Where Montecito Gets Down to Business

While I’m all for the parklets that restaurants have been allowed to open during the pandemic, they make parking your car in certain areas a challenge. Take Coast Village Road: before dinner at Coast & Olive, we had to park most of the way around Coast Village Circle, the loop that runs alongside the freeway. It made me realize I had never explored the street, so I set off a week later on foot. (This will not be the most interesting Walk With Me post, but at least it’s the shortest.)

The wood fencing around the upper deck gave me a tingle—memories of the California I grew up in—but the rest of the alley behind Lucky’s proved less evocative.

I was surprised to come upon two Tudor houses, having not thought anyone lived on Coast Village Circle. The second one, alas, has been converted to offices, although in a town with many colorfully named law firms, Grissini & Wrinkle is a new favorite.

The architecture on Coast Village Circle runs the gamut, notable mostly for being much taller than on Coast Village Road. The thing directly below is inexplicable.

If you showed me a photo of this next building, I don’t think I would’ve known where in Santa Barbara it is. There’s a lot going on, but somehow it works.

Some buildings were easily identifiable as the back of Coast Village Road buildings.

The covered parking at this one reminded me of some rundown part of Beverly Hills.

And I had no idea there was so much parking. What can I say? I’ve never had any reason to frequent the offices on this strip. It makes UCLA Health’s recent investment more understandable.

There’s a poetic dissonance between the complexes’ names and the location across from the freeway.

And I had no idea there are apartments in some of these structures.

This is probably a good time to point out that Coast Village Circle is not really set up for walking. The sidewalk ends abruptly, and drivers are probably not expecting to come across pedestrians.

I wish even more of the buildings were porous, with pretty connections between Coast Village Road and Circle.

I had to look up what various businesses do. For Paws Salon is for pets, not humans, which seems obvious, but the”For,” rather than “Four,” made me wonder. Tribute Project is a fashion line of bedazzled blazers. Laura and Russell Collins are married mediators. Cycad Group is a venture capital firm investing in technology (although Google’s blurb about their site could use some finessing: “Skip to content. logo. INVESTING in technology. what we do. what we do. strategy. strategy. portfolio. portfolio. people. people”). Coastland Salon & Barber is obviously a hair salon, but you may not have realized that it “was created to be a safe haven for individuals to come relax in a clean, low odor, gender neutral environment, while receiving the utmost care in their hair journey.”

Is Oingela an adenoidal version of Angela?

This being Montecito, more or less, there are the requisite funky trees. The first one has clearly had a rough hair journey.

I found new additions to my collection of warning signs. Perhaps one day I’ll realize my dream of recreating them as tableaux vivants, like the ones at Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters.

Last and possibly least, it should really be scooting.

Walk With Me…
The Small Pleasures of Bungalow Haven
The Small-Town Charms of Samarkand
Climbing the Back of Eucalyptus Hill
Admiring the Backsides of Beachfront Houses on Padaro Lane
Social Distancing Made Easy at UCSB
In the Heart of the Golden Quadrangle
Is There a Better Neighborhood for a Stroll Than West Beach?
Up, Down, and All Around Montecito’s Pepper Hill
E. Canon Perdido, One of Downtown’s Best Strolling Streets
Montecito’s Prestigious Picacho Lane
Whitney Avenue in Summerland
School House Road and Camphor Place


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One Comment

Janet Reid

I really enjoy your wonderful witty commentary! This one especially. Those trees. The warning signs. Made me laugh out loud?. Thank you. We all need a little giggle these days.