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UCLA

Bruin Tracks: The New York Groove

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By Mark Davis

Published Jul 1, 2007 8:00 AM


After four years in Southern California, going to classes and exploring Los Angeles, locals may find the concrete canyons of New York City a bit unsettling.

How do you find an apartment? How will you survive the snow? Where can you find good Mexican food? How do you get to the beach?

art

Illustration by A. Richard Allen

"Things are done differently in New York, from getting around the city to finding an apartment," says Julie Ohara '95, who went through the experience when she moved to New York for graduate school. "I didn't know anyone," she says, "but it was comforting to know there was a UCLA alumni club here, that I could e-mail a live person and get a response."

UCLA sports brought Ohara to her first UCLA Club of New York event seven years ago. She found herself surrounded by friendly alumni and decided to get more involved. Today, as club president, Ohara helps organize events to reach out to the newcomers and longtime city-dwellers. The club sponsors outings that also acquaint newcomers with the ways of the city. Even seemingly simple things like going to the beach require a little more effort in New York, as a group of young alumni rode the trains, negotiated the transfers and boarded the buses necessary to get to the beach this summer.

But the club is not all about the newbies. July 11 found members picnicking, relaxing and enjoying the New York Philharmonic Concert in Central Park. Bruins also are famous — or infamous — for turning out in droves for the regular Pac-10 softball games in the park. In the fall, as UCLA sports heat up, club members gather for the games. The last Final Four games attracted nearly 500 Bruins.

The club sponsors a regular book group (sometimes with the authors present, a benefit of living in the Big Apple), dinners, wine tastings, theater outings and professional networking groups, including the Wall Street Bruins.

"The club is a second home," Ohara says. "A lot of us who moved here don't have families nearby, so we get together for holidays and reunions. And if I can help someone out the way someone did for me seven years ago, that's a great feeling."

For information, contact President@NYCBruins.org or call (917) 885-3856. For more events, visit here.

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