Adventures Across Los Angeles

Adventures Across Los Angeles

On September 15, the Classes of 2025 and 2026 ventured across Los Angeles for a day of bonding and city exploration.

The Class of 2026 traveled to Santa Monica Beach for a beach clean up. Before leaving campus, Lorelai D. ’26, the class’ Environmental Representative, first educated her peers on the impact of microplastics on the ocean’s ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of their trip. Once they arrived, the 10th graders immediately set to work. With dedication and gusto, students combed the area surrounding Crescent Bay Park, uncovering an array of unique items, from rugs to a motorized scooter. Class of 2026 Dean Maxime Salzburg shares, “Students also found a Birkenstock and an expensive pair of sunglasses. It was incredible to see the range of interesting things discarded and left behind.” While the clean up itself was hard work, the students made time for fun, laughter, class bonding, and basking in the LA sunshine. 

Meanwhile, the Class of 2025 embarked on their annual Explore LA Day tradition. Split into small groups, they traveled to different parts of Los Angeles to learn about the city’s history, cultural landmarks, and culinary delights. 

Urban Odyssey: Underground Los Angeles
Thirteen students headed out on a guided tour of nearby neighborhoods, including West Adams and Downtown Los Angeles. Their tour focused on highlighting the ways that Black, Afro-Mexican, Chinese, and other people of color contributed, and continue to contribute, to the fabric of the city. “We did a scavenger hunt which was a great way to learn how these folks shaped Los Angeles culturally, religiously, and socially,” reflects Demi S. ’25. Closing their day at Orleans and York Deli, the group enjoyed shrimp po’ boys and Philly cheesesteaks which Lilly S. ’25 describes with a smile on her face: “Everything was really yummy.”

Olvera Street and the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles
After the short bus ride to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles, 11 students embarked on a guided tour of the historic street led by a docent. They learned about the architecture and design of Olvera Street’s iconic buildings, visited the Sepulveda family boarding house, and toured the Avila Adobe. “One of the most interesting things I learned was that the design of Olvera Street was modeled after a ‘Spanish fantasy past,’” says Nirel D. ’25. “It was modeled to look like a romanticized part of Spain, which did not represent the lives of people living there when it was built.” Students then had the opportunity to eat enchiladas, taquitos, tacos, and churros before heading to the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles. At the museum, they learned about the history of Chinese immigration to the Los Angeles area, gaining a deeper appreciation for the differences between “Old Chinatown” and “New Chinatown.”

Arts District Bike Tour
A group of 12 students ventured out on a seven-mile bike ride through the Arts District of Los Angeles to better understand the area’s history and the city’s vibrant art scene. Passing murals along the way, the tour guides highlighted the street artists who completed the works including Royal Dog, Wrdsmth, Colette Miller, Nuke, and Hueman. After cycling beneath and across the newly opened Sixth Street Bridge, the students ate “an exquisite variety of foods from Grand Central Market,” shares Morgan C. ’25. The group concluded their day at a downtown gallery, where they enjoyed contemporary art and found moments for introspection.

East LA Food Tour
While exploring Boyle Heights via the Los Angeles Metro, 17 students sampled a range of foods from many different vendors. “The highlight for me was touring a tortilla factory,” says Jade C. ’25. “After eating tortillas at one of our stops, it was especially interesting to learn more about how they are made.” Throughout the day, students indulged in a medley of flavors, including traditional goat birria, horchata, pupusas, and even crickets. “I liked trying all the different snacks that you would not find in a traditional store. While I initially wasn’t sure I would like some things, everything ended up being really good,” shares Elizabeth L. ’25.

Hsi Lai Temple
Nine students had the chance to tour the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights, guided by Jonathon Allen, Marlborough’s Director of Studies and AP World History instructor. As the largest Buddhist temple in the western hemisphere, it holds immense cultural and educational significance. The group toured the temple, learning the meaning behind its various gardens and bodhisattvas. Their visit included a traditional tea ceremony and a lesson on Humanistic Buddhism taught by Venerable Hui Ze, one of the temple’s monks. “The tea ceremony felt especially special,” shares Emma W. ’25. “We sampled tea that you can only find in very specific places in the United States and the ritual was interesting to observe.”

Getty Center Tour
At the Getty Center, 18 students had an enriching experience filled with art appreciation, exploration of the Central Garden, and expansive views from atop various museum towers. Meghan Bernstein ’11, Marlborough’s Associate Director of Communications, who also serves as a volunteer docent at the Getty Center, guided the students through a captivating tour of the main collection, spending time to engage in in-depth discussions at pieces by Pontormo, Rembrandt, and Jacques-Louis David. Students were also given a scavenger hunt that took them on a journey across the site. “We found pieces that reminded us of Los Angeles and of the Marlborough community, and other pieces to imitate for a photo opp,” says Wynter W. ’25. “I hope everyone can go tour the Getty Center,” Lauren V. ’25 said to her classmates. “I highly recommend a visit!”

Little Tokyo
Fifteen students spent the day touring the neighborhood of Little Tokyo. Upon arrival, they had some free time to roam around and explore the speciality shops around the main plaza. The group then visited one of Los Angeles’ oldest confectioneries, where they sampled different flavors of mochi. “It was really interesting to be part of the history of this shop,” Luna C. ’25 shares. “Plus, the peanut butter mochi was delicious!” Their visit concluded at the Little Tokyo Market, where students engaged in more shopping before treating themselves to Korean corn dogs which consisted of cheese, sausage, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on top. 

To see more from the students’ adventures, watch their Instagram takeovers recapping their experiences. Visit the @marlboroughlife page on Instagram and click on the “Explore LA” highlight.

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