with all the Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, and soft drinks you can stomach. Yikes, good luck with that!