WHINE IN ROME: Laura Salvi Morrison reports that as her plane was landing in Rome, the Lufthansa flight attendant told passengers: “We wish you a funny day in Rome.”
And downtown, at the corner towards Piazza Venezia, she noticed a large billboard at a bar “advertising their new and improved amenity: WHINE BAR.”
Laura said she tried to explain the amusingly garbled English to a waiter, but the next time she went by it still read “Whine Bar.”
SO CAL FOREVER: I’m just back from a trip to Carmel and there’s no doubt in my mind that we live in Southern California, not the “Central Coast.” I’m convinced that this moniker was cooked up by TV people aiming to enlarge their “market.”
News for them: We are not a “market.” We are a community and Santa Barbara is now and forever in Southern California. In view of what’s happening in the outside world, this may seem like a trivial matter, but it is our home. After I wrote about this in my print column this week I heard from Christine Lord:
“I just got through reading your Southern California Dreamin’ article and all I can say is Bravo! I was born and raised in this town and throughout my whole life I thought I was living in Southern California until about five or so years ago when I started hearing Santa Barbara being referred to as the ‘Central Coast,’ ‘South Coast,’ and as you say ‘Central California.’ This has irked me to no end and have asked those in the media (the Santa Barbara News-Press and local radio) who refer to Santa Barbara as the central coast as to why they do this and when this started, but I have never received a decent answer.
“I’ve mentioned to them that this is So Cal and always has been and if they would take the time to look at a map, they will find that Central California is literally in the Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel area, although it really probably does end in North Goleta. I think they just go blank and must think I’m some kook. My theory is that whoever started calling Santa Barbara other than Southern California just doesn’t like Southern California, especially L.A., and wants to distance us from them. While I’ve never blamed the L.A. Times for this or quite honestly never knew they stopped at Ventura, I do think the local media is as much to blame.
“I for one will always refer to Santa Barbara as Southern California. But I’m prejudiced, I love Southern Cal, yes even Los Angeles, so much more than the northern part of the state as far as where I prefer to live. We have the atmosphere, the energy, excitement, famous surfing spots, palm trees, Hollywood, not to mention so many good-looking men and women. As Jerry Dunphy used to say, ‘From the mountains to the desert, from the desert to the sea, welcome to Southern California.’ Hmmm, maybe I am a kook.”
No, Christine, you’re as normal as the swaying palms and – well, let’s not get too mushy about this. But I do feel that it’s OK to call this the South Coast. And we need to love Santa Barbara’s North County, with its wine, rolling hills, mountains, cattle, cowboy heritage, Dick Smith back country, condors, horses and, of course, good people, even when we disagree.
Barney Brantingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 965-5205. He writes online columns on Tuesdays and Fridays and a print column on Thursdays.