Category Archives: New Experience

Witnessing the American Landscape through my Car Window

By Amber Heldreth-Miller

The United States is a large country in terms of physical size. Many countries throughout the world, especially in Europe, are small and you can drive from one side to another in a single day–but not America. Not only is it physically large, but there are many different cultures, ways of living, and people scattered across the land.

The summer before last, I drove cross country from the West Coast to the East Coast, an experience that gave me the opportunity to see the vast change in landscape throughout the country, visit small towns and large cities, and really see the country that I live in. It was a long drive that I did in five days, so I did not have much time to explore each place that I visited, but I got a glimpse of the country through my car window.

We started in Arizona where it is hot–hotter than LA most days–and where saguaros (tall green cacti) sprinkle the desert with their beauty. From there, we drove east towards New Mexico and then headed north to the city of Santa Fe. It was crazy how even this relatively small distance took us from a view of saguaros as far as the eye could see to their sudden disappearance as the land became more rocky. When we reached Santa Fe it was like being in a whole new world–even though we were technically still in the desert, we were now viewing evergreen covered mountains instead of cactus country. We then drove east again on small little roads that felt like we were in the middle of nowhere (that is how many of the roads in the middle of the country made me feel.)

We drove through northern Texas, where it was flat dirt and farms, and then into Oklahoma, where more flat dirt made way to flat grass. Then, all of a sudden, small hills and trees started to appear and, for the rest of the trip, there were big trees lining all the roads. In Oklahoma, we passed through many Indian Nations, which is another example of different cultures that make up this melting pot of the US.

East we drove on, through Arkansas and Tennessee. Since we were on the highway and we were not driving through towns–we were surrounded by wilderness for most of the way. Trees and trees filled my vision in the car.

My favorite part of the entire trip was driving from Tennessee to North Carolina through the beautiful Smoky Mountains, a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. We literally drove through the mountains, with the road winding back and forth surrounded by the beauty of nature. We stopped in Ashville for the night, which is a beautiful, hilly, artistic town in North Carolina. I ate the most amazing shrimp and grits I have ever had in my life–actually it was the first time I have ever had it–but it is a specialty of many southern states. I highly recommend it!

We continued our journey through West Virginia and through Maryland and then Washington DC. For most of the country, there was wilderness surrounding the area. As soon as we drove to Washington DC, and through Delaware and New Jersey–the roads became much more crowded with cars and the trees and, just like that, the wilderness gave way to houses and supermarkets. New Jersey is the state in the US with the most population density, a fact made apparent from just driving through it.

Even though I was not able to spend a lot of time in each city that I passed through, driving across the country was an incredible experience where I was able to see all the terrain and diversity that the US has.

Amber is from southern Arizona but she spent the last year and a half in upstate New York. Even though Amber is from the desert, she loves the ocean and hopes to one day live on the beach. She is studying environmental science and hopes to minor in the dramatic arts, as she is interested in creating films, especially for social change. Amber love cats, eating food, swimming, sleeping and laying in the grass and staring at the clouds. She loves traveling and exploring the world– so far, she has traveled to Costa Rica, Canada, and all over Europe.

Architecture Guide to Los Angeles

By Yume Nishi

As an architecture student, I love exploring Los Angeles and all the various landmarks it has to offer! Here are a few of my favorites:

yume-banner-architecture

Griffith Observatory: Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is a must see, especially at night. They offer telescopes for star-gazing in the evening, or you can enjoy the view of the Hollywood sign during the day. You may have to park below and walk uphill, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

Walt Disney Concert Hall: Perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in all of Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, by Frank Gehry, is one you can’t miss. Take advantage of their free tour, or go enjoy a night of philharmonic music. Fun fact: there are hidden fish all throughout the design scheme; try and find them during your visit. Also, be sure to check out the Broad Museum next door while you are here!

Getty Museum: You’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Los Angeles at the Getty Museum, located in mountains above Sherman Oaks. The limestone architecture, designed by Richard Meier, can be enjoyed on a beautiful sunny day, and you can have a nice picnic on their grounds. Head inside for an eclectic collection of art, like the Iris by Van Gogh. Admission is free but parking is $15 (or $10 after 3pm).

Bradbury Building: This one is a hidden gem and a quick stop on Broadway! You’ve seen it in the movies Blade Runner and (500) Days of Summer. You’ll be transported back to the late 1800’s, surrounded by ornate iron work, marble staircases, and caged elevators. Walk across the street and grab a bite at the Grand Central Market afterwards. There is an amazing variety of cultural foods but my favorite is a breakfast joint called Eggslut (yum!).

Happy Exploring!

Yume is a USC graduate from the School of Architecture. She was born in Japan and moved to the U.S. when she was 5 years old, and has lived in Orange County, CA since. Yume studied abroad in Barcelona and enjoyed learning about the cultures and languages of the various countries she traveled to during her weekends. In her free time, she loves to explore new places, cook (or attempt to!), hang out with friends and family, and cheer on the USC Trojans at football games.

626 Night Market

By Bryan Lee

Here in SoCal, we hold the largest Asian-themed night market in the U.S, the 626 Market! For those of you who are unfamiliar with night markets, these immersive events contain numerous vendors that serve a assortment of food, with our very own numbering upwards of 250 vendors! From traditional asian street food to fusion-styled treats that are familiar to the Angeleno palette. Not only that, the 626 Market offers local vendors outside of food, like various art and entertainment. The locations change too, with markets popping up in Arcadia, K-Town, Orange County, and more!  

If you’ve come from Taiwan, you’ll feel right at home here, and even if you haven’t, you’ll be able to experience and enjoy something completely new and exciting! This is a place to eat a lot of amazing food, to immerse yourself in traditional Asian culture, to learn more about local businesses and artists, and ultimately to have a great time. The night market has a lot to offer and is definitely a great place to visit with your friends or family!

Corn on the cob
BBQ Chicken Skewers
Fried Octopus Balls

Here is the website to check out locations, as well as the dates that each location is hosting 626: http://www.626nightmarket.com/

 

Bryan Lee is a senior in the animation program at USC! He was born and raised in Southern California so he knows a lot about the culture and lifestyle here on the west coast. Bryan enjoys a lot of things like Italian food, music/concerts, and all types of movies and tv shows. As an animator, his favorite hobbies are to draw and just to talk about art, however, he also enjoys a lot of hiking, basketball, and many other kinds of sports. Bryan also has had experience as a Taekwondo instructor and referee, an art teacher, and working at the 626 Night market near here in Arcadia.