Princeton Ly – Photography

Century City----Photo Credit:

Los Angeles has lots of cool art museums to visit, from the Hammer (literally five minutes from UCLA) to the Getty (also literally five minutes from UCLA) to the LACMA (please do more than just take pictures with the lamps) to the MOCA (the Geffen of the Geffen Contemporary location is the same Geffen of our medical school!).

But one underrated and often overlooked cultural treasure of our great city is the Annenberg Space for Photography, located just a short drive from campus in glittering Century City.

The modernistic space itself, while new, is rather small, but the curators really do make the best of it. There is typically one coordinated exhibit being shown at any given time, with pieces from both established greats and up-and-comers. The first time I went, the theme was the socially oriented “Water: Our Thirsty World“, and focused on the future of our earth’s fresh water – a very relevant topic indeed. More recently, they have been displaying photographs from their series titled “Digital Darkroom“, an exploration of photography in the digital age. The central gallery, modeled after a irising camera lens, usually shows a documentary or movie shot just for the show at hand, with artist interviews and the like.

The next exhibit looks especially promising: “Who Shot Rock & Roll” (starts June 23rd), so be sure to check it out!

Oh, and did I mention it’s free!? All the more reason to visit!

What happens when 800 Degrees meets the Hammer Museum…


Last weekend was the best weekend I’ve had so far this winter quarter!! As I finished the second midterms for all my classes, I was finally able to relax and enjoy my weekend without worrying about another round of midterms coming!! 🙂

I got a chance to visit the Hammer Museum, which is right on Westwood and Wilshire. For those of you Bruins or fellow students who have never visited Hammer Museum, you should make a trip! I went to see some of the sculpture and painting exhibitions that they had including: Alina Szapoczikow (Sculpture Undone), Carlos Bunga, Antony, and Alex Hubbard Hammer Project. I have to say that the exhibits were very different from the exhibitions that I usually attend. However, it actually ended up pretty interesting. Initially, it was hard to see what the art was portraying, however after couple minutes passed, I started to think outside the box. I started not to analyze the object with the regular “engineering” perspective of defining line and function. I just let my imagination play around, and enjoyed the art as it was.

When I visited Hammer Museum on Sunday, it was pretty quiet and empty, which was really nice. When I got to the second floor, I was able to see  the hustle and bustle of Westwood and Wiltshire; yet, it was very quiet and peaceful inside Hammer Museum. There’s even a  sitting area where you can see a great view of Westwood.

I also got a chance to try to eat at 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza right across from Hammer Museum. This pizza place is always crowded and filled with long lines whenever I drive around the area.  The line wasn’t too long when I went on Sunday (luckily!). For those of you who haven’t tried it, I would recommend it  if you’re around UCLA area. They custom-make your pizza right in front of you, and all the ingredients are fresh !! I went there with couple friends and my boyfriend. It was a very fun Sunday if I may say 🙂

All on all, it was a great, relaxing weekend! The weather was beautiful and there was a nice breeze from Santa Monica beach that helped to cool down the heat. I think I’m ready to start week 9 🙂 2 weeks left before Winter quarter ends… start the count down with me!! 🙂

Saffron Rose

Last Friday, I went for a walk with my friend Renn into Westwood to grab some ice cream. I had been to Yogurtland before, and of course I had been to Diddy Riese, so we decided to try something new.

My other friend had told me about a Persian ice cream shop a couple of blocks past Wilshire on Westwood Blvd called Saffron Rose. So, we went to go check it out. In case you are not super familiar with Westwood geography, Wilshire is the street where the Hammer Museum is located, and for UCLA students who live on campus, it’s normally falls just on the outer edge of “walking distance”.

Basically that means that the walk was a little bit more like a hike. My friend and I walked for a good twenty-five minutes, which really isn’t too bad but that Friday had Arctic temperatures accompanied by large gusts of wind (and apparently now ice cream!).

So, we strolled and I tried not to let my teeth chatter as I silently berated myself for wearing shorts (like, do you even check the weather, Charley?). We passed the other lesser ice cream shops and almost contemplated just settling for fro yo (Malibu Yogurt was sooo close to campus). But we stuck to our guns. We were determined to taste Persian ice cream.

Side note: Right as we were crossing Wilshire, we saw a car accident! Not that car accidents are good, but this one was very minor – no one was hurt. But it was sort of exciting.

After we passed Wilshire and walked those few extra blocks (which was so weird, by the way, I had never walked past Wilshire before) we came upon Saffron Rose. It was kind of a tiny place with a big sign that said “SAFFRON ROSE” (duh), and inside there were two big ice cream freezers with a bunch of really fun flavors. I sampled mango and jasmine and ended up getting cucumber and lavender. All I gotta say about Persian ice cream is ohhhh my guhhhhh it’s sooooooo goooooooood.

My cucumber ice cream had bits of real cucumber that were all frozen and delicious, and the lavender tasted like I was eating a straight-up lavender plant with, like, sweetened condensed milk poured on top of it. And to top it off (literally), they give you a wafer that you get to munch on. Yum!

The trek was totally worth it.

After, we stopped by the Hammer for a short walking break, and I guess I have not been in quite sometime because there are now ping pong tables in the upper level. So the walking break turned into a mini ping pong rally.

In short, the walk was cold, the ping pong was fun, and the ice cream was a 9.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Gloria Steinem, y’all

Ok, before I tell you about hearing the ~fab~ Gloria Steinem speak, I will give you some background about my situation both in general and immediately prior to the event.

First off, I was recently accepted as a Daily Bruin intern for the Opinion section – yay! right? Well, mostly right. Unfortunately, as a member of a serious newspaper, you cannot be affiliated with any political organizations because it would reflect a bias back on the paper as a whole (this is an issue I could talk a lot about, but you are here to read about Glo’). So, I had to quit the Bruin Feminists for Equality club, but before I quit they let me know about this HAMMER Conversations between Mona Eltahawy and Gloria Steinem. I figured that since I have not finished my Daily Bruin training and since it’s just a conversation I could attend without there being a conflict of interest.

Second off, oh no! The conversation was scheduled to begin at 2:00 on Thursday, October 13th, which was right when my Psych 10 lecture begins. Normally, I would skip the freaking lecture for Gloria freaking Steinem but no! I had a curs-ed midterm (and in the middle of third week, no less). Luckily, my midterm only had 50 multiple-choice questions, which I chose to answer in less than a half hour. As soon as finished checking my work, I literally started sprinting to the HAMMER Museum.

I ran basically the whole time (crosswalk lights permitting), and it was like 90 degrees. But I didn’t care. Gloria Steinem was talking. I was sweating. I was missing Gloria Steinem talking. Which made me sweat more. Finally, the museum was in view, and I made a quick pit stop at Pete’s to grab water while I waited for the crosswalk to change.

Of course by the time I got there all of the seats in the theater were full, but they had set up an overflow room with a screen.

Side note: the overflow room was dark – I mean c’mon, they were doing a screening – but it didn’t need to be that dark. After being outside for a good ten minutes, my pupils had shrunk to the size of a grain of sand, so entering the dark room was one of the most disorienting experiences ever. I had to feel around for my seat, which I realized later must have been hilarious for the usher to watch. After about fifteen minutes, I had adjusted to the darkness and could see fairly well. Whenever people came in, the usher would guide them with a red light, and I would break from watching the conversation to see them fumble around looking for their seat. Very funny.

Anyway, the conversation was marvelous. It is always exciting to hear intellectual discussion of any kind and the fact that it was about equality was icing on the cake! I highly recommend going to a HAMMER Conversation and just going to the HAMMER in general.

I guess I didn’t talk to much about the talk itself, but I hope you enjoyed hearing about my time getting there!

Princeton Ly – A Date with Medecos

I spent much of last week volunteering for Medecos XII, an international conference for the conservation, ecology, and biodiversity of our planet’s five mediterranean-climate ecosystems. (Can you guess what they are? Keep reading to find out!) The theme for the meeting was “Linking Science to Resource Management.”

The first day or two was filled with the obligatory checking-in and registering of the conferees. Probably around two hundred strong on any given day; they came from all over the globe and from a range of professions – resource managers, academics, advocates.

The next few days were filled with a variety of plenary sessions and smaller concurrent talks. The first interesting session I sat in on, was given by the impressively bearded publisher and author Malcolm Margolin of Heyday Books. He spoke persuasively of the link between art and science, and brought a selection of beautifully made books on Californian topics, from local history to Native American culture, for the attendees to appreciate. Following the conference, the books were all generously donated to David Kipen’s community project Libros Shmibros, currently (and temporarily!) based out of the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Read up at the link and check it out! (Puns intended.)

I had the unique pleasure of sitting in on and learning from a number of the other conferees as well. Did you know that oak trees are California’s premiere keystone species? Or that fire plays the major role in ecosystem dynamics across the Mediterranean regions? Or that scientists are practically begging for hunters to come to the Channel Islands and hunt the invasive deer and elk? Last one: Did you know that there are probably a dozen or so mountain lions patrolling the Santa Monica mountain range, just minutes from UCLA? Crazy, huh!

All in all, it was a delight, volunteering at Medecos XII. I was able to meet my own dean – the Dean of Life Sciences, Dr. Victoria Sork. I did not have to worry about cooking for an entire week – and yes, that is a big deal, dormies. I saw my views of Los Angeles, California, and the world, grow with leaps and bounds. And I got some complimentary conference swag. A week well spent, I think.

And finally, the answers to our quiz above. The five mediterranean-climate ecosystems of the world are: Europe’s Mediterranean Basin, California, Southwestern Australia, Southwestern South Africa, and Chile.

Until next week,


Featured Study Spot: Café Hammer

Although there are plenty of places to study on campus, UCLA students are very resourceful and seek out alternative good study spots in nearby Westwood, our college town.  It’s less about being bored of the ten libraries we have on campus and more about discovering nice little niches in Westwood that offer different atmospheres to choose from, depending on whether you’re crazy about coffee or a fan of museums and art galleries.  Recently I discovered that there is a cafĂ© inside the Hammer Museum (located at Westwood and Wilshire) that has a lovely atmosphere that I find extremely conducive to studying.  Located in the middle of a picturesque courtyard, the cafĂ© emulates a half-indoors, half-outdoors ambiance created by a combination of outdoors, lawn-partyish decor mixed with indoors, restaurant-style tables and chairs.  The half of the cafĂ© that is in the center of the courtyard feels like an open-air coffee house, and the half that has a roof over its head looks like a sophisticated up-and-coming bistro.

The café not only has lovely atmosphere thoughtfully supplemented by electrical outlets for you to plug your laptop in while you study, it also has a delightful array of teas to choose from.  My next step is to try the appetizers that have been recommended to me as wonderful study snacks!

I’m looking forward to going back there again soon to study.  Who knew there would be a great study spot in the midst of a museum?  Stay tuned for more study spot recommendations in and around UCLA!