Holy cow, Los Angeles traffic stinks. I suppose current and former Houstonians shouldn't bat an eye, but the drive to Isla Vista
("IV" for those in the know) differed starkly from our previous days' drives through New Mexico and Arizona. Once we got through the city, the 101 rewarded our patience.
Arriving in IV, the traffic patterns immediately alerted us to a high student to
non-student ratio. Cars yield to pedestrians -- very slow-moving, skateboard toting pedestrians. Our local guide, Alex
, explained that their neighborhood right next to the university housed not only resident students but also vacation homes on the beach, modest working class homes, and varied social backgrounds. As California real estate prices have gone through the roof the students have descended and infested the neighborhood -- with beer.
Playing in the garage at the Biko house
turned out great. Initially skeptic that a loosely organized co-op would suit our spaceship vibe, we realized all we had to do was turn up the funk a hair. More than anywhere along the tour so far, we grooved out.
After cutting the music at midnight in the residential neighborhood we took a stroll down the main drag, Del Playa. I have no doubt Girls Gone Wild
visited here at some point. The crowds of students and drunkeness reminded me of Austin's 6th Street. Except houses line the street. And it's a block off the beach. And there aren't any cars. And nobody's fighting. I think IV wins.
Our hosts Alex, TJ, Elisa, and the gang opened their home to us and made us feel welcome. I think I lost a shoe, though. If they find and extra laying around I
hope they put it to good use!