Friday, September 3, 2010

Now go to yer room and make art

The following morning Colleen and her new roomies came by the hotel. Mrs. Hall had specifically chosen these hotels for their hearty free breakfasts and the college girls were only too happy to join her for the early repast. After dropping them back off at the dorms, Colleen and Mrs. Hall spent the rest of the day familiarizing themselves with the campus and the connecting highways.
CCA is really divided between two locations: there is a dorm in Oakland and a campus about five miles up Broadway from it, and another large facility in San Francisco, in the heart of the warehouse designer district.
Since they were already in Oakland and parent orientation took place shortly, they headed to the Oakland campus. Closed off from the busy street traffic by high trees and a sturdy brick border, the CCA campus was unique. The walkways slid behind and between the maze of houses as if they were playing hide and seek with each other. Nestled in the trees and alcoves around them were sculptures of every sort, made by previous students and left as reminders of their playful creativity. Colleen managed to find her rooms and scope out the dismal parking prospects. The dawning realization that having a car in an urban environment was not easy, was finally awakening to her, but she would not be daunted.
After the orientation, they drove over the Bay Bridge to the San Francisco campus. A huge warehouse in the trendy interior design district housed the rest of the classrooms. Massive sculptures hung over the atrium and student lounge. Everywhere the elements of modern California industrial design were evident, and Colleen and Mrs. Hall soaked it in happily. Large student constructions were drying in the open lunch room. Wide open laboratory style classrooms were a far cry from old style dark college rooms in the past.
By this time, the pair were getting a little peckish, so they ventured out to the surrounding neighborhood to scout out some grub. Mrs. Hall rounded a corner and was astonished to see showrooms for Roche-Bobois , Bang & Olufsen, Brunschwig & Fils and Poggenpohl. "We're going in these now!" she exclaimed, and lunch waited while they salivated over luxury furniture and appliances for a hour or so. "What a great neighborhood! You will be exposed to the best of design all around you." gushed Mrs. H.
The surrounding homes crowded up and down the hills to the north, and after a brief tour of the area, it was time to go back. "Come back early in the morning for breakfast again and we can have one more day together. Then you can drop me here to pick up the airport shuttle." Colleen gave her a hug and headed back into the city traffic. Next episode: Emeryville, Pixar and jet lag. Stay tuned.

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