Forget the first 10 people you met at GW – not everyone is from Long Island. Or New Jersey, for that matter. Or even Pennsylvania. Though many times you may hear students asking one another “Nassau or Suffolk County?” GW really does attract students from interesting locales all over the country and the globe. Meet Bobby Nazarian.
Freshman Bobby Nazarian’s hometown might seem a little familiar. That’s because most students are acquainted (via television and magazines) with the Beverly Hills basics – nearby Hollywood, Rodeo Drive shopping and a circus of celebrities.
But, what about the non-Brad Pitts and not-quite-Lindsay Lohans who share the 90210 ZIP code?
“Most people ask if I go to school with celebrities’ children. There are a lot of celebrities in the area, but we don’t see them everywhere we go,” Nazarian said.
Despite living a block away from Angelina Jolie and driving down Rodeo Drive on his route to high school, Nazarian describes where he grew up in one, maybe unexpected word: “homey.”
“My experience there was great,” he said. “I see it as its own little bubble.”
Conceding that his hometown is “a pretty wealthy area,” Nazarian said he avoids getting caught up in the designer label lifestyle. He can’t say as much, though, for many of his female classmates at Beverly Hills High School.
“They always buy like Louis Vuitton bags and bring them to school. They compare who has the trendiest clothes,” he said.
The Playboy Mansion, Ozzy Osbourne and Aaron Spelling are a few of his nearby neighbors, but despite a lofty community, Nazarian said his group of friends was very tight-knit. What many people might not know about Beverly Hills is that it has a significant Jewish-Persian community. Most of Nazarian’s friends growing up were just like him – from the same ethnic and religious background.
“I am Persian and Jewish. It’s different coming to school with no one exactly like you. Here people are all different religions, and have different financial situations,” he said.
Nazarian said he is looking forward to seeing what life is like here on the other coast.
“I am always open to new experiences and meeting new people. I came because I wanted a break from the bubble and to see how things are on the east coast.”
And while he’s here, he’ll keep entertaining questions about BMWs, movie-set walk-ons and celebrity friendships.
“Its fun to mess with people. I’ll say ‘Oh yeah, me and Tom Cruise go way back.”’