Rated by Playboy magazine as one of the top 10 party towns in the nation, Isla Vista rocks. I visited my old stomping ground yesterday for my cousin Mike’s graduation and it hasn’t changed one bit. Adjacent to the University of California at Santa Barbara, Isla Vista is teeny tiny town (2 square miles) with an inordinate amount of people (about 18,000) crammed in like sardines. (I lived in a house with 11 girls. Sardines, I tell you.)
There is really no way to describe Isla Vista unless you’ve been there. And by been there I mean utterly sloshed, slopped-up, carrying a plastic keg cup, stumbling down Del Playa at two in the morning with 8,000 of your closest friends been there.
Yesterday, in addition to being graduation, it was move out day---the day when the leases are up and the students have to move out a year’s worth of secondhand furniture, empty vodka bottles, and unread textbooks. The streets become a giant garage sale. Whatever you can’t fit into the back of your Jetta, you leave on the curb. Whatever you leave on the curb probably gets burned because, despite having prestigious college educations, boys still think it is fun to light things on fire and watch them burn.
The yards and streets were littered with beer bottles, office chairs, George Foreman Grills, Woodstock pizza boxes, and the ashes of old couches that ended their long tenure in IV this weekend. Nobody gets a deposit back. Nobody. Nobody even tries. And, yet, despite the filth, Isla Vista is absolutely fabulous. It’s one of the few neighborhoods in America where you can put two kegs, a stripper pole, and a broken recliner on your front porch and be the most popular guy on the block.
Raise your glass (or Coors Light). Congrats to a fellow Gaucho!