This year, there was a superbloom in California because of all the rain we got from December to February. During spring break, three friends and I went to Anza-Borrego state park near San Diego to see the wildflowers. It’s about a 2 hour drive away from Caltech, and on the way, we saw flowers dotting the hills along the highway. Some hills were orange from all the California Poppies, while others were yellow and purple.
For R’s birthday, we went to get brunch at Zinc Cafe & Market in the LA Arts District. We had originally planned to go to BluJam Cafe in downtown LA, but there was unexpectedly a two hour wait because of the LA Marathon the next day! Thankfully we stumbled upon this place on Yelp and switched plans.
Printed Matter recently hosted an LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Little Tokyo. The fair focuses on the distribution of artists’ books, and it is free to attend. Inside, there are hundreds of booths, each with its unique kind of merchandise, including books, zines, posters, monographs, and more.
Every year, Caltech’s literary and arts magazine Totem hosts the Art of Science competition.
The Caltech Techlab gives members of the Caltech community free access to 3D printing. It is located in the Sherman Fairchild Library, and any registered user can use it when the library is open. There are currently 4 working printers that can be used for personal projects, and additional printers that can be used for school-related projects.
Caltech is starting a new Visual Culture program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and headed by the Caltech Humanities and Social Sciences Department. The program will include new courses, a postdoctoral instructor, artists-in-residence, guest lecturers, and the addition of a visual culture professor to the faculty. The first artist-in-residence is Leslie Thornton, who is an experimental filmmaker. She’ll be teaching a class on the concept of time in filmmaking next term, which seems really interesting! As part of this program, Professor Jurca took a group of 12 students to the LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We were there to specifically see the “Double Vision” exhibit, which focuses on 3D art. Many of the exhibits required special 3D glasses for viewing. There were three different types of glasses, each for different kinds of 3D art. One of them was just like the ones you get at 3D movies, and another was the classic one red lens one blue lens type. There were also exhibits that did not require you to use glasses, and others that asked you to look through other lenses like the in the photos below. You can find more about the exhibit here.
Every year, Page has their ski trip at the start of second term. We go to Mammoth Ski Resort, and spend Thursday or Friday night to Sunday morning there. Typically, we stay in the same few cabins every year, and since this is my 4th year on Page ski trip, I can recognize many of the rooms :P On the first day (Friday), I went skiing. It was a beautiful sunny day, so it was nice and warm with my ski gear on! I was initially with two more advanced skiiers, so we started with some hard blues and moved to blacks early in the day. This is a photo I took when I was too scared to go down the black, so I sat down and took a photo of the landscape instead. I eventually made it down (without falling!), but it was my second black ever, so I was pretty scared. After that, I resolved to go with a more chill ski group after lunch and just do some blues before finishing up for the day.
Ever wanted to see the famous Hollywood sign up close? Well you can! There are several hikes that lead up to the Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica Mountains, ranging from 3 to 7 miles long. Some of the hikes start at Griffith Observatory, while others start in other parts of Griffith Park.
My favorite udon place of all time is Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo. I found out about it in my freshman year, and I’ve never been disappointed! This is what the main street of Little Tokyo looks like:
There are a bunch of nice hikes in the San Gabriel mountains, just 15 minutes drive from Caltech. Over winter break, I hiked the Mt. Zion trail via Lower Winter Creek Trail (this one). The trail is 9.6 miles long and has an elevation gain of 2,100 ft, and it took us about 5 hours to hike.
Each house hosts one big party during the school year, and Page is the first to host it in November. There are four interhouses during Winter Term, and then the last three are in the Spring. This year, our theme was Club Penguin.
Last weekend, there was a holiday festival at Union Station. On the way there, we passed by a street full of small stores that seemed to sell Mexican items. I have a feeling I’ve seen it before, so I think it might always be there.
Last weekend, I went to get brunch with my friends. We went to Bird’s Nest Cafe near USC, which serves pancakes, tacos, sandwiches, omelettes, and more. I got the Sunrise Tacos pictured below, and I thought they were delicious. They usually come with avocados which would probably make them super appealing for most people, but unfortunately I’m allergic to avocados :( I would recommend coming to this place, since it’s really cute, not expensive, and quick!
Over the summer, all of the Caltech undergrads in Seattle got together to go on a weekend road trip to Vancouver. With 9 people, we booked an Airbnb and set off from Seattle on a Friday evening.
Over the past year, I’ve been regularly dog-sitting for this cute maltese-poodle mix called Rocco. He has separation anxiety, which is why he has a diaper on in the first image. When I come visit, I take off the diaper, play with him, and take him on a walk. He’s such a cute dog! He always greets me by immediately rolling over for a belly rub.
It’s the end of Rotation, and all the frosh have rotated into their new houses! As part of our house initiation, we painted Fleming’s red cannon a nice Page blue :) (with Fleming’s permission, of course). During my rotation 3 years ago, we pulled pranks like stealing Lloyd’s gong and Venerable’s couches, but nothing as big as this. Apparently the paint is washable though, so it should come off fine.
Part 2! Here we have 5 more coffee shops located in Seattle.
Get ready for a whirlwind review of Seattle’s coffee shops! Seattle is full of coffee shops everywhere, so I’ve really only been to a few, but let me comment on and recommend some of the ones I’ve been to :) Café An’clairLocated in South Lake Union. I can’t believe I don’t have photos of this one! I often went to this place to get bulgogi sandwiches for lunch. They sell really cute, yummy pastries and have unique coffee syrup flavors like orchid. They also have a good Spanish latte, but I tended to get the orchid breve since who has orchid syrup?? The Spanish latte is also a bit too cinnamon-y. I didn’t realize they charge extra for breves in Seattle, but everywhere I went, a breve was more expensive than a latte. That’s too bad since I like breves so much more than lattes :( (By the way, a breve is basically a latte but made with half and half rather than whole milk). It’s a brightly-lit, cute space, and I really liked going to this place since it was <10 min walk from work! Evoke CoffeeLocated in South Lake Union, this coffee shop is super popular on Instagram with its but first, coffee sign. It’s a relatively quiet coffee shop, and its mascot is an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy lying in the corner. Their coffee has a darker roast but is quite good.
Seattle SeaFair is a summer festival that has a bunch of events, including yacht races and more, but the main event I attended was the Blue Angels performance. The Blue Angels is the US Navy flight demonstration unit, and when they perform, they do loops, fly right past each other at speed, and other amazing aerobatics.
Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) features exhibits everything related to pop culture, from rock n’ roll to video games to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more. It is a bit expensive, with student tickets costing $23. However, if you’re staying in Seattle for the summer like me and have a local mailing address, you can sign up for a Seattle Public Library card. With this card, you have free access to select museums on certain days. Free tickets are released each day, so you need to click fast to get one you want! Tickets for the more popular museums like the MoPOP go quickly, while others like the zoo are pretty open.