Already, prefrosh and their parents are stumbling around Caltech’s campus, eating lunch and dinner with current undergraduates, touring the Houses, even visiting classes. (I think I saw one of the prefrosh in the Bi1x class this morning!)
Here’s a list of nice, nearby places to visit, for the parents and prefrosh with extra time.
Pasadena definitely has its own charm. Most of these are walkable, but Din Tai Fung and 99 Ranch require a car or public transportation.
Huntington Library: a treasure trove. Housed in an unpretentious building inside the Huntington Gardens are the original Canterbury tales, one of the first edition Gutenberg bibles, original writings from all your favorite scientists (Newton, Pasteur, Galileo, Kepler), and so many more.
Old Pasadena/Paseo: cute bakeries, yummy restaurants, shops, anda movie theater.
Europane: my favorite bakery in Pasadena, and it’s walking distance from campus! Try their egg salad sandwich, which one critic called “the best egg salad sandwich in the SoCal area.”
Din Tai Fung: a dumpling chain, rumored to have the best soup dumplings around. Watch out– the lines are very long if you hit the place on a weekend.
If you want something showier, there are some interesting places in L.A.
Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Little Ethiopia, Thai Town, etc.: delicious and new. If you’re adventurous and haven’t had Ethiopian food before, I recommend Little Ethiopia.
Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills Center: go here for pure sticker shot. The prices are ridiculous and some of the outfits are absolutely garish, but it’s fun to contemplate the life of someone who can buy and wear such expensive clothing on a regular basis.
With more time, you can even make a trip up to Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Disneyland….
This Spring Break, I went to Koreatown for the first time. Guess which one of the dishes below is pig intestines?
It’s the dish on the bottom left, the one that looks like seaweed-wrapped pork. Surprisingly, pig intestines are delicious.
Whenever I tell someone that Caltech has an undergraduate population of less than one thousand people, their first reaction is disbelief. “Really?” they exclaim. “You must know everyone! How can you get a real college experience with so few undergrads?”
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.