Tonawanda News

Features

September 30, 2012

GORANITES: California dreamin'

Tonawanda News — Back in January, I headed out on a six-month trip to southern California, traveling with my girlfriend as she churned out a lengthy internship necessary for her college degree. Although I didn’t land the dream Hollywood acting job, I did get to dig into the West Coast lifestyle. I managed to find some treasures along the way. 

For starters, those who haven’t heard of In-N-Out Burger need to make it their first go-to stop if they ever head out West. Highly touted along the coast and seeping out as far as Texas and Utah, In-N-Out is the equivalent of Mighty Taco here when it comes to fan bases. While it’s easily categorized as fast food, it sure doesn’t taste like it. Think Five Guys Burgers and Fries quality. Ask for a double-double in Western New York, and you’ll be handed a coffee. Out West, it’s a double cheese burger with twice the cheese. 

About an hour off the coast sits the small city of Claremont, a quiet community commonly known for its seven colleges. One of the greenest areas in California, the town has been nicknamed “The City of Trees and PhDs,” and has a quaint atmosphere that’s hard not to fall in love with. The city is largely based around Claremont Village, a gathering of small streets lined with boutiques, restaurants, and a locally owned movie theatre, along with city hall and the library. While most people’s views of southern California may be defined by the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, it’s nice to know there’s a few relaxing oases left. 

Rhino Records, found in the heart of Claremont, gives Record Theatre a run for its money, and seems to be out to prove that the record stores of times past won’t go without a fight. Stuffed with a large selection of used and new vinyl, books, toys and more, Rhino Records brings a large amount of their shoppers in from the surrounding colleges. 

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