From New York to….L.A.

New York has no short of odd things to see and do. It’s a big city with so many hidden nooks and crannies that you could spend your entire life doing interesting things in the City and still never be able to find all of them. That’s one of the things that make New York so overwhelming and wonderful. The only west coast equivalent I can think of when it comes to wild and wacky things to do is L.A.

https://www.nestseekers.com/

https://www.nestseekers.com/

Orange County, L.A. Taken by Jainita Patel

Orange County, L.A.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Like NYC, L.A. has its own off-beat things to see and do and here are just a few places both cities have that are a little off the beaten path:

Crazy Museums.

You know me. I’m a sucker for a good museum, but if you’re looking for something a lot less serious than some of the ones I’ve mentioned for one, then you might want to check out the Museum of Math. I’m not kidding. This seemingly dull museum is a blast with fun games to play to help you explore your mathematical side. Even if you’re not a math person, this place is just a lot of fun. Still not convinced? Then maybe you should try Baby Castles, which is a museum dedicated to video games. You’re even encouraged to play with most of the exhibits. In L.A., the wildest museum I’ve been to is the La Brea Tar Pit Museum. Here, the pits and the preserved animals are the main attraction, but the inside museum is entertaining as well, with life-style animatronic recreation of mammals that have long been extinct.

Exhibition at the MoMath. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Exhibition at the MoMath.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

My sister at the La Brea Tar Pit Museum. Taken by Jainita Patel.

My sister at the La Brea Tar Pit Museum.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Wild Nature.

You don’t really think of nature as a weird place, but you’d be surprised how wild it can get around L.A. and New York. One of the greatest and oddest national parks I’ve ever been to is Joshua Tree National Park. It’s just desert and rocks for miles and miles, but the landscape manages to be gorgeous, if a little surreal. It’s only 2 hours away from L.A. by car. For you advanced hikers, Ryan Mountain is my favorite trail there. In New York, Fire Island may be 3 hours and 2 trains away from Manhattan, but Otis Pike is one of the last true wildernesses left in the Northeast. There are no marked trails here, but it’s hard to get lost on this thin island. With the ocean on one side and the bay on the other, even if you manage to get lost, the views you find will be worth it. If that’s not your cup of tea, Fire Island also has one of the last Sunken Forests left in the world.

From the top of Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree. Taken by Jainita Patel

From the top of Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Odd Stores.

New York and L.A. are both known for their shopping scene, but besides clothes and other necessities, both cities have a knack for the quirkiest of shops. Most NYU kids have probably walked by the Evolution Store on Broadway before, but if you get a chance, you should stop inside one did. They have the craziest and creepiest items for sale like taxidermy animals and replica skulls. Most people who live in L.A. have heard of the Last Bookstore. It’s become more and more popular over the years, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of quirkiest places in L.A. With shelves that run for miles and architecture made from books, this place is bound to steal your heart.

The Last Bookstore. Taken by Jainita Patel

The Last Bookstore.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Murals.

Street art is pretty offbeat as an art form and there are no two better cities to see murals than NYC and L.A. The Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem has some of the best artwork in the city. Set in a playground, take an hour or two to head up there and just walk alongside the beautiful artwork and while you’re there, be sure to grab something to eat as the food in East Harlem is bomb. In L.A., if you ever bike the famous path from Santa Monica to Venice, you’ll speed past alongside the skate parks on the beach, but there’s a particular stretch of that path that goes past random installations of murals. Be sure to stop there and look around. These odd walls are right next to the water and have some insanely cool art on them.

The Graffiti Wall of Fame. https://www.travelblog.org/

The Graffiti Wall of Fame.
https://www.travelblog.org/

Right off the Santa Monica-Venice bike path. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Right off the Santa Monica-Venice bike path.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

So if you’re looking for things to do that are off the beaten path, now you have a list to get you started before you find your own places to explore. If you like New York for its weird aspects, you might enjoy L.A and vice versa. Hopefully you’ll get to visit both some day.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

 

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