The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Column – Stuck in the Isla Vista bubble

Isla Vista is one of the most interesting towns in all of California for many reasons.

But after finally moving downtown, I’ve realized that one of the most interesting things isn’t the town itself, but the giant bubble that surrounds it.

I called the town home for a year and a half, and now it makes perfect sense-Isla Vista is just surrounded by a giant bubble.

Not literally, of course, but the figurative bubble that surrounds Isla Vista traps most of its inhabitants from leaving, except for work and school. Seriously, once you enter Isla Vista, you won’t leave!

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It’s weird to say the least. But most kids living in Isla Vista just don’t get out of there. I go up there often on the weekends, and sometimes the weekdays to, just to see what’s going on with my friends out there. But when asked, “want to come to a party downtown?” Isla Vista-ers instead would choose to engage in the same alcohol-fueled party with a DJ that plays the same four techno songs.

“Nah dude, I think I’m going to just stay up here tonight,” are common words uttered. Yeah it’s a pretty sweet place, houses on cliffs that overlook the ocean, massive parties, even a bum that’s a pirate, but come on guys, open your eyes.

The Isla Vista bubble trapped me when I lived there. But since moving downtown, I’ve started to appreciate the town and surrounding areas of Santa Barbara. Driving up to Santa Ynez, down the coast to Carpinteria, East Beach, West Beach, all of these places that, while trapped in the Isla Vista bubble, I rarely experienced.

It could be the fog. Often all of Santa Barbara and Goleta will be sunny, but once you cross into those Isla Vista boundaries, the sky turns much more grey. Maybe there’s something a little too relaxing about that fog that sticks people to their beer-covered carpets.

Or it could be the laziness. After a grueling week of school and work, Isla Vista is much more than a stone’s throw away from downtown. Fifteen minutes on the freeway? No thanks.

Of course, there are a lot of bubble-busters. International students and students of age often frequent downtown, taking Bill’s Bus to and from the clubs that line State Street. Others enjoy the super awesome activities that Santa Barbara offers at any of its beautiful beaches.

But most don’t. Most park their cars and stay until that alarm rings Monday morning. Some don’t even leave their houses. Nearly every I.V. restaurant delivers, so dial a few numbers and nourishment is on its way. You can even get cigarettes and a Diet Coke, the mainstay of any celebrity’s diet, delivered.

Sure, there are a plenty of great things to do, and I.V. Parks often host excellent events with live music during the day and the beach is right there, but there are awesome things to do elsewhere as well. They don’t call Santa Barbara the American Riviera for nothing.

So break the bubble! Get out there. Go to a restaurant downtown and try some new places. Don’t just break it when you want to get two tacos for 99 cents.

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