Tuesday, October 24, 2017

USC Village

USC Village

After having dinner on Saturday at Holbox at El Mercado La Paloma, we stopped by to see the new USC Village. It was about 7:30 p.m, it was dark and the Village was all lit up. Very dramatic! Yes, I agree with many of the architectural reviews of this mixed-use center. It definitely reminds me of the Hogwarts Castle from the "Harry Potter" movie series. I'm thinking this was designed in this manner for a reason. Generations of kids were raised on the magical world of Harry Potter. They are college age now. What a perfect way to cater to those children! Of course, this faux-Gothic architecture compliments the many buildings on campus.
Hogwarts Castle at Harry Potter World, Orlando, Florida

I wish this shopping center had been in place when I was a student at USC. I was there pre-mall when all we had was the scary 32nd Street Market, which we affectionately called The 3-2. Whenever we needed to go to the market at night, we had to have our boyfriends accompany us!
I am a Trader Joe's person. One of my dream vacations is to visit every TJs in the country and pick up a regional shopping bag. I'm obsessed with those state bags! There is a  brand new TJs at USC Village. TJs issued a special USC tote bag when they opened this store. Sadly, there weren't any USC totes for sale. 

I do love how Trader Joe's always paints murals high on their walls, particular to the area that the store is located. This store is filled with USC Trojan images, incorporating TJs products of course.

Hey! What are the USC cheerleaders doing above the prepared MEAT section?!?

They sell LOTS of wine at this store!

A mini tribute to the original, Julie's Trojan Barrel, a bar at Figueroa and 37th St. Demolished for a parking lot in 1999. Sigh.

There's also a City Target, yoga studio, Starbucks, Fed Ex office, shoe and bicycle repair shops, fitness center and many restaurants in the USC Village plaza. The tall buildings are student housing. There's a magnificent dining hall that's REALLY reminiscent of Hogwarts!
Dining Hall. Photo from USC 
There is a large statue, "Hecuba" in the center of the plaza by Sculptor, Christopher Slatoff. She's quite lovely. Click HERE to see a full view of Hecuba.  

Needless to say, we were VERY dazzled with this development. Luckily, we managed to snag a parking spot on the street. At 7:30 on a Saturday night, NOT on a game day, the line to get into the underground parking was backed up around the block. I'm not sure where all of those people were. The plaza, shops and restaurants seemed deserted. This center is a boon to the neighborhood and will be appreciated by students, staff and locals!
One of my fellow alums predicts that the portion of Jefferson Boulevard where the center is located directly across from the USC campus, will be closed and one-day be absorbed by the campus. This will be a seamless transition from campus to shopping....one day. 

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