It's no secret: I fucking hated college. Or at least the first two years of it. I was already pretty cynical to begin with, but with each day I spent at the gorgeous, sparkly, oceanfront campus of UC Santa Barbara, I just became more and more bitter. Like Daria bitter.
It was all that sun. And surf. And sand. I was never meant to live in a beachtown. Ever.
But there I was-- awkward me, in Santa Barbara. That first year I spent on campus was miserable. My roommate was a cokehead who would stumble home at all hours of the night with some new boy she had just met at a frat party. I didn't get it. My virgin ass was so traumatized.
Yoko knows all this well-- she spent her first year at UCSB too. We would meet up and exchange mixtapes and spend a few hours over dinner commiserating about how much we loathed the place. We both had radio shows on the AM college station, KJUC (pronounced K-JUICE), where she played lots of Pavement, and dreamt of one day becoming a rapper. I wanted to be just like PJ Harvey. We were the perfect pair.
Until she got the hell out of Santa Barbara and moved up north. What can I say? She was always smarter than me.
By the second year, I wore a lot of black, swore I needed prescription glasses, and well, started to look exactly like Daria. I desperately wanted to be in New York City, but instead moved to Isla Vista, a neighborhood just outside campus, brimming with UCSB students. The area boasts something like the most alcohol consumed in the U.S. per capita, or some ridiculous statistic like that. There's this strip called Del Playa, which is a street in front of the ocean, that turned into party central on Friday nights. People would come out from all over town, from colleges all over California even, to "cruise DP", where they could duck in and out of random houses and drink freely from the kegs in the back.
My roommates would insist I go out with them on these night, but I was not havin' it. Instead, I stayed home in my bathrobe, and watched Annie Hall while sipping Tequila Sunrises. Ha! WHO AM I?? But really, Woody Allen, and Señor Cuervo (don't judge me, Paystyle), saved me that year.
I drove into Isla Vista en route from LA last week, just for kicks. A stroll down memory lane. One of the only things about Isla Vista that I have a soft spot for is the breakfast burrito from Cantina. It is one of the best in town. Let me rephrase: the best, anywhere. Rice, eggs, and potatoes. I always add in sausage, and douse it with hot sauce and their red salsa.
Isla Vista was just as I had left it, still EXACTLY the same. Kids making their way home from binge drinking the night before, doing the walk of shame. There was something so endearing and cute about them, that I regretted taking myself so seriously back then. Clearly I could have used a walk of shame, or two, of my own.
You'll never, to this day, see me in a pair of flip-flops, though. Ever!
966 Embarcadero Del Mar