Westwood Village and UCLA
The Westwood Village neighbourhood of West Los Angeles hosts the University of California at Los Angeles,
one of the largest universities in the United States.
As you can imagine, both university and high school age students throng Westwood Village at night, especially on weekends. This is a fun place to hang out any evening, with lots of clubs, pubs, and less expensive restaurants.
Westwood is considered to be a reasonably safe, uplifting, and vibrant urban environment.
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A good base for your Los Angeles visit
Westwood Village, with its proximity to Santa Monica Beach, Venice, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, also makes a good base for you Los Angeles visit. Although you'll have a hard time finding true budget accommodation, you may be able to rent a room in one of the fraternities on Gayley Avenue (on the west side of the UCLA campus) during the summer term.
Hotwire.com offers significant discounts on hotels in the Westwood area, which also includes Bel Air, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.
A leading entertainment centre
Westwood Boulevard, both north and south of Wilshire Boulevard, has become one of the leading entertainment centres of Los Angeles. The main strip runs from Santa Monica Boulevard, south and east of Wilshire, to the UCLA campus.
Due to the decay of Hollywood, Westwood Village became the primary venue of first run films in southern California. The fine and venerable Village Theatre, near the UCLA entrance, often hosted premieres in recent years.
The Westwood Village, Century City, Mann's Chinese Multiplex, and Universal City (next to Universal Studios) theatres are great places to upgrade your cinema viewing experience, if you have grown tried of the Octoplex 30's with their screens as large as Apple Newton's and their sound systems made in hell.
If you are
in Westwood Village during the day, you may wish to explore the large UCLA campus,
but it is not nearly as pleasant as it used to be.
UCLA once had a spacious garden campus, which was a joy to attend or visit. Since the postwar baby boom, however, often charmless high rise conglomerations typified by the monolithic and ghastly UCLA Medical Center dominate the campus.
Actually, in fairness, the UCLA Medical Center is one of the finest hospitals in the U.S., especially admired for cardiovascular surgery. Who can be mad at a hospital affiliated with the UCLA Medical School whose former adjunct professor Norman Cousins prescribed exposure to comedy as one of the best therapeutic modalities of all?
"Ultimately, it is the physician's respect for the human soul that determines the worth of his science." — Norman Cousins
Moreover, notwithstanding the appearance of its modern construction from outside of the university, "once you actually get on campus and walk through the sculpture garden (which was voted the #1 place in the nation to kiss by Playboy magazine), or look over Janss steps, or take a walk past Royce Hall at night," as Bryan Dutton, a UCLA student, pointed out, "you start to appreciate the beauty of the campus."
These are fair comments. The central campus core retains much charm, as commercial filmmakers can attest, and UCLA remains a great place and (for such a large school) a friendly place to attend university.
Westwood Village, too, has changed, as it has grown.
Not long ago, the village
was a collection of charming one and two storey Mediterranean-style
retail and professional complexes, frequently built around flower-filled
outdoor garden courtyards in the Spanish tradition.
The real estate explosion of Los Angeles changed that.
However, "The Village" still remains a great place to hang out.
To reach Westwood Village from Century City and Beverly Hills, take Wilshire Boulevard toward the ocean.
When done in Westwood Village, continue on Wilshire Boulevard to its end in Santa Monica.
Enjoy the views of Santa Monica Beach from Palisades Park at Wilshire and Ocean Boulevard and from the Santa Monica Pier.
For more L.A. at night:
Go to >> L.A. at night
Go to >> Canter's Deli
Go to >> Hollywood Boulevard
Go to >> The Sunset Strip
Go to >> Beverly Hills
Go to >> Century City
For additional L.A. information:
Go to >> Introduction to your visit
Go to >> Off the beaten track L.A.
Go to >> Disneyland
Go to >> Links to the most useful
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