According to Google Maps, the area shown below is the western half of East San Roque. I think we can all agree, however, that the San Roque Spider Web is a much better name. I suppose you could also think of it as the San Roque Dreamcatcher, if you swing that way.
The first thing I noticed was how many homeowners have embraced xeriscaping, with varying degrees of success.
Others have gone in a lusher direction. The first garden below was especially pretty, even if it doesn’t come across in the photo. And the second one made me feel like I had just landed on Fantasy Island.
The area also has many extraordinary specimen trees. These are only half of the tree photos I took.
A sneaky palm trying to hide….
And then there was a palm trimmed in the leg-warmer style.
I was positive that these were starfruit, until I went home and learned that starfruit trees don’t have such figgy leaves.
Magnolia blossoms are rarely low enough to get a good look. Even with this one, I had to pull the branch down, as you can see from my fingers’ cameo appearance. It made a stark contrast to a mammoth zombie sunflower.
I should probably show you what an average street is like.
I was baffled by the sporadic sidewalks until I realized that they’re not meant for pedestrians; some homeowners built them to access cars parked on the street.
Every now and then, the sidewalks link up nicely.
This homeowner went for a stepping-stone path, with a bench to break up the trek. Sitting there might make one feel rather conspicuous.
I’m not sure what the point of a crosswalk is when there’s no sidewalk to safely deliver pedestrians to.
There are two kinds of people in the world: 1) those who put these yellow “Slow!” signs out, and 2) those of us who have to fight the urge to kick them over.
The crosswalks were near a Catholic church and school. The screen, if that’s the right word, on the church facade struck me as rather Islamic in style.
The predominant architectural style is Central European, with a storybook vibe, as if Hansel and Gretel sought warmer weather to relieve the trauma of everything they had been through.
Of course, other styles were prevalent, too.
This was my favorite, probably because it looks like a larger, prettier version of my house.
As I walked, I couldn’t help imagining the residents—like the dog lover with the jalopy.
Or the Marie Kondo acolyte.
Or the mailbox hobbyist.
Or the fan of the Old West.
Or the exterior decorator who thinks you could be kinder to your dog.
Or the patriot with an oil can out front.
Or the quirky homeowner at the end of my walk, who gave me three reasons to take photos: funky topiary, a collection of wood stored in a tree, and a mysterious stone rectangle….
I almost forgot: the chief goal of the walk, besides enjoying the journey, was to figure out what’s at the heart of the web, ringed by a street named Argonne Circle. You can see from Google Maps that there are two houses (3126 and 3128) in the center. I had hoped that the centermost one, 3126, would be a manor on the hill, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
News roundup: Harry and Meghan are said to be working on a reality show; the Independent declined to endorse a candidate for county sheriff; SBPD is having trouble hiring; Montecito’s history of debris flows; free Covid testing and treatment from the state; some park-activity fees will be going up; Arroyo Hondo Preserve has reopened to the public; the tree of the month is the jacaranda. See SitelineSB.com...