SB Mag: April/May

I decided to add monthly posts of my favorite current features in Santa Barbara Magazine. Indulging in this magazine each month keeps the dream alive, the ideas fresh, and material familiar.

First off, I am so disappointed I missed the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Last year I was this close to Sandra Bullock. Her intimate interview at the Arlington was one I consider myself lucky to have attended before she became the undeserving center of scandal. This year Santa Barbara hosted Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Geoffrey Rush, Leonardo DiCaprio and Colin Firth. And even though I live in LA, I would much rather see celebrities among the community I savor. Not to mention the movies are so incredible, grappling cinematic challenges with the greatest optimism.

"A Touch of Bliss" is the cover story on Casa Dorinda by Joan Trapper. Anna and William Bliss had this Hot Springs Road estate built in 1917, demanding a Spanish renaissance residence with 80 rooms in two stories. Obviously their last name was fitting. Constantly hosting socials until their deaths, Casa Dorinda carried on its entertainment and housing legacy as it next served as a convalescent home and the Montecito School for Girls. In 1975, the estate took its current position as a retirement community. Still utilizing the music room, oriental room, the library and game room, guests here continue to marvel at this phenomenal piece of architecture as they actively participate in high-class outside activities. A true gem among homes, notable Casa Dorinda residents even include Julia Child. Where else in America does one fantasize about living in a retirement home? Only in Santa Barbara.

And of course, my favorite feature of every issue--The Way We Were photograph. This photo is of the old Franklin School in the 1920's. The children dance in the spring air, embracing the sun's energy. I absolutely love these historic photographs. The school pictured is now the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, still standing!
(photograph is courtesy of the Thomas Schmidt Collection)

Other Favorite Features--
*Handbag designer Emily Rosendahl's response to the three things always in her bag: "My Small Button Clutch filled with jewelry, a flash of whiskey (you never know what that might come in handy), and my Swiss Army knife." Just proves there are down-to-earth designers.
*Warbler Records, finally a new music store in Santa Barbara. And one that isn't creepy, that's a plus.
*CycleMAYnia, featuring a bike fashion show and film festival. Who knew exercising was so cultural?
*Anthropologie's new bridal collection, BHLDN, is stunning and innovative. Dresses that will ward off that tacky "trash the dress" trend.