It’s probably no surprise that Caltech students like to get off campus sometimes! Some students go to the beach whenever they can, or go to concerts in LA, or go hiking or mountain biking in Altadena or the greater LA area. I don’t have a car, but I like to go off-campus to grab coffee and study in a new spot, or just go to Old Pas to shop (read: waste my Blogging paycheck). I’ve also started brewing my own coffee in my room in Page House, having finally ordered a coffee grinder, electric kettle, and pour-over cone. I think the setup is pretty good for a $30 investment and some beans from Target!
If you’re a major coffee drinker, there are a ton of options on and around campus. You can always brew your own (and some students do), but there is also free coffee in open kitchen (brewed once in the morning), and the Red Door Cafe in the center of campus, which brews coffee from Jones Coffee Roasters, which is about a mile and a half south of campus in Pasadena. If you wanted to get off campus, there areStarbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Philz Coffee each within about a 10-15 minute walk from the Houses.
If you’re willing to walk a little farther (or if you have a car!), there are amazing options in Old Pas. I love Home Brewed Bar, which serves cold brew coffee and a ton of tea options. Intelligentsia and Copa Vida are great too, and both serve amazing pastries (but if you go to Intelligentsia, go to Pie Hole next door for fruit hand pies with your coffee!).
I really like pairing my afternoon coffee with snacks, so I’ve been baking quite a bit recently as well. Two takes on pumpkin muffins (chocolate chip whole wheat pumpkin muffins, and chai-spiced oatmeal pumpkin muffins) have been two recent creations:
Classes haven’t even started yet, and I’m already making a list of places to go to get away from campus! I promise it’s not that bad here :P It’s just nice to explore the neighborhood! If you’re interested in learning more about what’s around campus in Pasadena, let me know in the comments and I can reach out to other students who might have information about hiking, museums, etc. that I don’t have!
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.
A few days ago, I wrote a blog post for recommendations of boba around Caltech. This follow up includes a far more comprehensive list of boba shops in the 626/SGV area. Now, I’ll admit that I have a rather extensive spreadsheet of boba stores and drinks that I’ve tried and enjoyed or disliked. However, I’d rather not bore everyone with a full spreadsheet, especially when it reveals just how much boba I’ve had each year. However, if I attempted to write about all of the shops I’ve tried, this post would get too long, so it’s instead compressed into a much more easily digestible format: a Tiermaker list. Obviously, this is the most sophisticated possible presentation of this information and 100% objective. Definitely tested via the scientific method and not subject to personal bias whatsoever.
In the past few years, boba or bubble tea has exploded in popularity, with stores opening up all across the country. As a very avid but picky boba drinker, this has been a blessing for me, as I’ve been able to try drinks from so many new stores. In the past four years, I’ve been able to try what might be conservatively called a fairly significant portion of boba stores in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley area (otherwise known as 626/SGV).