Of course I was pretty geeked like any other Bruin to see my school represented with some quality real estate on the front page of SI.com – and even more ecstatic to have one of the campus’ finer specimen doing the representing no less. Unfortunately, all that excitement came to a crashing halt as soon as I saw the by line. SI on Campus had a Trojan write the Road Trip review of the UCLA campus???
Why don’t we just have Woody Hayes deliver Tom Brady’s introduction to the Michigan Athletics Hall of Fame, or better yet, let George Steinbrenner throw out the first pitch on Opening Day in Fenway. No offense guys, because you do a great job over there, but WTF were you thinking have a USC Trojan write the campus review for UCLA?
At least the writer does get something right:
“Even the staunchest Trojan will begrudgingly tell you that the best college neighborhood in Los Angeles is in Westwood, not in South Central, as they hop into their cars and drive into enemy territory by the droves on the weekends.”
OK, so he does have that part correct, and he does OK in his review, but if you really want the inside scoop to Bruin life, shouldn’t you get it from someone who actually went there? I think so, so here ya go:
Best place to go after 2am: If you can handle the steep prices, Jerry’s Famous Deli is the place to be for the star-gazing and late-night studying. Come on, my roomies and I ran into Kordell Stewart who was in town for a taping of BDSSP, nuff said.
Best spot for the munchies: The place we affectionately call Buck 50s (aka Roll In) because not long ago it was a buck fifty for a hoagie. Now, it’s still a kick-ass deal, a sweet ass sub, some killer fries, and a drink for under 5 bucks. In ‘N Out Burger right next door also rules since it’s a West Coast treat. Diddy Riese is the spot for dessert.
One thing you need to know: The beach is only 15 minutes away, so just head west on Sunset Blvd til you run into the Pacific Ocean. Great to hang out, skip class, or get some studying done in a serene environment.
Best spot for music: Whiskey-A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd where many legendary bands got their local start, and where many aspiring college bands perform. If you prefer diggin through the crates, it doesn’t get better than Amoeba in Hollywood.
Best way to get around: Must have a car! Find the person on your dorm floor with one and become their best friend or get a job working for parking enforcement so you can get a parking pass. Little known secret: calling cabs after late nights at the bar is great – you can split it with 4 or 5 friends and have it take you from one side of campus to the other – not bad for a buck.
Best place to get tickets: Central Ticket Office (CTO) just behind Pauley Pavilion on campus. Little known secret: They also have discounted tickets to local movie theaters and amusement parks such as Disneyland.
Best place to soak up Bruin tradition: Morgan Center & Pauley Pavilion. Pauley has the banners hangin in the rafters, an intimidating presence.
Best spot for pregame: Maloney’s (now O’Hara’s) for basketball, fraternity beer buses for football. Many people forget Bruins don’t do a lot of tailgaiting because the Rose Bowl’s in Pasadena, a good hour away with game-day traffic. Best way to go pregame is to get sloshed on a beerbus bellowing Greek chants.
Best spot to get your hoop on: Wooden Center is pretty bad-ass, lots of studs and alums in the NBA swing by. Don’t forget about the dorm games going off behind the Sunset Village units – they may be played on converted tennis courts, but the competition is staunch. If you were lucky, you could’ve seen past youngsters like Jordan Farmar practicing his free throws til all hours on these courts.
Best rite of passage: Inverted fountain/Perverted shmountain. Without question the Undie Run which takes place the Wednesday of finals week every quarter. It’s the one day the majority of UCLA students actually let-go of all the rigors and pressures of academia, and put a full-on Isla Vista type show in Westwood. The spectacle is glorious; hundreds of 1500 and 4.0 geniuses dressed in their skivvies masquerading through campus. Every student has to participate in at-least one Undie Run before graduation.
Hope you enjoyed the Road Trip to UCLA courtesy of an actual Bruin!