Summer Adventures in Los Angeles

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 By Joseph Chan

I spent this past summer working and living at Pepperdine University, located in Malibu, California. Malibu is a beautiful location known for its famous beaches (many movies and TV shows were filmed here) and laid-back atmosphere. Although the school is located directly across the street from the ocean, Pepperdine is an acclaimed private school, highly regarded for its international programming. This summer, I worked with three other interns at Pepperdine’s Housing and Residence Life. Though my work at Pepperdine was quite fulfilling, my most memorable summer moments took place on the weekend adventures on which I went with my fellow interns. Of the many Los Angeles gems we visited, the Griffith Observatory, Point Dume Natural Preserve, and the Santa Anita Park were among my favorites.

The majestic Griffith Observatory

Located in the northern hills of Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is a must see Los Angeles landmark. I don’t know why I had never visited before.  It is mostly known for its fantastic views. My friends and I visited in the evening so, standing at the lookout points, we got to see the sun set over the city and witnessed all the Los Angeles city lights take over the darkness.  It was perfect. The interior of the building is just as stunning; it is beautifully architected and makes for fun picture opts with friends. While inside the building, I saw everything from telescopes, to a giant ticker clock, to statues, to an orbit exhibit with all the planets.

point dume
The famous rock of Point Dume, where the ending scene of the original “Planet of the Apes” was filmed.

Point Dume Natural Preserve is a hiking destination located in Malibu. I got to hike with my fellow interns on giant hills and rocks until we reached a beach that is home to many seals. AS we moved closer to the ocean, the seal scent got stronger and stronger, making it hard to overlook the fact that we were approaching their territory. Though they were so adorable, I was afraid to pet or even get too close, which was probably wise no matter how cute they were. Some other nearby folks got pretty close and were even feeding them! The day was enhanced by perfect weather (warm not not to sunny) and some late afternoon/ early evening swimming.

626 Nightmarket in Santa Anita Park.

The final destination I visited was the Santa Anita Park, where I visited the 626 Night Market. The 626 Night Market is a replication of the night markets that happen in Asia. I think they did an excellent job because I had so much fun. There were plenty of authentic Asian foods, games and prizes, dances and performances, as well as small merchandise booths for those interested in making a purchase. I got to eat so much delicious food! I had the ramen burger, the potato swirls, potted ice cream (it’s ice cream and brownie crumbs in the design of a potted plant), boba milk tea, chicken skewers, and pot stickers. The food was amazing; my wallet, on the other hand, did not have such a great time. It’s still recovering from that evening’s monetary blow. It was worth it though!

If the opportunity opens up again, I would definitely go back and relive these experiences. I like to think of Los Angeles as a very global area, with all different kinds of cultural and entertainment-related events occurring all over the place. I’m on a mission to learn about all of them and attend each one. Though summer has ended, my adventures have only begun!

Joseph is a second-year graduate student at Rossier School of Education; he is pursuing a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. He is a Los Angeles native and has a background in academic advising, counseling, tutoring, research, and assessment. In addition to being a Conversation Partner, Joseph is an English Language Program Teacher at Office of International Services, a Graduate Assistant at Gould School of Law Graduate and International Programs, and an American Culture Class Instructor with Orientation Programs. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys going on boba runs, hiking, drawing, watching spooky films, attending music festivals, and spending time with his family.