Student Blog: Living and learning in Los Angeles

July 3, 2017

By Paulo Hernandez-Farella

Los Angeles is much more than just a “City of Stars;” It is quickly becoming a hub for innovations in culture. While I have lived here my entire life, I have never had trouble finding exciting new things to do. Los Angeles is home to amazing food, artwork, outdoor activities, festivals, and anything your heart desires. The best part is that USC’s ideal location and weather make it possible to do anything you want, whenever you want.

The great outdoors

Whether you are in the mood for sightseeing or just sitting out to tan, LA has some of the best open-air hot spots. A personal favorite of mine is Santa Monica. Just a thirty-minute ride on the Expo Line from USC, Santa Monica is home to one of Los Angeles’ best beaches and piers. You can spend your evening walking along the Third Street Promenade, splurging on a new pair of shoes or getting tacos at Blue Plate Taco (which I highly recommend). But Los Angeles isn’t all beaches; it also has amazing outdoor gardens and trails. With an average of 75-degree weather all year long, it’s easy to get lost in Descanso and Huntington Garden. My all-time favorite outside trip is going to one of our many theme parks: Disneyland, California Adventure, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Six Flags, and the list goes on. Southern California is home to some of the best theme parks in the country, but the best part is that they all have great food along with the fun rides.

Art for miles

From movie premieres to museums, creativity runs rampant through the streets. I have been here 19 years, but have yet to explore every museum Los Angeles has to offer: LACMA, MOCA, The Geffen, The Getty, The Broad, The Norton Simon, The Natural History Museum, and so much more. It’s amazing that while the city stays fresh and progressive, spearheading world-wide trends in pop-culture, it can also be home to the iconic paintings of Van Gogh and Degas. Beyond fine art, Los Angeles is the nation’s entertainment capital. Across the street, the Shrine has been home to this year’s MTV Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and Lady Gaga’s newest film. USC has also helped facilitate Kaufman’s relationship with the film world; every year, we are given opportunity to attend private film premieres and live taping of the world’s best television shows. Without any doubt, dance in Los Angeles is what I love to experience the most. If you have an evening or just in the mood to get a little extra training in, studios like Millennium and No)one Art House are great resources. As if our amazing Kaufman guests weren’t enough, studios here bring in renowned teachers from Mandy Moore to Yanis Marshall to Danielle Agami. Along with amazing studios and open classes, Los Angeles attracts the world’s best companies: commercial, classical, contemporary, and fusion–it’s all here.

LA’s event list

One of the best parts of being in Los Angeles is the wide variety and large number of special events that pass through, some of which you can only experience here. Venues like the Staples Center and the Hollywood Bowl bring in icons like Adele and Beyonce every year, so you’ll never have trouble finding a concert. If you’re into sports, we have them all (and sometimes more than one team per sport)! Los Angeles is home to the Chargers, Rams, Trojans, Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and the Dodgers. From baseball to hockey, the city has the best sports games where you can spend the day filling up on famous Dodgerdogs and watch your home team slay the game.

Don’t have a car or don’t feel like leaving campus? USC brings all of these events to you! Just across the street, our very own Coliseum hosts the Trojans and the Rams. On the other side of campus, the Shrine brings in some of the best award shows and concerts on a weekly basis. On top of it all, every Wednesday USC has its very own farmer’s market on-campus in the McCarthy Quad. Come visit us! You’ll see why we all say, “West Coast, best coast.”