local

Hiking the Hollywood Sign

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.

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culture

My Favorite Udon Place (!!)

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:

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culture

Hiking Mt. Zion

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.

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culture

Dourmet Dishes

I’m trying to get consistent with meal prep this term. Busy weeknights usually find me floundering at the thought of actually cooking and resorting to the straightforward but actually somewhat time-consuming fried-egg-and-rice. Instead, I want to avoid the dilemma altogether and cook a large quantity of real food once a week. Today, the first day of winter term, I kicked off this resolution today by making seven servings of chicken curry.

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culture

RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known as the Notorious RBG, is a soft-spoken, eighty-five year old woman who stands just an inch over five feet tall. She’s a widow, grandmother, and also a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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culture

A Geology Meme a Day…

Keeps your bad grades away! (hopefully – just took the final, did not go well). Hello from Maryland! As you can probably tell, I’m a couple days behind with my blog posts. I’m currently staying with the parents of my roommate from last year while I’m at the American Geophysical Union conference in Washingotn, DC. But more on that later (they’re my new favorite people!).

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culture

Page Interhouse

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.

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culture

Union Station Holiday Festival

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.

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culture

Huntington Trip

I’m beginning to get the suspicion that every Caltech humanities class tries to find some excuse to go visit the Huntington. I’m not complaining though. I love the gardens. It gives me an excuse to get off campus and be surrounded by lush foliage like I was living in a different world. Even if only for a moment. This Huntington trip was a bit different, and sponsored by English 128, the contemporary Irish literature course I’m taking taught by Dean Gilmartin.

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research

Theme Dinner

In Blacker Hovse, we have the tradition of waited dinner - we are one of seven houses who do have this tradition. Each night, we have student waiters who serve food platters (we eat family style) and get drinks, carry messages, and do other miscellaneous errands. Although houses will let any member wait, they must be trained before they are allowed to, and are paid by Caltech Dining Services for their work.

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culture

How much food can one boy eat?

A lot. That’s the honest and unabridged answer. I went on a food tour this Sunday night with our director of student activities, Tom Mannion. Tom has made it into a few posts before so I’m not going to dawdle on that too much, but basically, he’s the best and he took us on an Asian food of SGV tour.

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research

Crow-bar None (Ge 11a Part 2)

Ok now for the FUN! Geology post. And the post where I talk a bit about the logistics of going on a 3.5-day Caltech GPS trip. The trip started on a Thursday night. I spent most of the 4-ish hour car ride working on my CS midterm. We ate in Barstow. 3/5 for the Barstow burger place, it was kinda funky. My friend Molly and I actually packed most of our food for the trip besides the planned dinners out. Lots of chunky PB&J (blueberry jelly!).

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local

Brunch and Purple Yam Tiramisu

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!

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culture

Vancouver Trip

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.

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culture

Part Time Dog Walking

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.

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culture

Welcoming New Frosh and Rock Climbing

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.

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culture

All Hallow’s Eve Alley Ordering

As a Vice President (a veep as we call them) of Blacker House (only one of three), I am a part of putting on something we moles call Alley Ordering. It’s a 1-2 hour event that we plan ahead of time, filled with fun and games. At least, we hope it’s filled with fun. This time around, it was Halloween themed. Qiao Qiao, one of our other veeps, came up with all the activities for people to do, even insisting on a turnip- and potato- carving activity - for old times sake. This is because before we started using pumpkins, all of the jack-o-lanterns used to be carved out of turnips and potatoes. With that in mind, it’s probably more apt to call our theme All Hallow’s Eve.

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culture

Coffee Shops of Seattle Part 2

Part 2! Here we have 5 more coffee shops located in Seattle.

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research

Journey Around San Francisco

Perhaps others cannot understand, but as a college convert to boba, I absolutely adore the chewy balls of tapioca. I have a very specific consistency that I like: not too soft that there’s no bite to the balls, but not too hard that I get an uncooked tapioca center. However, I would rather get squishy boba than undercooked boba. Getting that perfect goldilocks consistency is typically about cooking time - and depending on the place, it’s really hit or miss. Even my favorite places in the San Gabriel valley - which has the highest frequency of boba places ever - can sometimes disappoint. Although, take this with a grain of salt, because I will sometimes go near closing time - when it’s more likely that boba has been sitting around for longer.

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culture

We Have A Potato Cannon

When I say we, I mean Blacker. At some point in the past that I have no knowledge of, some members of Blacker decided that it would be a great idea to build a potato cannon. And it was. It’s used for shooting out many different things at high speeds. However, potatoes seem to fit the best in the canister and are both cheap and plentiful. Hence, its name was born.

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research

Twisted

Got my first ever parking ticket this week. And second. Yikes. The first was for parking in an (unmarked) street sweeping zone next to a park. The other was for parking overnight on property that I thought Caltech owned (obviously they did not). Either way that wasn’t exactly a fun start to the week.

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global

Coffee Shops of Seattle Part 1

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.

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culture

Blue Angels in the Sky

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.

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research

Museum of Pop Culture

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.

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culture

(Less Painful) Hiking!

What is crackalackin’ my dudes?! It’s yo’ boi Chandrew in the house about to spit some fresh verse regarding the freshman orientation hike I led last weekend.

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culture

Seattle Art Museum

A fifteen minute bus ride away from my workplace, the Seattle Art Museum is located in downtown Seattle. On the first Thursday of each month, the museum is free to everyone. Typically, the tickets cost $13 for students. The museum itself isn’t that big, but it’s definitely nice to walk around. There are two floors of exhibits, featuring American art, Native American, European, African, and some Asian art.

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culture

Birthdays During Rotation!

Hello dear readers (or Kristin who possibly creates the 3,000 web hits this blog gets every month herself, whichever it is). Let’s take a journey.

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culture

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park is located in southwest Seattle, close to downtown but a bit more to the west. It’s a park open to anyone, and there are huge sculptures just located along the park trail. The trail starts up pretty high above the water, but as you keep walking down past some train tracks, you can start to walk along the coast. The only thing is that when you’re trying to leave the park from the coast side, you have to be conscious about where you can cross the train tracks again. I ended up walking a lot longer than I planned to because I couldn’t find an exit!

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clubs

Hiking Snow Lake

The Snow Lake trail is a 6.4 mile with an elevation gain of 1700 ft. It’s about a hour drive east from Seattle, near the Snoqualmie Pass. Out of the 5 hikes I’ve done in the Seattle area, this one has been my favorite! I would highly recommend it.

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culture

magic - a Las Vegas Story

TLDR: my dad and I stopped in Vegas, ate too much, and got a photo with Penn and Teller (but not together).

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global

Journey Around San Francisco

The Bay Area is a ridiculously picturesque place, and few places can beat Sausalito. It’s a small town that has intense vacation vibes, with small shops, a cute Main Street, views of the bay and a lot of ritzy houses. No wonder it’s swarmed by tourists. Like San Francisco, a lot of the houses in Sausalito are built on hills, so you can definitely get a little workout just walking about.

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clubs

Journey Around San Francisco

In an old abandoned church in San Francisco, there’s a blast to the past in the form of a roller rink. The Church of 8 Wheels is an old-timey place, with pews, a DJ, an open floor, and a lot of roller skaters. They’re open only on Friday and Saturday evenings, but there are quite a few people who come to skate. There’s a large range of abilities, from those who are completely new (they rent out skates) to those who look like figure skaters in their roller skates.

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global

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

In Seattle, you can visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, where you can see coffee beans go from the unrefined bean to the roasted product to your cup! They also sell various coffee merchandise and brewing items, like kettles, v60s, and so on, along with the beans they produce. You can also buy pizza and dessert here along with your coffee!

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culture

Free Falling!

It’s always been on my bucket list to jump out of a plane. I’ve gone hiking and submitted mountains before, but I’ve always wanted to go higher and see more. So, last weekend, when one of my friends asked around for an adventurous few to go skydiving with him, I put my hand up and decided to go.

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global

Three-Ingredient Peanut-Butter Cookies

I’m usually suspicious of recipes with click-bait titles like this one. “Simple” and “easy” and “N-ingredient” baked goods have been around longer than click-bait itself, masquerading as genuine homemade desserts in my grandmother’s cookbooks and on Betty Crocker’s website today. Consisting of ingredients as authentically American as cake mix + pudding + oreos + jello + whipped cream, these recipes seem like they’d be as shockingly sweet as they are simple.

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culture

Fun at the Allen Institute

At the Allen Institute this summer, there are 16 science interns and 2 admin (HR and finance) interns! There are several who either go to UW or are local, but there’s also a decent number of people who are from outside of state. I’ve met people from Cornell, NYU, Reed, and Columbia.

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culture

Uber Eats Food Festival

Uber Eats sponsored a food festival in the South Lake Union district of Seattle last week. There were tons and tons of food trucks lining both sides of the street, and the whole thing was about 4-5 blocks long. I went with two Pageboys to the food festival, and we happened to run into two other people from Caltech while we were there!

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global

Watching the Perseid Meteor Trickle

It was 10pm on a Sunday night, and as I’d been lazing around all afternoon, I decided to drive up to a nature park to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. I pulled into the empty parking lot and gingerly stepped out into the dark. Leaves fluttered in the breeze, birds chirped, and tiny footsteps crinkled dead leaves on the ground. Not going to lie, the footsteps part freaked me out a bit. But if there were coyotes, I’d see glowing eyes, right? While I stood next to my car, asking myself if this was a good idea after all, a bright flash streaked across the sky. Wow, maybe the 60 meteors/hr rate I’d seen online wasn’t an exaggeration after all. I regained some confidence, set up my camera and tripod to try to catch a photo of one, and waited. An hour later, I’d only seen one more (and missed it with my camera), and it was getting cloudy, so I went home.

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global

Gas Works Park

Gas Works park is located on the north shore of Lake Union in Seattle. In the park, you can see the remains of the only remaining coal gasification plant in the United States. The plant operated from 1906 to 1956, and it became a public park in 1975.

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global

Toulouse Petit Kitchen

Before my boyfriend left Seattle, we decided to go to a nice restaurant to get seafood, which Seattle is known for. We went to Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge, a cajun/creole restaurant in the Queen Anne district of Seattle.

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research

Boeing Museum and Factory

When my parents visited Seattle, we also went to the Future of Flight Aviation Museum and Boeing Tour! Included in the $25 ticket is a 1.5 hr guided tour of the Boeing factory, where all the planes are constructed, and admission to the Future of Flight Museum. When we arrived, there happened to be a free tour of the museum portion just about to start, so we got to listen in on the tour and learn more in depth about all the planes and exhibits there.

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global

Hiking Poo Poo Point

Poo Poo Point is located to the east of Seattle. It’s a relatively steep but short hike – it’s 3.8 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1760 ft. This hike is accessible via public transportation using the Trailhead Direct shuttle, and it took about an hour and a half to get here from my apartment next to UW. It’s really nice that these buses exist! It make it so much more convenient to go hiking :)

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Spotlight


academics

My Trip to the Galapagos!

It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.

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culture

Caltech Food Tour

Caltech may be a small campus, but it has a large variety of food options. There are three main dining locations on campus — The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Hameetman Center (which houses our beloved Red Door Cafe), and the Broad Café.

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academics

Some Late-Night Stress-Saving Food Runs

Midterms kept up its unrelenting attack on my sanity this week – at least a little bit. And how did I solve this? Two words.

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culture

Caltech Art Gala

Every year, Caltech’s literary and arts magazine Totem hosts the Art of Science competition.

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global local culture

Quick Trip to the Beach

Although there are a lot of smaller things, such as midterm smoothies and milkshakes (Blacker does something similar to this) and some larger things like Faculty Dessert Night, the soc team usually agrees that beach trip is the most work.

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