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It is one thing to bless a house by moving one’s hands through the air, making the sign of the cross to protect it from disaster. It is another thing to make the sign of the cross visible and permanent, forged in iron and displayed on the rooftop for all to see.
Hannah Tennant-Moore finds the charm of small town life as close as Los Alamos, but that’s not before she relishes in the sands of the Guadalupe Dunes. It’s a daytrip Santa Barbara residents owe to themselves to take.
It’s an odd time to be on earth. We know peak oil is approaching, the planet is getting warmer, and human-generated greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to that. You’d have to be living in a climate-controlled cave to not be worried that life as we know it is in grave danger. And yet the vast majority of us continue to get in our cars and drive alone to wherever we need to go, day after day. And in the U.S., about 50 percent of those car trips are for distances less than two miles.
On a hot, lazy afternoon, teenagers sit smoking cigarettes in a fancy cafe, nibbling cakes and chatting about fashion. A few blocks away, children throw jacks and ride bicycles along a filthy cobblestone alley infested with cockroaches and raw sewage. This is daily life in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, and home to these disparate worlds of luxury and desperation. With a recent civil war and increasing gang violence, the country seems to have little hope for a sustained peace.
My scooter-riding experience was almost over before it began. As soon as I received the assignment to write about scooters in Santa Barbara, I headed to the DMV to get my motorcycle license, required by law in California for all scooter riders. With no line and a simple 25-question test waiting, I figured I didn’t need to look over the handy booklet.
In the garage at Zoom Motors, the newest car dealership in Santa Barbara, a chrome figure reclines on the hood of a ’59 Nash Metropolitan convertible, contemplating the road ahead. She lies patiently atop wings, her mouth formed into an enigmatic, endless smile. These are the kind of cars on which hood ornaments served as the driver’s crosshairs, the target to shoot down the miles of highway as one sped along. At Zoom, the promise of yesterday is the currency by which it is buying its future.
Los Angeles has long had a Bike Kitchen. San Francisco has one too, not to mention San Diego and Davis. And if Ed France-a 25-year-old cycling enthusiast two years out of UCSB-has his way, Santa Barbara will soon join the California club of culinary velocipedes.