Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Leslie is back!

I’m baaaacccckkkk!
I sure missed being on the pages of The Daily Sound the last few months and hope the feeling is mutual. (Some people didn’t even know I was gone…) I may have sprouted a few more gray hairs (a.k.a. silver strands), but other than that, it’s business as usual.
Sort of.

The day my column will appear has changed from Monday to Wednesday. I will be writing on a wide range of subjects, as usual, but will be reporting from my new digs in Montecito’s upper village and will include notes on life in the village. If you are wondering why, you will have to read to the end of this column.
In the meantime, it’s good to be home.

Memento Mori
My deepest condolences to former Mayor Sheila Lodge, her family and those who worked in the courts with the admirable, Honorable Judge Lodge who passed away this week. I sat as an observer in his courtroom on a number of occasions last year and enjoyed his kindness, wit and wisdom dispelled from the bench.

My Two Cents on the New Granada
If you haven’t been, you must go. The theater is stunning and our symphony and others sound superb, thanks to the new acoustics.
That being said, am I the only one that noticed that the hall is extremely “live”? Every rustle of a lady’s taffeta gown, sneeze or snore from her consort, page turning of a program, not to mention those irksome candy wrappers being unraveled, rings out loud and clear. Two choices: fix the acoustics or teach the audience to be as quiet as a mouse. Now everyone can start throwing tomatoes at me.

It is with some certainty that I can recommend the second run of the American premiere of the play “Victory” by Athol Fugard, this coming Thursday-Sunday at the Lobero. After seeing Santa Barbara Theatre’s superb last production, “Doubt,” at Center Stage, I am a bonafide fan of their material.
The play, directed by Stephen Sachs, had a run at L.A.’s Fountain Theater and received many glowing reviews. I “doubt” I will have to eat my words, but I do plan on eating South African desserts that will be served at the after-party following Friday night’s performance. Tickets/information: 963-0761 or

Ethic Lessons Hwy. 101
A mother with a kid on a losing baseball team at a local elementary school decided to lure a player from the opposing (winning) team with the promise of one dollar. Is that considered bribery or just recruiting a player, like the big leagues do? The mom and I are in disagreement. You tell me.

Life In The Golden Bubble
I refer to Montecito as “the golden bubble.” Seemingly impervious to the woes of the rest of the nation, village life seems to continue at a leisurely, well-heeled pace. Most weeks I hope to include Montecito news, notes and, if room, possibly even a photo or two in this column. Thought I’d start with something for the younger crowd.

Brazilian ‘da Bomb
I wouldn’t be surprised if specialty coffee drinks and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice sales spike at Pierre La Fond: a Brazilian battalion of employees is being assisted by charming Rio de Janeiro model Murillo Teldeschi, whose smile lights up the place. Young ladies and cougars alike swoon at the site of his good looks and great personality behind the counter. My blended mocha bill has certainly spiked.

Scoops and Rumors
The Los Angeles Times beat me to the punch on the new pad being built by the Gubernator and his wife, Maria Shriver, but I heard about it two weeks ago over Mexican food at Oaxaca Fresh in Carpinteria. I now have an inside source for news in that department who I will just refer to as “Deep Canyon.” Stay tuned for updates.
Actor Billy Baldwin might be buying a pad in Montecito…that’s unconfirmed, but we overheard one uber real estate agent’s “people” talking to “his people”.

New Business Announcement and Shameless Self-Promotion Department
A quick update: After the paper let four columnists, including yours truly, “go” in January, I cashed in my air miles and hit the road for three weeks in very affordable South America (specifically Brazil and Argentina which I will report on later in my soon-to-be-launched monthly travel column in The Daily Sound). During my “vacation” I purchased some great art and antiques to sell and shipped them back to Santa Barbara.
Three days later, customs officials in Brazil went on strike and have been holding my goods for the past six weeks. In the meantime, I have opened a small art and antique store next door to Bryant and Sons, Ltd. Jewelers in Montecito’s upper village. I continue to write from this location, in addition to peddling fine art by a handful of local artists and a smattering of antiques. A sign—and hopefully my things from South America—will appear soon. If you think this is a shameless way to promote my new business, you are right.
As Mae West, oft misquoted in She Done Him Wrong (1933), said, "Why don't you come up sometime 'n see me?” (805) 969-4442 is my new phone number.

Leslie Westbrook is a freelance writer and editor whose work can be seen at Her new art and antique shop is located at 1482 East Valley Road, Suite 36 (within Fairbanks & Fairbanks Wedding and Portrait Photography), in Montecito.


Anonymous said...

so glad to see you back!

leslie said...

thanks anonymous.
i like your quotes.

Anonymous said...


I am so glad your column is back. I always look forward to reading it.

Good luck on your new venture as well. I know your prices are right and hope that discerning customers will flock to your door.