A Love Letter to Del Playa

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Illustrated by Bridget Rios

Natalie Aymond

Staff Writer

Dear Isla Vista (I.V.), 

Home to the hustle and bustle of our student community. A place where busy bikers and pedestrians risk their lives to go to class. You nourish our needs for anything, from a burrito to handcrafted glass and social intermixing. However, you cannot deny that without Del Playa (D.P.), where the playful energy emanates, Isla Vista would not be the same.

The mile-long stretch is a driver’s nightmare and a pedestrian’s entertainment, where music and chatter are always welcome and mundane silence nowhere to be found. Nowhere else in I.V. does a better job of bringing together ocean and mountainside lovers within its colorful houses. Even the little things of D.P., like the repurposing of old shoes to decorate the telephone wires, give the street its unique character. Day or night, it is D.P. that lets us play our music and be a social host for those who are not lucky enough to live amongst it, the epicenter of our fun. 

Del Playa saves us from the on-campus stress, acting as the best stand-in lifeguard when we begin to drown in the library work waters. It reminds us why we love this school and its location, but more importantly, why we love the liveliness of D.P. 

Speaking of location, even Devereux does not provide the same quick and close access to the beach as Del Playa’s beach access. It makes it especially easy for us to leave campus or class and join tanning bodies on its beaches and surfers playing in its waves. The unmatched overhanging balconies in D.P. give us a prime people-watching location in which we can see the late-night crowds flood in and the early morning loiterers trickle home. 

Nowhere else in I.V. can you get the same echo of waves crashing on the cliffs at night that lullabies its residents to sleep every night. There is nowhere else in I.V. that takes on the task of carrying the energy that we bring to Del Playa.

With that being said, let’s also talk about Deltopia. Even the name in itself says a lot, but try to imagine Deltopia taking place anywhere else in I.V. The uniqueness of it — one road, thousands of people, and the crazy congregation of its energy — seems to lose the tangibility of its being as renowned. Without the essential role of D.P. as its host, Deltopia would simply not be the same experience. It is no coincidence that one of the biggest social events, not just of the spring quarter but of the year, takes place on that very street. Del Playa and Deltopia together are well-known social staples of our community. I.V. would not be the same without D.P., and Deltopia would not have gained the same recognition if it took place anywhere else besides Del Playa Drive.

Del Playa Drive is our home base in your midst and facilitates our every desire. For all these reasons, I.V. would not be the same without it. We will continue playing on Del Playa’s beaches and giving it our old shoes. We will continue filling its houses and maintaining our energy on its street. So, Isla Vista, keep it safe for us, would you? 

From yours truly, 

UCSB Students and Del Playa Goers