What it’s like to be from Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach or Manhattan Bubble?

hometown (4)Growing up in the small beach town of Manhattan Beach, California, we find ourselves alien to other communities we now inhabit. From wondering where the actual Mexican food is, to walking a mile and being confused why you’re not at the beach, we now realize there really is no place like home

Ten minutes south of LAX, lies the 90266, a zip code filled with unique people and unique findings, but it is safe to say there is no place like Manhattan Beach, a place a select few are lucky enough to call home.

So let’s talk about the best part of MB, and let’s be real: the food. The first question anyone from home asks when you say you’re returning home for the weekend is, “So where are you gonna eat?” From the Mexican food to the breakfast places, no one is complaining about the food we grew up on.

With the wide array of Mexican (no, not Tex-Mex) you could literally go to a different Mexican Restaurant every night for dinner. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. El Gringo, El Torasco, El Sombrero, Amigo’s, Cafe Rio, Pancho’s, El Torito, and many more, there is no shortage of some good guac when you need it.

For breakfast? Let’s not forget about the most heavily snapchatted meal of Paradise Bowls. I, too, am guilty of this, but come on, the granola and fruit with some honey glazed on top with the pier in the background makes for one aesthetically pleasing picture. If you’re not wearing head to toe Lulu Lemon and just got out of Soul Cycle and don’t want PBowls, then El Porto is always the spot to go for your breakfast needs. With Local Yolk, Sloopy’s, and Four Daughter’s all within a block radius, its easy to avoid the wait.

Now let’s get to the good stuff: dessert. How about The Creamery for a Creamwich? Susie Cakes for some red velvet, with of course, frosting in the middle? Can’t forget the Baskin Robins that is practically a given after El Gringo.

OK enough about food – the people of Manhattan Beach also make this place like no other. First of all, if your area code is not 310, you might as well leave now because we all know you’re not from here. It is extremely easy to spot someone who’s not from MB. You can start by looking at the beach just north of the pier. Everyone knows you’re either camped out by 8th St. or playing Ace over by Marine.

Next, look at the ground. Are they wearing shoes? Is it Summer? If the answers to those questions are yes, odds are they are not from here. Now let’s look at the cars. Are there surf racks on top? What about a Mira Costa sports team sticker or license plate cover? Is there sand permanently incrusted into the floor and seats of the car? Or is it just a Tesla? Any of the above is the classic MB mobile.

Being away from home is hard, but at least you know exactly when the best sunset nights are because it is featured in the first 9 consecutive snapchat stories you see that night. And you can count on your mom to send you a picture of her meal at El Gringo, her seats from the Dodger game, or your dog being as cute as ever. With technology these days, it’s very easy to stay connected. Like constantly planning out every second of the upcoming break with your back home ballers.

We do get homesick at times, but I always find that it helps to scroll through pictures and smile at the great memories the bubble of Manhattan Beach has given us. Starting with numerous photos of the pier featuring sunsets made up of a plethora of colors that take up storage on everyone’s phones. Maybe during Christmas time with the Round House all lit up? Next we have the pictures of that In-N-Out we just had to take a picture of before we took a bite. Yes, there are animal fries.

Pictures of us being bored in class at Costa, or at a football game with war paint on our faces, or during homecoming week all decked out. Pictures from Fourth of July where everyone is covered in red, white, and blue, ready to celebrate this great country. What about all the pictures we have of the Christmas time firework show? The pictures from the many excursions we went on, from Coachella, to Outside Lands, Mammoth, or Palm Springs – we got to do it all.

There’s a reason it’s called the Manhattan Bubble, and that is not because we were sheltered – well, not just because we were sheltered. It is a bubble because there’s no reason leave. With the beach in our backyards, the Mexican food on retainer, the amazing schools, the amazing weather, and the amazing people, there is no place I’d rather be.

We go to out of state colleges not to get away, but to experience new things because we know our home will be waiting for us when we get back.

UT Austin