Saturday, March 7, 2009

Giving the anteater some love

I loved my undergraduate alma mater, the University of California at Irvine, in south Orange County. Home of the anteaters — Zot! I really enjoyed the years I spent studying there (and the other years when I was merely partying and goofing off). I got hooked on Macs while working in the library computer lab and I spent my days in a trailer park created decades earlier by hippies. 

Sadly, Irvine Meadows West, as the park was called, was closed down and paved over, but not before people protested and got arrested. Eventually, someone made a weird documentary about the whole thing. 

Frankly, I don't know who any of the weirdos are in that film, and I guess they don't know me either. Being only an hour or so from Hollywood, depending on traffic, UCI has ended up in a few films, my favorite being 1972's "Conquest of Planet of the Apes." 

The Social Science Plaza in the upper photo features heavily in the film. At the end of the movie [spoiler alert], the apes defeat the humans by setting fire to Social Science Tower... a notion of which I'm surprising ambivalent. 

The backdrop in the lower photo is not real. Instead of a Greco-Roman structure south of the Main Library (yes, that was the name) and Gateway Commons, you'd actually see Aldrich Park, one of the features that makes UCI itself seem like a park. 

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