Here are a few photos I took of the building formerly known as BeBop Burger.
It was strange seeing the interior through the window (not looking so good). What was once cheesy and bright 50's nostalgia, juke-boxes, checkered floors, milkshakes and exciting eye-contact with other tweens (yes, I was about 12 the last time I was there) now looks like a burnt-out molester barn (it was pretty dark in there, so the picture below has been brightened). Especially when compared with the (below) scans of BeBop at it's liveliest.
I've also included a few images from the 100 block of State, which is similarly devoid of life these days. The giant weed-filled hole where Paddle Sports used to be and the peeling Californian Hotel are particularly interesting as they sit there, empty.
BeBop interior in 2010 (it's crazy how fast things decay!)
The good o'l Days.
More good o'l days.
Back of BeBop 2010
Back of the Californian.
A (mysterious) open door on the top floor of the Californian (2010).
The Green Fence
Tags: BeBop Burger, State St., santa barbara, funk zone, decay, urban decay, meh
Unexpected awesomeness last night (video at bottom of post).
Around 11:30pm on Sat (last) night, as my wife and I were walking home after an art show and a movie at Paseo Nuevo, we heard music coming from De La Guerra Plaza. We'd missed most of Fiesta this year for various reasons, so we walked over towards the noise hoping we might catch a few minutes of live tunes and a churro.
Though the vendors were starting to pack up, there was a sweet latin band playing in the old Casa (De La Guerra) courtyard behind the beer garden fence. To our surprise, only a few people were dancing in the center of the crowd. After standing there for only a few minutes we noticed that the small crowd doing the dancing was growing, and, before we knew it (zombie attack?) there was a full-blown (impromptu) group dance of at least 50-60 people going off on in the middle of the street outside the beer garden wall. It was like stars - and a dude with a whistle - aligned perfectly.
Easily the best fiesta moment I've had in years.
Here's a video (it gets good towards the 1/3 point) I took with my iPhone of the last song. It only partially captures the collective upwelling of happiness and spontaneity from the crowd.
Anyway. Watch it. And try not to smile.
Tags: santa barbara, fiesta, old spanish days, group dancing, salsa, de la guerra, cumbia, bailando, baile
It's easy to notice all of the architectural gracefulness in a city like Santa Barbara. But, thankfully, there are a lot of mysterious little details that are begging for an explaination, like this Frankenstein of a gate on De la Vina.
Obviously, someone wanted a planter in there, but I still can't think of any logic that would have made the design of current structure make sense. It's a perfect example of the awesome little gems you tend to find in much older (and bigger) cities. As for franken-gate here...I'd love to hear the story behind it. Drunken handyman? Architectural Review Board on hallucinogens? Time travel?
Tags: santa barbara, architectural review board, strange details, gate, frankenstein, de la vina, awesome details, santa barbara history, local mysteries, halucinigens, time travel
"Occupying an entire city block in downtown Santa Barbara, the courthouse hosts many events, particularly at the Sunken Garden, site of the 1872 courthouse.
The courthouse is composed of four buildings, totaling 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2). The courthouse also contains a Jail Wing; however, the wing is no longer used to hold prisoners. Visitors may take elevators to reach the summit of the 85 ft (26 m) "El Mirador" clock tower. The clock tower also has labeled photographs that show what the viewer is looking at in all directions.
Currently, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is undergoing several restoration projects in the various wings, and working to fix the disintegrating fountain in the front."
I had never really given much thought to what government buildings might have existed prior to the current 1929 William Mooser courthouse. Maybe I'm the only local who doesn't know all of this, but apparently there were three previous courthouse buildings since the formation of Santa Barbara County in 1850. According to santabarbaracourthouse.org, "County government was housed in an adobe located at Santa Barbara Street and East Carrillo Street, the Aguirre Adobe."
In less than 10 years, the local government had outgrown the Aguirre Adobe, and purchased the city block between Anapamu, Figeuroa, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Streets, and moved into the larger, pre-existing Kays Adobe. County government operated from Kays for roughly 10 years until the California State Legislature approved the building of a 'more modern' structure in keeping with other government buildings throughout the country. A cruciform building was then constructed and built upon for the next several decades, eventually necessitating the demolition of the Kays Adobe to make room for newer buildings. New additions kept popping up right up until the 1925 earthquake, in which the Hall of Records and Courthouse buildings were 'damaged beyond use' along with a huge portion of other Santa Barbara structures.
Above: The 1872 'modern' cruciform Santa Barbara Courthouse. Not sure from which street this was taken, but if enough of you guys are curious, I'll go to the Records office and do a little bit more blueprint digging.
I was flagged down by a car full of Swedish tourists last week while walking on Victoria Street. After thirty or so seconds of of pidgin english and euro-hand gesturing, I figured out that they were asking for directions to a nice park where they could lay down on the grass and picnic. Naturally, through a veil of (I'm sure) equally cryptic gestures, english, and surprisingly creative pointing, I was able to direct them to Alameda and Alice Keck parks (for all I know they could be lost in the foothills behind the Riviera now).
This got me thinking about parks that aren't frequented by tourists that much - where you might go for a quiet barbeque with friends, or shoot some quiet hoops with your dog. My mind immediately went to Ortega park. Maybe not. Too many syringes and broken beer bottles. Franchesci? Too many snogging teenagers and no grass or post-dusk hanging out. Oak park is nice, but often too filled with Medieval people having faux sward fights, or someone blasting by on their Harley. Of course, I could name a few more but that's about where I run out of ideas.
So I went back to my office (happy to have something to procrastinate with) and started searching Goolge Maps for the one or two Santa Barbara parks that I knew I was missing. I was shocked (ok not shocked, but definitely impressed?) to discover that there are over 30 parks in Santa Barbara proper - many of which were on the West Side that I had never even heard of.
So I hopped in my car and headed to the West Side for a little 'research' (did I mention I'm self employed?). I visited 3 parks that day that were previously unknown to me, but that hasn't satisfied my curiosity - I just came away with more questions. Why is there a 15 foot tall black security fence surrounding 90 percent of Escondido park (which appears to contain only a unused reservoir)? Where is the 'rest' of the Hilda McIntyre Ray park (there's a huge discrepancy between the geographical size of the park and it's 'official' perimeter).
I may be the only man in town who finds this fascinating, but in the next few weeks I will be attempting to do a little bit more digging to find the answers to these and other questions in my upcoming posts.
** the above picture is from the Hilda McIntyre Ray park overlook (and yes, there were in face two snogging teenagers in a parked car just to the right).
Tags: santa barbara, parks, recreation, alice keck, mcintyre park, tourists, sblifestyle
This post wasn't really planned. I drove up to SBCC yesterday to see if the Atkinson Gallery was open,
but didn't realize that it was closed for the holiday. Duh.
Unsure where to procrastinate next - and really not wanting to go back to my cave to do actual work - I walked out to the
roundabout overlooking Cabrillo Street and sat down on the railing. I was surprised at how
peaceful and quiet it seemed - especially on Black Friday. I could
actually hear the splashing from the swimmers at Los Bano's below but not really much from the cars that were passing much closer. I could see
the newly black and brown Tea Fire area above the city, and all the way up to
Sitting there (not yet at the point of staring blankly into space), I slowly realized that I was sitting at a similar
vantage point to one in an old photo of Santa Barbara given to me
by a former professor of mine that I had hanging in my garage. I decided take a few pictures just in case it was the same spot (I've been carrying my camera around
When I got home, uploaded the pictures, and then scanned the old photo, I could tell the vantage point was actually very similar( part of the cliff must not be there any more) though the landscape has changed dramatically. The old photograph (which looks like it was taken during a Fiesta parade) is pre-harbor; the exact date of the photo (according to a nearly illegible
signature and copyright) appears to be 1908, though the boats on
the horizon indicate that it may have been a wartime photo*. Another
obvious 'now-and-then' contrast is the Santa Barbara Riviera - once bare - now
peppered with homes (and partially bare more recently due to the Tea
Fire) is especially striking.
I don't have any grand observation to share, other than a general sense of wonder at the passage of time. Sometimes it's those things that are obviously different that stand out to me. But more than not, it's the things that haven't really changed that mess with my head a little; the shape of the mountains, the behavior of the water etc..
I just received a comment from Jon suggesting that perhaps the ships were part of the Great White Fleet, dispatched by Teddy Roosevelt in 1907. See below:
"Mention was made in the article that the 1908 panorama photo may have been taken during war time. Given the date...1908...and given the similarity between the several warships in the photo, I was reminded of the Great White Fleet...a large armada of U.S. Navy Battleships...that was sent around the world, by President Theodore Roosevelt, commencing in 1907. Checking-out Google, I found the Great White Fleet Itinerary (www.history.navy.mil./faqs/faq42-3.htm) which states that the fleet departed Magdalena Bay, Mexico, on 11 April 1908 and arrived in San Francisco, on 6 May 1908. Thus... depending, of course, on the specific date when the photo was taken...the large warships, seen in the photo, very well could be those of the Great White Fleet sailing north to San Franciso. Perhaps, others have seen the possible connection and commented, in similar fashion.
The panoramas are spectacular and bring back grand memories of when my family and I lived, there, from 1964-1970. A very special place, indeed!! Kind Regards, jon"
Very Interesting.. I will update this post if any more information emerges. In the meantime.. Can you read this copyright? 1908 or 1909?
UPDATE # 2:
Ok. So after a little digging, it looks like the dates match up. It's not the Fiesta Parade (as I wrongly guessed), but the Sailor's Parade during the Santa Barbara Flower festival on April 28th, 1908. So Jon's suggestion that the fleet might be the Great White Fleet seems pretty spot-on at this point! Thanks Jon!
Check out this old postcard from the Festival:
Tags: old santa barbara, fiesta, sbopinion, santa barbara landscape