Tag Archives: santa monica

Exploring Los Angeles on a Budget

By Caroline Donat

As a Trojan who is not an LA native, I have a desire to make Los Angeles “my city,” one that I love, inhabit, and know like the back of my hand. I find that I need to travel outside of the University Park area in order to really understand the dynamics of the city. It is challenging to get the feel of LA without your own car, and a longboard can only take you so far. Often, it is hard to justify exploring as it can seem like the only thing you can do is buy food or go shopping, required money that you don’t have. However, with planning, it is actually viable to get out and about while having a cheap or free adventure, no car required.

Santa Monica

Photo from Pixabay

One of the most popular Trojan weekend getaways, Santa Monica beach, pier, and Third Street Promenade can be reached in 45 minutes by the Expo Metro Line, which conveniently has a station right outside of campus. Swim and chill on the beach, take a walk down the pier to watch the sea and ride ferris wheel, and go window shopping or coffee-drinking around the Promenade. You might even get to catch a show from street performers. Better yet, if you venture out on Sundays between 4pm to 9pm., you can salsa dance in the middle of 3rd Street (between Wilshire Bl. and Arizona to dance)!

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Travel (both ways): Metro, 1.5h

Total Cost: $3.50

Continue reading Exploring Los Angeles on a Budget

Metro to the Beach!

By Zsuzsa Londe

Here is a suggestion for your Labor Day Weekend: try the new Metro Line to go to the Santa Monica Pier or the beach!  The Expo Line has a stop at the South Campus gate of USC, the Expo Park/USC station. Just walk past Tommy Trojan, continue on Trousdale Parkway to Exposition Blvd, and there take the Metro towards Santa Monica. You could be watching a beautiful sunset off the pier or from the beach within 40 minutes.

Once there, don’t miss a stroll on 3rd Street Promenade, a fun and store-filled walking street just a few blocks from the pier.

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

Here are useful resources:

The metro map/stations: http://media.metro.net/riding_metro/bus_overview/images/806_2016-0522.pdf

How to get the tickets: https://www.metro.net/riding/fares/  ($1.75 one way)

Buying graduate student tickets at USC: https://gsg.usc.edu/resources/tap-program

The Santa Monica Pier: http://santamonicapier.org/

Live webcam of the Pier: http://www.pacpark.com/the-park/live-cam/the-park/

Featured image by Christina House for the Los Angeles Times

Running Down the Coast

By Katy Durbin

Marathon running is meant for pros. But for those of us who are not pros and who house a vaguely masochistic streak, marathons can also be a good lifestyle choice. Pain aside, long distance running increases your stamina and energy and gets progressively easier the more you do it.  It’s one of the best ways to see different parts of LA in the shortest amount of time, and, in my opinion, a pretty good way to kill a Sunday.  Most importantly though, intense running sessions are great for justifying an addiction to snacks. So, of what does marathon training consist? Oh, you innocents.

Running long distance begins with a few weekly runs of 5-ish miles, and one big run every Sunday for punishment. 🙂 Generally, the Sunday runs are over 13 miles, the longest being a 22 mile stretch that starts at Dockweiler Beach, goes through Santa Monica and Venice, and loops back around to Dockweiler. This route takes approximately 4-5 hours to accomplish. So let’s talk about this one.

Photo by Chris Goldberg on Flickr

We start at a Dockweiler bathroom coated in the kind of graffiti you want to see more of, a nice inspiration for the hours ahead. For the most part, this run takes place along the beach. It’s reliable because there are water fountains along the course so you can run out of fluids without freaking out. We all bring some form of electrolyte sugar, whether in gummy, goo, or powerade form. Most don’t realize that once you break the 14 mile threshold, you risk running low on sodium and minerals, as those are also lost through sweat. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and, therefore, can be easily digested. Ingesting sugar will ensure a steady stream of energy, and reduce the risk that you will hit what is colloquially known to runners as “the wall”, or the point where your body stops burning excess calorie and instead breaks directly into your fat stores. “The wall” feels like death, so sugar is recommended.

Photo by Gerson Repreza on Unsplash

Anyway, we go up through Venice Beach, passing tents full of vendors and their wares, each offering both sub-par and over-par paintings for sale, as well as an assortment of odds and ends. Graffiti coated pillars rise from the sand; muscle-strapped men and women work out on gym-equipment; people run by with miniature parachutes strapped to their butts (I assume this is a new-fangled workout routine). Yes, yes indeed: this is my favorite beach in Southern California.

Continue reading Running Down the Coast