I.V. Culture Scene

Beat Relationship Boredom

Brace yourself—what I’m about to say may shock you. Believe it
or not, making out with someone whose breath reveals the intimate
details of every drink they consumed over the course of the
evening, while six other couples share the same dirty DP couch, is not the end all and be all of the I.V.
dating scene. Sure, it’s fun to party, but there’s a point at which
conversation about everyone’s cute theme-party outfits grows as
stale as day-old keg beer and your significant other starts craving
something more cultured instead.

Believe me, I’ve been there—on both sides of that
relationship—and I can confidently state that when it comes down to
it, nothing kills a budding romance faster than boredom. Well,
nothing except maybe the aforementioned bad breath thing, but that can be
easily remedied with a Tic Tac. Boredom, on the other hand,
is a far more insidious issue. Hard to identify and even harder to
rectify, boredom occurs when one or both parties in a relationship
decide that their relationship has become more about monotony than
monogamy and romance is replaced with repetition. And let’s face
it, the only adventure you’ll find at your best friend’s ’80s party
is intrepidly investigating whether or not the bathroom has enough
toilet paper to go around. Sure, parties are great for meeting new
people and enjoying yourself with the people you already know and
love, but if you’re looking to beat relationship boredom, you might
want to consider wooing your significant other with an activity
that doesn’t require red plastic cups and an iPod full of the
latest party hits.

Fortunately, I.V. is full of fun, easy, and cheap date ideas
that are guaranteed to make you look like you’ve got culture,
creativity, and enough charm to court even the most discerning date
and break the vicious cycle of monotonous monagamy. From art to
arcade games, there’s something for every Lolita and Lothario
to do and it’s all conveniently located within our tiny town, so
you don’t have to venture too far away from the proverbial party to
try something new.

For starters, try an art walk through some of I.V.’s most
aesthetically pleasing establishments. From the art on the walls
inside Silvergreens to the murals on the outside of
several DP houses, I.V. is teeming with art—and it doesn’t cost a
dime to check it out. If you start at Silvergreens, make your way
through Java Jones, stop at the University Art
—located next door to the
UCEN—and then walk from the 6500 block of DP down,
you can see paintings by local artists, photos by up-and-coming
shutterbugs, works by masters such as Dali and
Jacob van Ruisdael 741px-Jacob_Isaaksz._van_Ruisdael_004.jpgand some pretty cool murals all in the
course of a walk that is probably less than a mile round-trip. Some
standouts to check out include the current Dali exhibition at the
University Art Museum and the big, beautiful murals on the
Marley House and the Dolphin
—both located on Del Playa Drive.

If your self-guided art walk has you hungry for more local
culture, try taking a similar stroll with a slightly more
historical theme. Believe it or not, I.V. is a hotbed of history,
with a past that includes a major riot, a bank burning down, a
prolonged visit from famous “factory girl” Edie
and much more. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_Vista,_California,
www.islavista.org, and www.islavistahistory.com for more info about the
specific sites to see in town and the history behind them. Some of
my personal favorites include the current home of
Embarcadero Hall, where there lies a small plaque
dedicated to the memory of former UCSB student Kevin Moran—who was
shot and killed by a Santa Barbara City police officer after
helping to put out a fire at the former Bank of America during the
riots in 1970. Another similar monument, dedicated to all those who
peacefully protested during that period, is situated in Perfect Park at the south end of the
Embarcadero Loop.

For something on a slightly lighter note, try taking a tour of
the local establishments that offer old-school arcade
. According to http://arcadelocations.classicgaming.
gamespy.com/PlaceSearch.php3?state=California—an invaluable
resource for the overgrown kid in all of us—Giovanni’s on
Pardall Road has Pac-Man and Road
; Javan’s on Embarcadero del
Norte has Ms. Pac-Man, Space
, and more; both of the town’s laundromats have at
least a couple of working arcade games, and the UCEN has a whole
room downstairs dedicated to everything from Dance Dance
to one of those racing roanna-ddrfreak-front.jpggames that let you actually simulate
driving a car. Fuel up on bin candy from Java Jones, Isla
Vista Market
, or The Corner Store next to
the UCEN and get ready to duke it out with a different kind of
joystick. This activity is guaranteed to get those competitive
juices flowing and it makes a great excuse to bet each other with
all sorts of interesting wagers—an added bonus that will definitely
help you beat boredom.

Ultimately, I.V. offers plenty of options for those looking to
get off the beaten path and try something other than the
tried-true-and-tiresome method of taking a date directly to the
nearest party. Because, let’s face it, drunken face-sucking on a
dirty, crowded couch is only going to get you so far in a
relationship. Real romance is about exploring, learning, and
growing together—and always letting the other person win at Dance
Dance, of course.


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