Isla Vista

Isla Vista

Let's take a closer look at the communities that make up Santa Barbara. Starting over on the left we have the rowdy community of Isla Vista located next to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). This is where all the college students live. It consists of apartments, dormitories, fraternities, and sororities. I've heard that it's one of the most densely crowded communities in all of California. Last I heard UCSB enrolled 18,000 students, which gives you an idea of how crowded the small community must be, where students have perfected the art of parallel parking. And once parked, the student vows never to drive their car again because he knows he will lose his parking space. By the way, don't say "is-la Vista" or people will know you're from out of town. It's pronounced "I-la Vista" (EYE-LA-VISTA). The community is often referred to as I.V. for short.

The densely packed community goes all the way to the very edge of the cliffs. Don't fall off, it's a long ways down. And don't sunbathe on the beach too close to the cliffs either. Once in awhile the cliff crumbles dropping rocks onto the beach. A friend of mine was seriously injured and her boyfriend killed when the cliff they were sunbathing under suddenly crumbled and buried them with the falling rocks.

Isla Vista Cliffs

Another problem resulting from the cliffs eroding away is the receding edge is getting closer to the houses to the point that some of the houses are actually hanging over the cliffs.

Isla Vista and Bicycles Isla Vista Bicycle Parking

The primary mode of transportation within Isla Vista and UCSB is by bicycle. In Isla Vista bicyclists don't obey any traffic rules. They go straight through stop signs without slowing down. This makes driving in Isla Vista rather treacherous, especially at night, because many of the bicycles don't have any reflectors on them.

There are no sidewalks in Isla Vista, forcing pedestrians to walk in the streets where they mingle with the bicycles and cars. Because there is a virtual wall of cars parallel parked on both sides of the streets pedestrians who are forced to walk in the street because there are no sidewalks can not quickly get out of the way of oncoming cars.

Within UCSB there are numerous bicycle paths connecting all the major points so students can ride from one class to another. The only problem is the bicycle paths become extremely crowded between classes and people walking have great difficulty crossing a bicycle path to get to their next class.

Isla Vista has a reputation of being a loud place because every other student has a stereo system and each one has his own idea of what good music is. I.V. is also known for it's many traditional weekend parties which start on Thursday.

Isla Vista and Parties
Isla Vista also used to be a major major place for party goers to go on Halloween. The parties became so wild that Isla Vista became well known all over the country as one of the greatest wildest places to go on Halloween, and people from all over would come to Isla Vista to join the party. Everyone would put on Halloween costumes, get wildly drunk, and strut up and down Del Playa Dr. showing off their costumes and having a wild drunk completely out of control party.

Eventually the police had to put a stop to the wild Halloweens. They stopped allowing people who didn't live in Isla Vista from entering the community on Halloween. The police now block all the entrances and stop every car on Halloween. The person must show identification confirming they live in Isla Vista before they are let in.

The Isla Vista Enigma
How did these people ever make it to college in the first place?