Howdy everybody! I apologize for going mute on y’all last week! It’s been a busy couple weeks, and I’ve got a big update with one of my favorite spots in LA, The Grove, and results from last week’s HackSC competition!
First and foremost, if you watched our Live Chat this past Monday, then you know I love my food! (If you didn’t, go check it out!) On that note, one of my favorite spots in LA is the Grove (which also just so happens to be the location of Umami Burger, which I mentioned a few weeks ago). The Grove, as you can see from the picture, is a really pretty outdoor mall connected to a farmers’ market. Some of my favorite restaurants, like Umami Burger and the Cheesecake Factory, are there as well as some great stores like the Apple store and J. Crew Mens’ Shop. There’s also a movie theatre in the Grove as well as a Sprinkles cupcake vending machine.
More than even the restaurants and shops however is the farmers’ market itself. I can entertain myself for hours just wandering through the room of thousands of different hot sauces or the old school Coke and Los Angeles paraphernalia. There’s also a great little shop in the back corner where you can buy mustards from Germany, cheeses from France and Switzerland, and cookies and crackers from Australia just to name a few! And when you need a break? There are quite a few little restaurants set up throughout the market with food ranging from home-cooked pasta to barbecue pork to burgers, jambalaya, and more! There’s even a fedora shop, but I could never pull those off.
If you’re ever in the area, definitely stop by to check it out and grab a souvenir or a candied apple!
In other news, this past weekend was HackSC, a hackathon on campus with over 300 participants in 100+ teams. If you’re not sure what a hackathon is, don’t worry! They were new to me when I came to college. A hackathon is a large competition for computer scientists and designers to gather for a short time period, often 24-48 hours, where they can form teams and compete to build something around a theme. They’re a great place to network with other developers as well as just building something new, and there are usually workshops and company representatives there to help you learn a new skill or get started with a new tool. For HackSC, I went with my roommate and a friend, and we decided to build an iOS application that would break down the barriers of doing something a little crazy and a little embarrassing and sharing that moment with your friends. Thus Roast was born, and we ran into our first hitch. While I’ve had experience developing for iOS before, my roommate did not, and he didn’t know Objective-C, our language of choice. Not only that, but our friend didn’t know how to write code at all! Luckily for us, hackathons are a great time to learn these new skills, and so I was able to guide my roommate through as he picked up a new skill and our friend focused on fleshing out our wireframes and design. In the end, this worked out being perfect for us, as we were able to very clearly show the full path of our application and the potential of it as well as walking the judges through our prototype to create that fun environment that we were shooting for. We wound up being placed in the top 5 teams overall for the competition!
Until next time!