This East Coast Girl may or may not be converted into a West Coast Aficionado. After day 3 in this beautiful city of Burbank, California, I can confidently assess that this summer is going to be an epic one. The program through my university set us up with a killer living situation, not to mention with top spots to work for us Film, Design, PR, Marketing (etc, etc, etc) types right at our fingertips. On top of that, here we are in a beautiful city full of beautiful opportunity and a bundle of tourist attractions that you know this gal is all over. Since arriving we have taken the area by storm:
The Burbank Farmer’s Market: Can you say samples? Produce, fresh flowers, pastries, fruit, and generally a crowd of the happiest people that sunny California (or at least Burbank) has to offer. Tangerines, avocados, and sunflowers for our apartment mantle were purchased. Note to self: never, ever, ever purchase produce or fruit from anyplace other than a local market again. Also peeked into a killer used book shop with every single book regarding film, directing, acting, and producing that you could ever imagine, plus a boatload of Harry Potter and Hunger Games books (in case you were wondering).
Santa Barbara: This trip was sparked by a Jack Johnson fan email blast about his support of “Stand in the Sand,” an organization created in response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Five years later, today, the group led a protest against oil fracking spawned by the recent spill in the Pacific. Naturally, I thought the man Jack himself would be in attendance, and decided to drive up for the day with a fellow student in the program and see what was up (sadly, the man Jack was nowhere to be found). This city was the best of both worlds – sea and mountains together in the most stunning way. Not only did we march for the oil spill (What do we want? CLEAN WATER! When do we want it? NOW!), but we explored the wharf, some killer views off of the pier, and stumbled upon a young kids’ sailing competition. My favorite contestant? Eight-or-so-year-old “Gnarly Carly,” complete with labelled sailboat and life vest. Gnarly Carly had more swag and more adventurous knowledge of the seas than this chick ever will. To top off the incredible day, we jammed to Vampire Weekend’s latest album, and discovered the track “Hannah Hunt” talks about the very city we were driving away from.
” In Santa Barbara, Hannah cried and missed those freezing beaches.”
Perhaps an insignificant song lyric was made infinitely more real today. The high of being on the west coast still hasn’t worn off. Everything seems more incredible than it probably truly is. Forgive me.
Griffith Park: “Kiss Me” blasting as we made our way through the property to the overlook. Traffic from the “Led Zeppelin Experience” concert at the Greek Theater. THE SUNSET. The view of the city contrasted with the setting light behind the Hollywood sign. A true touristy, photo-op-y moment. The eight of us witnessed a short independent film being shot as we hiked up to the top of a hill near the observatory.
This city is so large, so spread out, so crowded, yet everyone seems to move at a pace much more relaxed as compared to east coast folk. I’m thinking maybe my trip to Brooklyn in the few days before flying out here makes the contrast even more obvious. Opportunity, choice, decision, responsibility are all laid out as the next two months seem like a lifetime in front of us. Classes and internships are about to begin, and we all will embark on some unfreakingreal adventures, to be frank. Truly, I am blessed to be here in this place (CALI) with the people surrounding me (Dukes) and while doing the things that I love (dance, marketing, learning, touring, traveling, observing). Here’s to an epic summer. Bring it on, City of Angels, bring it on.
West Coast Aficionado Wannabe (WCAW)