Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Under the Sainted Skirt

Slow week at the News-Repress. With Travis Factswrong out of town, the so-called editorial page has gone largely and spookily silent -- ah, the theater is dark, and pleasantly cool. Since we can't actually link to anything of local interest at SB's only daily, we take a peek under Saint Barbara's skirt from two other sources, Edhat and the LA Times...first, Edhat on the oddly low-to-the-ground Harding School Bridge:

As you can see, it’s not a typical bridge. It hovers close to the ground like a flying saucer. It’s like they faxed over the blue prints, but only the top half came through. Or, maybe someone got too zealous with the crop function in Photoshop. Or it could even be a fashion thing, like those girl’s skirts that are no bigger than pappardelle. The dedicated staff didn’t find anyone who could give us a definitive answer as to why the bridge did not go all the way to the street. The most popular guess was that the area underneath was there to let the water flow through it. Another guess was for the aesthetics, but that would be hard to believe.

Although it would be impossible for a car to make it underneath the bridge, a person can navigate the low clearance to the other side if they ducked and stay ducked.

Of course it is less of a challenge to elementary school students who, by virtue of their age, height, and agility, don’t need to duck as much.
And then, an exhaustive story on Montecito's Lotusland from the LA Times -- free registration required, here's a snip:

Walska's imperiousness about what she wanted where was as legendary as her disinterest in the names of plants, and more than one of her many garden designers and advisors had reason to believe he was working for Lewis Carroll's Red Queen.

Certainly a visitor encountering the garden's living clock — reported to be the world's largest when it was created in the 1950s — may be forgiven for thinking she's fallen down a rabbit hole. Composed of succulents, and the diameter of a merry-go-round, it tells time to an audience of topiary bears and peacocks.

And then there's the forest that's planted exclusively in shades of blue (blue hesper palms and Atlas cedars underplanted with blue fescue).

But Lotusland's garden is not simply an eccentric fantasy, any more than "Alice in Wonderland" is just a children's book. For Walska, plants were more than plants; they were colors to paint with, a family to nurture, characters to direct.
Well, until the News-Repress decides that freedom of information for all Santa Barbarians is more important than catering to the elite, at least you can get items of local interest somewhere online for free. But alas, the poor pigs on Santa Cruz Island are far more important than the poor citizens who can't afford a subscription to the paper. You'd think a locally owned paper in a liberal town would have their priorities a little more in line with everyday people, right?


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