••• “The Downtown Santa Barbara Organization launched Sizzling Salsa Nights on Wednesday Aug. 30.” Better late than never with the press release, eh? “The four-week series will wrap up on Wednesday Sept. 20. This event is between 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on the State Street Promenade in front of Elena’s Kitchen, located at 738 State St. There [are] free Cuban Salsa lessons led by the amazing Alfonso Sandoval from 5-6 p.m., with free dance and performances from 6-8 p.m.” And the organization “will launch a line dancing theme Wednesday series for the month of October, beginning Oct. 4, from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in front of Night Lizard Brewery.”
••• Two new concerts at the Santa Barbara Bowl were announced: Foo Fighters (September 28) and Grateful Dead spinoff Billy & the Kids (November 2). Tickets for the Foo Fighters go on sale today at 10 a.m. and for Billy & the Kids tomorrow at 10 a.m.
••• Meanwhile, the Lobero Theatre will host José Feliciano (December 11) and Madeleine Peyroux (March 17).
••• Thanks to BW and Christine for the advice on how to watch a space launch. From BW:
I’d try to aim for a SpaceX launch specifically with relanding of the first stage when there is good weather. Many don’t reland at Vandenberg but rather on a barge off the coast of Baja, so make sure you’re targeting one that comes back to Vandenberg as it’s much more dramatic. Unfortunately you’re going to deal with a high likelihood of cancellation. I watch most launches from home and I’d say there’s at least a 50% abort rate, sometimes in the last few seconds. We got lucky and saw an amazing relanding launch in February ‘22—our first attempt at going to Lompoc to watch in person and it was a success. We made sure to arrive to Lompoc 1.5 hours in advance of the launch and were shocked at how many people were already there lining all of the roads. We had researched various places to park but we ended up just pulling over on Ocean Avenue when we saw a spot. We were headed toward the beach but the crowds (I have never seen more Teslas in my life) made us think we should just snag the first spot we saw and so we did. We also assumed the crowds of SpaceX fan boys knew something we didn’t and we were in a decent spot to watch. It was stunning and a crystal clear day. Very exciting and definitely worth doing. A night launch would be spectacular as well. Fog would be less than ideal and can be a problem at Vandenberg. Plan for a good meal somewhere after and maybe some wine, so even if you have a cancellation you have something to look forward to. We did Industrial Eats and our launch aligned perfectly with lunchtime but timing is all over the place!
And from Christine:
Depending on time—the west side of Full of Life in Los Alamos, Harris Grade has several optimal viewing decks—get there early, Bodger Hill, Hwy 1 and San Antonio Road west of Los Alamos. You never know about a launch and the abort factor—very frustrating when its at 5 seconds to go!
UPDATE 9/15: And thanks to the reader who pointed out the Vandenberg Rocket Launches group on Facebook.
••• Press release: “Elings Park and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Landscape Transformation Project needs volunteers willing to get their hands dirty by controlling invasive plants and planting California-natives on a one-acre site on the Park’s South Bluff. The first phase of the project involves installing black plastic (and later, cardboard) to discourage weeds. The restoration project and science experiences concentrate California’s native plants in this area and will compare the abundance, diversity, and composition of plant and animal life both before and after the transformation.”
••• Opening September 29 at Sullivan Goss: Radiant Realm, “an exhibition of marvelous new paintings by Susan McDonnell. The exhibition will include paintings in both oil and watercolor as well as a suite of abstract cellular compositions formed in ink and watercolor. […] Throughout this exhibition, McDonnell tries to capture her awe at the beauty of the flora and fauna in the natural world.”
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