I think we found the best Mediterranean lunch spot in LA. Dune is a small restaurant in Atwater
Village serving up delicious Mediterranean fare. It was featured multiple times on Eater LA, LA Times, and other food blogs so I decided to give it a try with my foodie friends. We ordered hummus plates with tabbouleh, falafels and fried chicken. Each of the plates comes with salad, pickles, olives and a side of pita.
I am in love with this restaurant because I was watching an interview with the owner, and he said that the restaurant doesn’t have a freezer because everything is so fresh and that is the way that Mediterranean food is supposed to be prepared. Everything is made in house, from the pita, to the hummus, to the labneh and yogurt. We all agreed that this place is top quality and that we will return to try more, especially now that they are serving brunch with traditional dishes like shakshuka and Mediterranean inspired avocado toast.
Afterwards, we decided to hit up the local farmers market. There were tons of vendors selling organic produce. This farmers market operates from 10am-2pm every Sunday. From what I can tell, it is quite popular with the locals since everyone is walking around tasting the delicious fruits, veggies, and breads, and buying bags to take home. My friend bought a bag of lavender tea. I was tempted to buy some too, but I had just stocked up on teas the week before. Farmers markets are a great way to get quality goods for a decent price all the while supporting a more sustainable food chain, so I would definitely recommend you check it out!
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.