September 7, 2017
36 Hours in the USC Village
For the past four years, the space between Jefferson Blvd., Hoover St., and McClintock Ave. has been a construction zone. The dust has finally settled, however, and the beautiful USC Village has emerged. Though most restaurants and shops are still moving in, the space is already buzzing with Trojans and Angelenos as they take advantage of everything the combined residential and retail space has to offer. So what might you do if you had 36-hours in the USC Village?
1. AWESOME ARCHES AND INSPIRING SPIRES
The best way to start any trip is by getting a lay of the land. The USC Village is an attractive example of “collegiate Gothic” architecture, and a stroll around the Village provides lovely views. Be sure to pay tribute to Hecuba: a statue of the Trojan queen stands in the center of the piazza, extending a welcoming hand to both students and members of the community.
2. TRADE UP
It’s no surprise that the Village includes California’s favorite grocery store—Trader Joe’s! The seller of fresh produce and scrumptious snacks proudly displays murals of USC landmarks and icons on its walls. Browse the aisles and enjoy as many samples as you can…I mean an appropriate number of samples. Stock up on spicy hummus dip, salt & pepper chips, and mini brie rounds, then head out to the benches to enjoy a picnic and some people watching.
3. DORM LIFE
While those of us who aren’t students can only admire the dorms from the outside, the 2,500 lucky residents of the five new buildings get to head home to beautiful suites at the end of the day. Hang out with your roommates in your living room or grab a snack from your kitchen—if the mood strikes (a.k.a. last minute panic) use the quiet of your room to get some homework done before hitting the hay!
4. A SUPER SPECIAL STARBUCKS
The Seattle-based coffee chain is notoriously ubiquitous (there are two in the USC Village alone!) but the one off the Village’s main entrance is unique for its airy interior and the copies of the Daily Trojan you can pick up along with your Frappuccino. Because the University’s wireless is available throughout the Village, lots of folks enjoy their coffee while getting a little work done (though there’s still plenty of friendly conversation to keep the coffee shop vibe going). If you stick around long enough, you’ll witness the exodus out of the Village as students head to class.
5. STAYING CLASSY
USC Village just happens to be right across the street from a world class institution of higher education—what are the odds?! If you’re a student, you can head on over to your classes and study everything from accounting to the Middle East to writing for screen and television. If you’re not a Trojan yet, you can head over to the Admission Center to learn more about the University of Southern California!
6. KEEP ON TRUCKIN’
Though there are exciting new restaurants to try, don’t miss an opportunity to hit up one of the beloved food trucks parked around the Village. If your craving for efficiency rivals your craving for California burritos, you can text your order as you head over so it’s ready to go! Whether you’re in the mood for lo mein or an acai bowl, you can’t go wrong with this fleet of favorites.
7. TARGETED MARKETING
One of the busiest places in the USC Village is the City Target. Here you can shop for all the usual necessities plus dorm supplies and USC gear! There’s even a pharmacy if you’re not feeling so hot. The only thing this pint-sized Target is missing is the dollar spot and the compulsion to buy things you don’t need. (Revision: I bought a crock pot. It was such a good deal!!)
8. DON’T SWEAT IT
One of the most anticipated additions to USC’s campus was the new fitness center. In addition to cardio and weight lifting equipment, there are spaces for group exercise. The center offers classes in cycling, boxing, martial arts, and much more—you can even get a personal trainer! If you’re feeling the stress during finals, go ahead and book a massage!
9. BE CHOOSY
Cava, essentially the Mediterranean version of Chipotle, allows you to pick all kinds of tasty foods to combine in a bowl or wrap. Both healthy and hearty, the best part of a Cava meal (aside from the free pita on the side) is that you usually have some left over. Buy one dinner, get a midnight snack for free! Their meatballs and spicy hummus are particular favorites.
10. COMMON GROUND
During the day the multipurpose spaces host events for Trojans and locals alike; after 9 p.m., however, only students are allowed in the Village. Whether you need to work on a group project or just want to hang out with your friends, the dorms have plenty of space for collaboration and camaraderie. Head to one of the common areas to be productive and/or social! If the weather’s nice (and, let’s be real, it always is) you can hang out on one of the oasis-like patios until it’s finally time to call it a night. Don’t forget to finish off your Cava!
11. GRYFFINDOR GOURMET
The dining hall in McCarthy Honors College, modeled after the Great Hall in the Harry Potter series, serves up scrumptious food all day. Breakfast is especially nice, however, as you can enjoy your egg white and avocado crepe as morning light streams in through the stained-glass windows. Follow it with a side of bacon, then grab a piece of fruit on your way out the door. (Don’t worry, you can come back for gelato later).
12. GEAR UP
As fun as the USC Village is, there’s a great wide city out there with lots to teach you! Grab your wheels out of the expansive bike garage and head on out to that internship, exhibit, or whatever adventure calls your name. Need help figuring out what to do? The New York Times offers up some ideas for 36 Hours in Los Angeles…
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