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Doing It Right: An LA Semester

Doing It Right: An LA Semester

Tips, tricks, and tribulations from a Cinema and Photography student's semester in Los Angeles

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Written by Colleen Cunha      Add a comment

Coffee Beans are everywhere, embrace it!

If you're in LA and you're still a little lost, here are a few comparisons to Ithaca that might make living in LA feel a bit more familiar.

LA Eats!

There are a lot of restaurants in LA, but here are a few that I've tried out that remind me of places back at school.

  • Poquito Mas = Moes. Poquito Mas is essentially a super chill Mexican place. They've got all kinds of stuff from tacos to burritos to tostadas. If you're feeling quick sit-down Mexican food, absolutely try it out.
  • Chipotle = Chipotle. For all you die-hard fans of the new Chipotle downtown in Ithaca, knock yourselves out with this exact same restaurant not even five minutes away from The Oakwoods.
  • Gala Thai = Taste of Thai. If you're looking for quick nearby delicious Thai food that can be delivered to your door, try gala thai. Their menu is straight forward and you can find them on GrubHub! It's less than 5 minutes from the apartments so it's not hard to swing in and pick food up either.
  • In 'N' Out = Five Guys. It's a fast food burger joint but it's a favorite fast food burger joint of many Californians. Although their fries are not as fantastic as those that come from Five Guys, the burgers themselves are quite fantastic. (There's also Big Boy, if you're into that)
  • Coffee Bean = Starbucks. Even though there are Starbucks around LA, you're more likely to stumble upon a Coffee Bean, and you should embrace it! The people that I've seen that work at Coffee Beans are far nicer and less pretentious than those at Starbucks (and their drink sizes are in English!)
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LA Shopping!

  • Target = Walmart. This might sound obvious, but take my advice- don't go looking for an easier place to shop than Target. It's cheap and nearby, so don't fight it, as much as you may miss Ithaca's own Walmart.
  • AMC = Cinemapolis/Regal. If you want to see a movie while you're in LA, and I'm sure you will, I recommend going to one of the many nearby AMCs. The faculty at the LA Center usually have discount passes that you can buy from them and the early shows at the theater can be as low as $6- take advantage of the cheap tickets! Go see a bunch of movies!
  • _________ = Wegmans. I'll admit it right now. Nothing in LA is as fantastic and wonderful as Wegmans- the all-encompasing grocery story/restaurant that you can tweet at and who at-replies you telling you what isle you should look in for taco seasoning. If you want something organic in LA, go Trader Joes. If you want EVERYTHING organic, go to Whole Foods. And if you want food and don't really care about how good it is for you, go to Ralph's.
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LA Campus!

  • Clubhouses = Fitness Center. Each end of the Oakwoods has a clubhouse, North or South, and inside there's a gym... but I use the term gym very loosely. There are a few machines and a couple TVs, but I recommend for exercise using the pools that are outside the clubhouses- swimming is the best form of west coast exercise.
  • Your Kitchen = Dining Hall. We have to learn to cook on your own sometime. Take advantage of living in an apartment if you've been on campus all your previous semesters! (Plus on Sunday's there is brunch in the clubhouse, so I guess that's kind of like the dining hall too.)
  • Pendleton = All The Classrooms. All the classrooms are in one place on the LA campus, which is convenient and close by. It's actually pretty nice, so enjoy it!
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  • Pendleton DVD Library = Library. Because come on, are you really going to rent books while you're in LA? Nope, you're gonna get DVDs. The center is in walking distance and has a ton of movies you can take out for a week at a time. It's one of the last physical renting places around! And it's free!
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That's all folks!  I hope that made it a bit clearer for you what it's like to live in LA after living in Ithaca for a few years. Although it's nothing alike at all, there's still a few places that bring fond memories of home (or, school I guess.)

 

Written by Colleen Cunha      Add a comment

Behind the Hollywood sign

So now you've been living in LA for a few weeks, you're taking classes and working hard at your internship--you deserve to have some fun. If, like me, you have never lived anywhere like LA before, here are some cool things you can do while you're here and have free time.

1. Go on some of the RA planned trips.

These RA planned trips are probably way cooler than the ones your RA planned at Ithaca, trust me. The RAs this semester have put together a lot of stuff, from beach day trips to people going to see The Book Of Mormon. With big groups like this you can usually get discount prices and things are always more fun with friends.

2. The teacher-planned trips aren't bad either.

The professors out here want you to have fun! During the first week almost all the ICLA students went to a taping of the sitcom Guys With Kids on a nearby lot (we were the laugh track for the first and fourth episodes!) We got to go to a The Price Is Right special Halloween taping and had reserved seats for us front and center. So you should really check those daily emails that the teachers send out for events like this!

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Ithaca College group at a The Price Is Right taping!

3. Late Night TV tapings.

Keep an eye out for free concerts and tapings for late night TV shows; they happen quite often and some big name bands perform a lot. A friend and I got to see the Avett Brothers for free when they were on Jimmy Kimmel's show. We waited in line for only about an hour and ended up in the very front row. And the best part was that it was free! No money? No problem!

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Front row at a free concert thanks to a nearby Jimmy Kimmel show taping.

4. Hiking rocks.

It really does. There are a lot of hiking trails nearby, especially in and around Griffith Park which is very close. Some friends and I drove up to the Sequoia National Forest as well. The drive was gorgeous and the hike itself wasn't half bad either. (It's a long drive but the places you drive through are breathtaking.)

5. Baseball games!

If you're a fan of sports at all, LA is a really cool city to go to a baseball game in. For less than $10 I was able to get my roommate and I tickets to see the Red Sox play against the A's. Though we were in the nosebleeds, the stadium was huge and really cool, and there were PLENTY of other Sox fans there. If baseball is your sport than I highly recommend it.

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Went to a very inexpensive Red Sox game with my roommate Lindsay Harrop! (Cinema and Photography '13)

6. Shakespeare in the park.

Also at Griffith Park is a Shakespeare in the Park group that performs quite often and presents a wide variety of Shakespeare's works. We saw A Comedy Of Errors and it was great, it doesn't cost anything, we were able to pack our dinner and have a picnic, and the actors are sincerely talented. If you like it you can go back as often as you like, it's always in the same place and if you get there early enough you can get a fantastic seat.

7. Amusement parks (duh)

Of course, you'll likely go to some amusement parts when you're here (teachers can usually get you discount tickets for these too!) Passes give you a whole two-days at the Universal Studios theme park and if you get a Six Flags ticket for the month of October you'll get to stay at the park after dark (until midnight) for "Fright Fest," where everything runs in the dark and haunted houses and mazes open up. I highly, highly recommend the October Six Flags Adventure -- it's fun, not terribly expensive if you get a pass through the school, and the only downside is that your legs might not love standing around all day... but it's worth it!

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Universal Studios tour!

 

Now if you say that you have nothing to do in LA, I'll know you're lying. There is plenty to do and the Facebook ICLA group generally has new daily invitations to comedy shows and big group events. There are a million ways to fill your time... enjoy!

 

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