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Old Posted Feb 5, 2020, 8:24 PM
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Carpinteria, CA

On Sunday, 2.2.20, my partner and I went to Carpinteria, a town about 11 miles or so "south" (really east, as California's coast goes east/west in that part of the state) of Santa Barbara. It's a cute little town. We've never really explored Carpinteria before... it was always a place we drove through on the 101. I think many years ago on one of our California road trips, we stayed overnight in a hotel in Carpinteria and then promptly left the following morning. It's a neat little town, and it was not crowded at all. I don't know if it was because it was Super Bowl Sunday and everyone was home watching the game, but even the traffic to Carpinteria from LA was pretty light. I feel like it only took about an hour and 15 minutes to get from South Pasadena to Carpinteria. Granted, I was driving pretty fast, but still, traffic was a breeze...

All photos by me.







Time for lunch.




Empty place. More people started coming in after I took this picture.


Very old school, with the double swinging doors and food pass-through.


Oaxacan chicken mole tamales, which are steamed in banana leaves instead of corn husks.


The mole was inside the tamales. It was pretty good. The beans and rice were... OK. I wish I could've ordered just the tamales a la carte.


Next door is an ice cream place, so we had dessert there. This business has a few locations in the Los Angeles area. I assume they are from the Santa Barbara area.




























This car parked on the street caught my attention. I thought, 'that model VW isn't sold in the US; it must be from Mexico.' And sure enough, it had Mexican license plates. I'm always curious when I see cars with Mexican plates, as Mexico isn't included in the "North American spec" market, which really means the US and Canada in terms of cars. The rest of North America (Mexico south to Panama, and the Caribbean) gets "world market" cars. The giveaway for me too is the lack of side-marker lights and side reflectors, which are required on US and Canadian-spec cars. Lighting requirements are very different for the US and Canada vs. the rest of the world.


I wonder what other countries the Volkswagen Up! is sold in.










Sorry, I love cars. OK, moving on...

Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park. My partner and I love nature and hiking, in addition to walking around cities and towns.












There's a mobile home park right next to the salt marsh. I thought it was actually a nice mobile home park; if I had to live in one, I could live in this one.








The Amtrak rail line goes right by the salt marsh.












































A micro-brewery.


I love these Chumash legends. I believe the Chumash were the largest native tribe in California, but I could be wrong.






The Carpinteria Amtrak station only consists of an open platform with a shade canopy.






Time to go to a meadery. I feel I've become post-beer and wine; don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy a good glass of beer or wine, but lately we've been into meads and ciders... but particularly meads. I wish more meaderies would open up. We've actually been enjoying ciders for a number of years, but some years ago we really got into meads.








Mmm, mead...


My 2nd mead...




I love maps, and I love California, my home state. I don't know how old this map is...


Buckets of raw honey.


Fermenting stuff.




Dinnertime.


The place isn't really right by the sea, though...


I had a kale and quinoa salad for dinner.


And flan for dessert. Mmm, mmm. What a wonderful day trip to Carpinteria.
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Last edited by sopas ej; Feb 7, 2020 at 5:24 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2020, 8:34 PM
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I'm going to guess it's because I've spent nearly forty years now watching TV shows filmed in places like that, but every time I see a town or a small city out west, it always feels strangely familiar.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 3:37 AM
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Nice little town!! Probably a nice place to retire!!
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 4:51 AM
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Nice pictures! I never heard of this town.

Those mountains in the back look like the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles. but that would makes sense, since this is west of Los Angeles. But for someone like me who lives on the other side of the country, and has visited LA a couple times, it really looks a little like someone simply took the backdrop to LA and placed it behind this little town.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 6:22 AM
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Fun stuff. It was absolutely beautiful this weekend and I had lunch there on Friday.

Carp (what the locals call it) is one of my favorite places in the world. I lived there for a few years as a kid and my sister stayed and still lives there 30+ years later. I live about 20 miles south, but spend much time there.

It still has the same laid back vibe it had back then.

The town is very eclectic and Linden Avenue (the main street from the beach) was almost totally agricultural and light industrial before WWII. So rather than the typical Victorians you see in other CA towns, you see small bungalows.

There actually was a beautiful train station (from photos I've seen) up until 1968. Torn down (not sure why) and sat as a dirt lot until the new canopy and parking lot was built in the late 1990s.

The city is basically entirely no growth. It has 14,000 people and only had about 13,500 people 30 years ago. People are militant about any project, even single family homes. There are very few houses that last more than a few days on the market and it's difficult to get into anything for less than about $800k. Those trailers you mentioned typically come in around $400-500k!

It January it's pretty sleepy. Come back in June, no longer sleepy, but still super quaint and not overcrowded due to the fact that there are NO hotels in downtown Carp. Not one. Amazing in a beach town. The state beach is a great place to camp. Highly recommend it.

I am currently designing a really interesting adaptive re-use project across the street from Oaxaca (where you ate) on a very underutilized block. Could be a game changer, time will tell. We did recently complete a 3 unit Habitat for Humanity project in DT.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 6:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Nice pictures! I never heard of this town.

Those mountains in the back look like the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles. but that would makes sense, since this is west of Los Angeles. But for someone like me who lives on the other side of the country, and has visited LA a couple times, it really looks a little like someone simply took the backdrop to LA and placed it behind this little town.
That's a separate mountain range called the Santa Ynez Mountains. Google Earth shows them really well. They form a beautiful backdrop for Santa Barbara, too.

OP: I, too, had never stopped there, having driven through on 101 numerous times when I lived in Santa Barbara in the mid 80s. It was just another exit, but if I ever go to the area again, I'll be sure stop and take a look. Thanks for posting this!
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 7:46 AM
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Carpenteria is a great town. It is my go to stop when I'm in between Pismo Beach and SoCal. I'll stop and hang out at the beach for a couple hours, let the traffic die down, just because. Its a town you wish you could live in but probably cannot afford.

What plinko said about no growth, is difficult for people to understand outside CA, but that's how they roll.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 2:49 PM
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California is gorgeous.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2020, 6:58 PM
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Nice little town and area. It’s like a little piece of Florida in California with the wetlands and rivers. I have to make it there one day.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2020, 3:21 PM
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Thanks for the comments! We definitely wanna visit Carpinteria again; there are some bluffs we want to explore that we didn't get to go to because it started getting dark... hehe our plan was to go to the meadery and have a few drinks, and then get to the bluffs... but we ended up spending a much longer time at the meadery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plinko View Post
I am currently designing a really interesting adaptive re-use project across the street from Oaxaca (where you ate) on a very underutilized block. Could be a game changer, time will tell. We did recently complete a 3 unit Habitat for Humanity project in DT.
Very interesting!

Is this the block you're referring to?


I hope your project is a success!
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2020, 4:21 PM
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Looks like a nice place


The VW Up has been one of the best selling cars in Denmark as it's small and compact, yet fits a family, so basically the perfect second car as it's easy to park in the medival Danish cities as well as in suburbia where houses typically weren't designed with a double garage, so space it limited and a small second car is easier to fit in houses not designed for 2 cars..
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2020, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREKI View Post
Looks like a nice place


The VW Up has been one of the best selling cars in Denmark as it's small and compact, yet fits a family, so basically the perfect second car as it's easy to park in the medival Danish cities as well as in suburbia where houses typically weren't designed with a double garage, so space it limited and a small second car is easier to fit in houses not designed for 2 cars..
I had never even heard of the VW Up until I saw the one in person. Thanks for that bit of info; I'm sure it sells well in other countries in Europe.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2020, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviationGuy View Post
That's a separate mountain range called the Santa Ynez Mountains. Google Earth shows them really well. They form a beautiful backdrop for Santa Barbara, too.

OP: I, too, had never stopped there, having driven through on 101 numerous times when I lived in Santa Barbara in the mid 80s. It was just another exit, but if I ever go to the area again, I'll be sure stop and take a look. Thanks for posting this!
Same here. I've driven by there a few dozen times on the way to Santa Barbara and never bothered to stop. For a visitor it's just kind of redundant with Santa Barbara. That downtown area even looks a little bit like a mini State st.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2020, 6:23 AM
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Add me to the list of people who drove by numerous times but never stopped!
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2020, 4:23 PM
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Thanks for the tour, great pics!
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