A Fight by Land & Air

The good news is that the Thomas Fire grew by maybe 1,200 acres Monday, as compared to the 50,000-acre-growth spurt it experienced the day before, bringing the inferno’s total shoeprint to 231,700 acres. It’s also 20 percent contained, as measured by the fire’s Incident Command.

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The bad news is that for the first time, the fire is now — as of nightfall — visible to City of Santa Barbara residents. While the visual impact is decidedly unnerving, Santa Barbara City Fire Department Public Information Officer Amber Anderson said, “The fire is moving up the slope. It’s moving as expected.” She added, “I understand it’s causing concern, but we have a lot of resources on it.” Her boss, City Fire Chief Pat McElroy added,” It’s going exactly where we want it to go — back up the hill to patches that have already burned.” As for resources, he said Carpinteria, Montecito, and Summerland had 15-20 strike teams, which translates to about 80 engines.” McElroy said one reason the fire is so visible now is because much of the smoke has cleared.

As of this writing, about half the involved acreage is located in Los Padres National Forest, but the part of the fire backing up against the fuel-laden backyards off Toro Canyon is still giving fire commanders gray hair and keeping them and the 6,400 assembled firefighters up late at night.

Toro Canyon — just up above Highway 192 — was the real point of attack today, with a DC-10 and a 747 aerial tanker dumping retardant when smoke allowed and about 28 helicopters dropping water. Keeping the fire contained to Toro Canyon is Plan A and B. Today’s winds were less forceful in pushing the fire westward, and tonight’s winds are predicted to be mild, said Santa Barbara County Battalion Commander Chris Childers. “We had some success putting it out and holding it in its place,” said Childers at a community forum held Monday afternoon at the San Marcos High School auditorium. “I’m optimistic and hopeful we’re going to stop it today.” Childers then added, “Optimistically, I’m hopeful, but don’t count on it.” At a previous forum, Childers had stated, “Hope is not a plan.”

Heros

Should the fire get past Incident Command’s clutches in Toro Canyon — and some unconfirmed Facebook posts indicate that might have taken place, with flames showering down Romero Canyon — Childers outlines a succession of backup plans. The ultimate line in the sand is Highway 154, but that’s still a long way away. A phalanx of eight divisions has been assembled along the front-country interface between human habitation and undeveloped wildland. Each division has four to eight strike teams, and each strike team has five engines, each with three to five firefighters. They are prepared to engage the fire in house-to-house combat as much as possible. The hope, however, is either to contain the Thomas Fire where it is, or to funnel it into the pathway of fires that burned in the past decade, where the fuel load is notably lighter.

Of the six major fires in Southern California, the Thomas Fire is by far the biggest and has been declared the top priority for state and federal firefighting agencies. Although Thomas started in Ventura County, the real action is now taking place in Santa Barbara County. To date, 100,000 people have been evacuated because of the fire. Of those, 7,200 are in Santa Barbara County, though another 34,000 county residents have been placed on warning they could soon be evacuated. No new evacuation notices have been sent out today, though rumors to the contrary have popped up.

County Undersheriff Bernard Malekian announced that one would-be looting suspect was arrested near Highway 192 and San Ysidro Road, an evacuated zone. “That person has now been evacuated to the main jail,” Malekian told the crowd. He also announced that the sheriff and the district attorney were putting price gougers on notice they will be arrested and prosecuted if they try to take unfair advantage of the fire. That, he said, constitutes raising prices more than 10 percent.

Smoke cloud

For those seeking a statistical smorgasbord, Monday’s forum had plenty to graze on. To date, 1.7 million gallons of water has been dropped on the fire, and more than 200,000 air respirator masks have been passed out free of charge by Direct Relief and County Public Health officials. About 100 law enforcement officers have helped execute the evacuations, and the CHP has blocked off 26 roads heading up the hillside from Highway 192. No firm number, however has been released on structures destroyed or damaged in Santa Barbara County. The Thomas Fire total to date has claimed 798 structures — one reportedly the caretaker’s residence at the Juncal Reservoir — but the exact number of those in Santa Barbara County is something “less than 20” but more than a handful. That information should be released Tuesday.

In the question-and-answer portion of the forum, one attendee asked why any effort was spent saving the backcountry. “Why not just let it burn?” he asked. He was informed that Los Padres Forest was created by the federal government in the 1930s specifically to create a safe watershed for the emerging South Coast communities. If the forest were allowed to burn, he was told, the water supplies impounded in Lake Cachuma, Juncal Reservoir, and Gibraltar Dam would all be seriously compromised. As it is, the deposit of ash and mud will compromise all three to extents still unknown.

Another attendee asked about satellite mapping that seemed to indicate the fire had spread down San Ysidro Road south of Highway 192 in one location and in another close to Cold Spring School in Montecito. If true, he stated, the fire would have spread four or five miles from the rest of the fire. “Is there something burning there?” he asked. The answer, he was told, was no. While fire agencies also subscribe to the same satellite imaging services, the results are not always reliable, and false positives have proven problematic. “No. There is no fire by Cold Spring School,” he was told.

https://www.independent.com/news/2017/dec/11/fire-crews-fight-by-land-air-to-hold-thomas-fire/

Monday, December 11, 2017

by NICK WELSH (CONTACT)

 

Montecito Lifestyle

It's more than a home, it's a lifestyle

 

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The Origins of Holiday Traditions

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of putting up a tree for Christmas came from? Or why we light a menorah for Hanukkah? Find out about the interesting origins of many holiday traditions right here.

Holiday Traditions

Christmas tree: Christmas trees have a long history. During the pre-Christian era, trees symbolized a connection between heaven and Earth, according to AllThingsChristmas.com. Similar ideas are found in the Old Testament - trees symbolized wisdom and life. The first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree was done by Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison, on Dec. 22, 1882. Trees did not become widely popular in the U.S. until the middle of the 18 th century, but have grown steadily in popularity. Every year, between 25 and 30 million Americans celebrate Christmas with trees.

Menorah: Menorah is a Hebrew word meaning "candelabrum." It refers to the nine-branched ceremonial lamp in which the Hanukkah candles are placed and then blessed, according to JOI.org. The menorah originated as a religious symbol in biblical times. Originally, oil was used in the menorah. Over time, candles were substituted for the oil. Today, the menorah is displayed in the window of most Jewish homes.

Mishumaa Saba: The Seven Candles, called Mishumaa Saba, are a staple of Kwanzaa tradition. These are ceremonial objects with two primary purposes: to re-create symbolically the sun's power and to provide light. Mishumma Saba is three red, a black and three green candles. The black candle is a celebration of being black, of the unique qualities each person brings to the whole family or community. The green candles are vision candles - candles of hopes, dreams, and promises for the future. The red candles are struggle candles, past candles, candles the color of blood and courage. According to www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org, all seven candles help African-Americans to remember a long struggle against injustice.

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Mistletoe: A revered plant, Mistletoe is interesting since it has no roots yet remains green during the cold months of winter. According to AllThingsChristmas.com, Scandinavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the Mistletoe. People believed, and still do now, that those kissed under the Mistletoe had the promise of happiness and good luck in the following year.

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Giving gifts: Giving gifts is a complex and important part of human interaction, especially around the holidays, according to the NYTimes.com. The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making the Christmas season the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. Christmas gift giving was banned by the Catholic church in the Middle Ages due to its suspected pagan origins. It was later rationalized by the church on the basis that it associated St. Nicholas with Christmas, and that gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were given to the infant Jesus. Today, gift giving is a staple of the holiday season, regardless of religious affiliation.

Article & More info

 

Montecito Lifestyle

It's more than a home, it's a lifestyle

 

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Downtown Holiday Parade!

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More than 65,000 spectators line State Street each year in anticipation of Santa Barbara’s only nighttime parade, the 65th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, Presented by Consumer Fire Products Inc! Officially kicking off the holiday season, this signature Downtown Santa Barbara event brings a colossal contingent of high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday-themed floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and our amazing Grand Marshal, Noah Wyle! The Holiday Prince and Fairy, selected from winning artwork best capturing the parade theme, lead the parade and light up the street on their way down the parade route.

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This year, we're celebrating the Colors of the Season via the many traditions, holidays, and colors of the Winter season. We are inspired by vibrant colors, kaleidoscopes, rainbows, and anything festively neon or colorful! For more inspiration, check our our style guide HERE. Share your ideas and pictures with our official hashtag #DSBHolidayParade. Click here for more information or contact Downtown Santa Barbara staff: (805) 962-2098

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When: Friday, December 1st, 6:30 pm

Where: State Street, from Sola to Cota

Happy Holidays, please let me know if you or your friends

have any Real Estate needs during this wonderful season!

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Post Thanksgiving action, "Giving Tuesday"

Once Thanksgiving dinner has been served, leftover turkey sandwiches consumed and holiday savings swooped up during the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, individuals can embrace the spirit of the season by helping others through Giving Tuesday.

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Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday was launched in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y cultural center in New York City and the United Nations Foundation in response to post-Thanksgiving commercialization and consumerism.

The Giving Tuesday website describes the rapidly growing movement as “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration,” which is meant to kick off the charitable season.

“#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving,” according to the website.

Individuals are encouraged to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to spread the word about the day on their social media accounts and share all the ways they’re giving back — locally and globally — following two days dedicated to post-Thanksgiving holiday spending.

Noozhawk will be participating in Giving Tuesday for the first time this year through its social media channels, reminding readers that Nov. 28 marks the sixth year of the campaign and highlighting local nonprofit organizations that have partnered with the hyperlocal news site to be part of the movement.

Digitals ads around the site link to Noozhawk’s 2017 Giving Tuesday Nonprofit Guide, a brand-new feature of Noozhawk’s second annual Good for Santa Barbara special section, which officially launches on Nov. 28.

The Good for Santa Barbara section, sponsored this year by Montecito Bank & Trust, takes an in-depth look at philanthropy and charity, covering the local nonprofit community as the industry and economic driver that it is.

“When we were planning our annual Good For Santa Barbara project, we wanted to extend the spirit of philanthropy to also include direct benefits to our local nonprofit organizations,” said Kim Clark, Noozhawk’s vice president of business development and a partner in the 10-year-old company.

 

Kim Clark, Noozhawk’s vice president of business development, sees a natural bridge between the global Giving Tuesday movement and the hyperlocal news site’s annual Good for Santa Barbara special section. “Giving Tuesday creates (a) timely opportunity, enabling nonprofits to capitalize on the scope and reach of our reporting and the issues it raises,” she says. (Noozhawk photo)

“Giving Tuesday creates that timely opportunity, enabling nonprofits to capitalize on the scope and reach of our reporting and the issues it raises.”

Clark said it also is important to consider the bigger picture.

“As a global movement,” she said, “Giving Tuesday not only benefits our local community, but also unites countries by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another through collaboration and social media.”

Since launching in 2007, Noozhawk has been a stalwart supporter of local nonprofit organizations and causes through news and iSociety coverage, heavily discounted advertisingsponsorships, a media grants partnershipwith the Hutton Parker Foundation, training sessions and a wide range of community collaborations.

Clark noted that Noozhawk has seen its readership “grow by leaps and bounds, as digitally delivered local news and information becomes more and more entrenched within peoples lives.”

With Noozhawk’s recent 10th anniversary milestone, she said it made sense for the company to take one more step and get directly involved in the promotion of Giving Tuesday campaigns.

“Digital and social media offer huge potential to reach across geographic and cultural boundaries,” Clark said. “If it’s good for the world to embrace collaboration between businesses, nonprofits, civic organizations, families and individuals on this global day of caring, it’s good for Santa Barbara County.”

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If you want to join the global day of giving, there are numerous ways to get involved:

» Donate to charity. Perhaps one of the simplest ways to participate is to donate to a charitable organization of your choice. Keep donations local by choosing an organization from Noozhawk’s 2017 Giving Tuesday Nonprofit Guide, or go national with your dollars.

» Give extra attention to your loved ones, friends and neighbors. Volunteer to take out the neighbor’s trash, mow their lawn or walk their dog. Finish a to-do project at home without being asked.

» Give nonmonetary gifts this season. Volunteer at the local animal shelter or homeless shelter. Donate blood. Visit seniors and/or veterans at care facilities. Read to children. The possibilities are truly endless.

— Noozhawk contributing writer April Charlton can be reached at news@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkSociety@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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The Best Small Cities in the U.S. (Santa Barbara included!)

What do Carmel, Aspen, Charleston and Santa Barbara all have in common? They were all rated as the best small cities in the U.S. by ‘Condé Nast’!

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Santa Barbara has been recognized as one of the Top Small Cities in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. Santa Barbara first appeared on the list in 2015.

The destination, which welcomes more than 7.2 million total visitors per year, is one of 15 winners ranked in the category among other top reader favorites.

More than 300,000 travelers took part in the 30th annual survey — a record high for participation — voting on 610 cities and 7,320 hotels and resorts, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

Several Santa Barbara South Coast hotels were named as winners under the survey’s Top 25 Hotels in Southern California category, including The Kimpton Goodland Hotel, Spanish Garden Inn, Belmond El Encanto and Kimpton Canary Hotel.

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“We’re honored to be named a top destination for travel by Condé Nast Traveler readers and proud to see so many Santa Barbara South Coast hotels recognized,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, Visit Santa Barbara president/CEO.

“Santa Barbara’s small-town charm and relaxed coastal vibe combined with its sophisticated, well-curated shops and attractions offer visitors and our local community the best in hospitality. Its excellent restaurants, stunning coastal landscape and world-class wine country also have helped create the bucket-list appeal of the destination,” she said.

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Santa Barbara and all the winners of the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards are featured in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler and on CNTraveler.com, which together reach 6.1 million readers per month.

A full list of winners can be found at www.cntraveler.com/rca.

— Natalie Bovee for Visit Santa Barbara.

Full Article:   https://www.noozhawk.com/article/conde_nast_readers_rank_santa_barbara_among_top_small_cities

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LOOKING TO LIVE THE MONTECITO LIFESTYLE AND ENJOY ALL SANTA BARBARA HAS TO OFFER? 

Redesigning the Future of State Street

State Street Redesign

Architects Team Up to Brainstorm a 

New Downtown Corridor

State Street Sign Santa Barbara | Image: Stock Images

State Street Sign Santa Barbara | Image: Stock Images

With the retail future of State Street morphing into a major campaign issue, Santa Barbara City Councilmember Randy Rowse enlisted about 60 area architects to do what they do best — evise big plans for other people’s property.

This past Saturday, nine teams assembled at the Louise Lowry Davis Center and spent all day trying to reimagine what State Street could look like from Gutierrez to Sola streets if housing were allowed to be built downtown. City Hall provided the space free of charge; enough architects volunteered their services that an extra room was required. Had they charged for their time, it would have cost $100,000. “It was like Santa Claus’s elves on Christmas Eve,” said Rowse afterward. “I was back-on-my-heels impressed.”

Before putting pencils to paper, the architects had been prepped: A couple of prominent commercial real estate brokers warned them some property owners would rather let their real estate lie empty and fallow than make the investment — nd endure the red tape — eeded to make their square footage attractive to new tenants.

Possibly using unoccupied Macy's space for UCSB students | Image: Panoramia

Possibly using unoccupied Macy's space for UCSB students | Image: Panoramia

Each team took a two-block stretch around State Street extending from Chapala to Anacapa. Some plans were singular: Perhaps the vast, empty Macy’s space could be occupied by UCSB; students would definitely bring life to the street. Perhaps the 99 Cents Only store, another team wondered, could be reimagined as a single-room occupancy hotel to complement the Faulding as a place where people otherwise on the street might go. Most involved agreed the system of historic paseos that run parallel and perpendicular to State lent themselves to defining visual patterns.

Others talked of blocking off State Street, parts of State, or, more particularly, the streets leading into De la Guerra Plaza, and making the plaza pedestrian-only with sidewalk cafés. Others talked micro, about the need for some shop owners to get new awnings and for City Hall to allow brighter paint colors on paseo walls. Other architects advised caution: Don’t wage gratuitous battles with the palette of designs acceptable to the Historic Landmarks Commission. One architect said a city commissar told him after Saturday’s architectural jam session: “You’re wet behind the ears. Did you just graduate from college?”

State Street Santa Barbara | Image: Trip Advisor

State Street Santa Barbara | Image: Trip Advisor

The real issue, however, was not so much visual “spring cleaning,” as one architect put it — t was housing. How can City Hall modify its rules and regulations to promote housing? What incentives are necessary to entice otherwise recalcitrant property owners to invest in housing? Some architectural warhorses, such as Detlev Peikert, suggested that existing parking lots offer prime development opportunities. Peikert’s crew designed plans to drastically reconfigure the Victoria Court parking lot. By moving all the spaces into the center of the lot and installing stacked robotic parking lifts, enough peripheral space could be freed up to accommodate about 90 units of housing, five stories high. Peikert is currently working with a developer to explore such an approach.

State Street from the Sky | Image: Trip Advisor

State Street from the Sky | Image: Trip Advisor

State Street leading to Stearn's Wharf | Image: Trip Advisor

State Street leading to Stearn's Wharf | Image: Trip Advisor

During recent City Council and mayoral forums, most candidates agreed downtown is in sore need of serious help and that housing is part of the answer. Breaking into mainstream lingo now is an architect/planner buzzword: “decoupling.” Housing and parking have long been “coupled” in traditional planning codes. For housing to happen downtown, they will have to be “decoupled,” meaning no parking —  major expense — ould be required of developers building housing. Downtown parking garages could be used instead.

The city’s new zoning ordinance, passed just months ago, might prove problematic, as it requires a certain amount of open space per unit. That, too, could be space and cost prohibitive. For housing on State Street to make a difference, the architects agreed — nd some city planners too — here needs to be a lot of it. According to Peikert, who designs affordable housing projects, there need to be at least 1,500 units. According to a city planner, at least 100 units per block. That’s a lot. That’s different. But for the architects involved in last Saturday’s “charrette,” it’s just a start.

Content: Nick Welsh / Santa Barbara Independent

 

Wanting to know more of the inside scoop

On Santa Barbara 

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Something New in Santa Barbara - Hotel Californian Opens

Hotel California Opens in Santa Barbara - Sunday, September 18th 2017 || Image: Hotel California

Hotel California Opens in Santa Barbara - Sunday, September 18th 2017 || Image: Hotel California

Another Reason to Live in Paradise

Entrance to Hotel Californian with Susan J. Pate || Image: Sami Drasin

Entrance to Hotel Californian with Susan J. Pate || Image: Sami Drasin

Palms still have their hair up, hosts ready to welcome new guests and a tangible excitement in Santa Barbara's waterfront location. This weekend, a welcomed addition finally opened it's doors to the public with guests flying in from all over the world to celebrate it's grand opening.

Location

Visitors from all around the globe visit Stearn's Wharf and now they'll be able to enjoy Santa Barbara's waterfront in all her glory. Hotel Californian is seconds away from the main beach front of Santa Barbara and The Funk Zone in an area called La Entrada ('The Entrance' to the city), which for many years was neglected until recently. The Hotel has added the WOW factor the location needed. With its Moorish design and luxury details, you'll be left feeling inspired and mesmerized by it's beauty. With a price tag of 240 million dollars , no expense was spared and it shows. There are 121 rooms with a rooftop pool, turkish style spa, 2 restaurants and an event deck providing a panoramic view of the coastline. Not to mention a bit of history in the present, the hotel has been built to include the original façade of the 1925 Hotel Californian.

Hotel Californian is minutes from the waterfront and Santa Barbara's Funk Zone || Image: Sami Drasin

Hotel Californian is minutes from the waterfront and Santa Barbara's Funk Zone || Image: Sami Drasin

Majorelle Spa - one-of-kind exeperience with Marrocon and Spanish design to 'evoke a sense of active tranquility' || Image: Hotel Californian 

Majorelle Spa - one-of-kind exeperience with Marrocon and Spanish design to 'evoke a sense of active tranquility' || Image: Hotel Californian 

The hotel has been built to include the original façade of the 1925 Hotel Californian || Image: Hotel Californian

The hotel has been built to include the original façade of the 1925 Hotel Californian || Image: Hotel Californian

Stunning Rooftop Pool with views of the Pacific Ocean || Image: Booking.com

Stunning Rooftop Pool with views of the Pacific Ocean || Image: Booking.com

Design 

Celebrity Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has provided the hotel with a modern take on Santa Barbara, "redefining the American Riviera". He brings in a classic mix of spanish colonial style with moroccan influences. 

Oil-Rubbed Bronze Moroccan Fixtures throughout the Hotel Built to Inspire || Image: Sami Drasin

Oil-Rubbed Bronze Moroccan Fixtures throughout the Hotel Built to Inspire || Image: Sami Drasin

Golds, blacks and white with a touch of natural green is a modern twist on Santa Barbara's Spanish Style || Image: Hotel Californian

Golds, blacks and white with a touch of natural green is a modern twist on Santa Barbara's Spanish Style || Image: Hotel Californian

Classic Modern Design || Image: Booking.com

Classic Modern Design || Image: Booking.com

Hotel Californian Lobby showcasing the Moorish Design combining Spanish Colonial style with Moroccan influence || Image: Sami Drasin

Hotel Californian Lobby showcasing the Moorish Design combining Spanish Colonial style with Moroccan influence || Image: Sami Drasin

Dining

Goat Tree is a Gourmet Cafe, great for Sunday brunch or lunch. The Pastries are delicious with Butter Croissants that tastes like it was made in Paris. This is a great spot for on the-the-go bites or a spur-of-the-moment meals with delicious open faced sandwiches. Alex Lamotte is the pastry Chef who worked for 3 star Michelin restaurants in San Francisco. The restaurant also provide picnics for the beach which is a fun idea. Soon their Brazilian restaurant Black Bird will be opening and promises to exceed expectations. 

Goat Tree Gourmet Cafe is a great spot for coffee, pastries and even picnics for the beach || Image: Sami Drasin

Goat Tree Gourmet Cafe is a great spot for coffee, pastries and even picnics for the beach || Image: Sami Drasin

Blackbird Restaurant - Still to Open || Image: Booking.com

Blackbird Restaurant - Still to Open || Image: Booking.com

Stunning ocean and beachfront views from Rooftop Terrace which can be used for events || Image: Sami Drasin

Stunning ocean and beachfront views from Rooftop Terrace which can be used for events || Image: Sami Drasin

Looking to live the Montecito Lifestyle and enjoy all Santa Barbara has to offer? 

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Montecito Lifestyle :: Recent Sales

Montecito Lifestyle Recent Sales

Summer has been hot in Montecito and so have Property Sales...

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Montecito Lifestyle has joined forces with 3 top-producing agents at Compass to form         The Morhart Group. And, this is why...Million-dollar listings sold fast, due to the collaboration of top-tiered agents in Montecito. Click here for more information on The Morehart Group.

2885 Hidden Valley Lane - SOLD - Montecito Lifestyle

Contemporary Country Estate: This is the stylish country inspired ocean view home you have dreamed of. Sophisticated, charming and beautifully finished.Extensively remodeled 2010. The garden setting is extraordinary: Beautiful rose and flower gardens, stone walls, spacious wrap around ocean and island view dining deck, kitchen BBQ patio, outdoor shower.

1526 East Valley Road, Montecito California - SOLD by Montecito Lifestyle

Bob Easton designed home offering a sophisticated contemporary ambiance and keen architectural details. The condo is one of two units, with one common garage wall. Remarkably private behind garden walls, all rooms open to generous outdoor spaces with beautiful Zen gardens. This designer owned home has been beautifully remodeled with gorgeous high quality stylish finishes throughout. The living room offers a large fireplace and walls of glass with oak vistas. The home has wonderful light quality with beautiful sky lights, glass brick walls, custom light fixtures and mirrors throughout. Two Bedroom/Two Bath. One car garage attached.

511 Las Fuentes Drive - SOLD

Set on what may be the most dramatic and premier location within the prestigious Birnam Wood Golf Club, this highly refined home offers spectacular mountain and lake views from its expansive rooms along with the finest examples of superior construction and design. The 3-bedroom plus den home offers high ceilings, handsome moldings, stone fireplaces, warm parquet oak floors and generous marble baths. One of the largest and most inspiring homes in the club.

 

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Wanting to Sell your Home and Work with one of Montecito's Top-Producing Agents?

 

 

 

A Golf Centre Grows in Harlem

Students in the Bridge Golf Foundation program, based in Harlem, make their way to the golf course at the Bridge, a club in Bridgehampton that is owned by one of the foundation’s creators. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Students in the Bridge Golf Foundation program, based in Harlem, make their way to the golf course at the Bridge, a club in Bridgehampton that is owned by one of the foundation’s creators. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Power of Golf to Bring Change

At Compass, we're all about helping people find their place in this world. A growing golf centre in Harlem is doing exactly that! Helping underprivileged and mostly young minority men find their place in this world through the game of golf. As a progressive real estate brokerage, we aim to do the same.

 

By PAUL ROGERS | NEW YORK TIMES

Two years ago, Juan Cortorreal had never held a golf club. And now here he was, a freshman from the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem, competing against the top player from the Bronx High School of Science, one of the city’s best teams.

As his team’s No. 1 man, Juan had to tee off in the first group, in front of a crowd, at the Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx, toward the end of the school year last May. Everyone fell hushed as he settled into his stance. With a patient backswing and whiplike follow-through, he sent his ball flying up the tree-lined fairway. He outdrove his opponent, a far more seasoned player, but proceeded to lose the hole and, eventually, the match, just as he had every other match all season. Afterward, though, he was practically ebullient.

“It was probably the most competitive match I’ve had,” Juan, 15, said. “It was fun; it was really fun.”

Juan and his identical twin, Antonio, are two of 20 Eagle Academy students who are avidly learning the game — and studying science, math and character lessons — with the Bridge Golf Foundation of Harlem. The group’s mission is to improve the lives and opportunities of young minority men through golf.

An instructor, Brian Hwang, drives at the Bridge club. Antonio Cortorreal, 15, is one of his students. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

An instructor, Brian Hwang, drives at the Bridge club. Antonio Cortorreal, 15, is one of his students. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

The golf program is the latest in a growing number of organizations in New York and across the country devoted to introducing minority youths to sports traditionally played mostly by whites and to providing mentoring and tutoring programs. Harlem alone has StreetSquashIce Hockey in HarlemHarlem Lacrosse; and Dream, formerly Harlem RBI, which focuses on baseball and softball.

At a time when Harlem is undergoing rapid change — to the disappointment and outright disgust of some longtime residents — Farrell Evans, the primary architect of the golf foundation, said the program represents a model for progressive gentrification.

“People get too caught up on the idea of displacement,” said Mr. Evans, who has lived in Harlem for 17 years. “We’re an example of how you can make it work for everybody.”

The foundation, located on West 117th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, is part of a neighborhood that bears little resemblance to how it looked just a few years ago. A Whole Foods opened at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in late July, a capstone to a boulevard of restored brownstones where bistros and upscale coffee shops now outnumber the remaining dollar stores and bodegas.

Whole Foods Market opened in Harlem in July. Its arrival is one of the changes that has longtime residents of the neighborhood concerned about gentrification. Image: CHANG W. LEE / THE NEW YORK TIMES

Whole Foods Market opened in Harlem in July. Its arrival is one of the changes that has longtime residents of the neighborhood concerned about gentrification. Image: CHANG W. LEE / THE NEW YORK TIMES

It’s not hard to find Harlem residents who lament the influx of wealth and newcomers in a neighborhood that once held the heart of black culture in America.

A community effort — backed by Adriano Espaillat, the Democrat who represents the 13th Congressional District — is afoot to thwart the real estate industry’s effort to rebrand the area between West 110th and West 125th Streets as SoHa (short for South Harlem).

Mr. Espaillat, who was unfamiliar with the Bridge Golf Foundation, said in an interview that any after-school program that provides academic enrichment, especially in science and technology, could be of great help to students anywhere. But he also said the foundation’s mission struck him as being “somewhat paternalistic” in what he considered to be an effort to “take students out of the basketball court and teach them a game where they can brush elbows with the very rich and elite of this city.”

“SoHa, Whole Foods, displacement,” he said. “Is success coming at the expense of people that are living there?”

“SoHa, Whole Foods, displacement,” he said. “Is success coming at the expense of people that are living there?”

“SoHa, Whole Foods, displacement,” he said. “Is success coming at the expense of people that are living there?”

Antonio Cortorreal, left, and his twin brother, Juan, during a golf lesson; STEM subjects are part of the curriculum. Images: LEFT: CHANG W. LEE / THE NEW YORK TIMES RIGHT: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Antonio Cortorreal, left, and his twin brother, Juan, during a golf lesson; STEM subjects are part of the curriculum. Images: LEFT: CHANG W. LEE / THE NEW YORK TIMES RIGHT: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Bridge Golf Learning Center, also the headquarters for the foundation, opened in May 2016. The center occupies a street-level space in the rear of a luxury condominium called the Adeline that was built in 2014.

The facility has three hitting bays. Cups for putting are sunk into the carpeted floor. When the foundation isn’t in session with the students, the center is open to the public — generally a high-paying clientele — for lessons with golf pros, club fittings, fitness screenings and open play on state-of-the-art simulators that spew data such as club speed and carry distance.

Juan and Antonio know all of their numbers.

“Today I hit 275,” Juan said on a recent afternoon at the learning center, referring to how many yards he hit the ball off a tee with his driver. It was his longest drive yet. Antonio’s was 266. Either would be the envy of most recreational golfers.

The students at the center are seventh through 10th graders. All of them have enrolled by choice, but as a requirement of enrollment they must go to the learning center at least four days a week after school.

The organization also offers a seven-week summer program. Many of the students spent July and the first half of August preparing for state Regents exams. The twins focused on geometry, Juan in hopes of improving upon a 72, Antonio with the goal of passing. Each passed the earth science exam with ease.

Students must attend classes after school four days a week at the learning center. From left, Charlie Cohen, an instructor, works with Jacob Scarborough and Braylan Stewarts. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Students must attend classes after school four days a week at the learning center. From left, Charlie Cohen, an instructor, works with Jacob Scarborough and Braylan Stewarts. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Sitting in their fourth-floor walk-up, above a West African grocery and a shuttered pizzeria, the twins’ father, Hector Cortorreal, said the golf center, along with Eagle Academy, the public school his sons attend, has provided much-needed focus in their lives. “I always see them doing their homework,” he said, gesturing toward the dining table in the narrow apartment.

The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem is one of six schools — one in each New York City borough and another in Newark — run by the Eagle Academy Foundation. The Bridge Golf Foundation chose to become partners with Eagle Academy, Mr. Evans said, because their missions align. Each is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to urban young men of color. He said his foundation drew inspiration from the national movement to better address the needs of this at-risk group, citing former President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Young Men’s Initiative spearheaded by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Both the Bridge Golf Foundation and the Eagle Academies include character education in their curriculums to encourage students’ social and emotional development. This summer, for example, the Bridge students read “The Pact,” a memoir about three young black men who, while growing up in Newark, promised one another they would become doctors and overcame hardships to fulfill their dream.

The Cortorreal family emigrated from the Dominican Republic when Juan and Antonio, the youngest of five siblings, were 7 years old. Their father is a porter in a building around the block. Their mother, Marisol, works as a home health attendant. The parents are no longer together, and the boys are living with their father.

As talented yet underprivileged young men, the Cortorreals are just the kind of the students the Bridge Golf Foundation was made for, Mr. Evans said.

Stretching before play at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Stretching before play at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mr. Evans, a former journalist who grew up playing golf in a black middle-class family, started the foundation with Robert M. Rubin, a retired commodities trader who came from a white working-class background and is now the principal owner of the Bridge, a lavish country club in Bridgehampton. The two men met in the fall of 2014 while playing golf with a mutual friend in Westchester County.

As they strolled the fairways, Mr. Rubin and Mr. Evans shared stories of their backgrounds in the sport.

Mr. Evans, 42, grew up in Forsyth, Ga., a small town 60 miles south of Atlanta. He started playing as a youth with an old set of clubs of his father’s he found in the family barn. Although his dad no longer played, his extended family was deeply involved in the sport. His uncle, J. P. Evans, was a scratch, or expert, player who in the early 1970s helped desegregate the public course where his nephew would learn the game 15 years later.

In high school, Mr. Evans competed in predominantly black junior tournaments in Detroit, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. In college, he played on the golf team at Florida A&M University.

When he met Mr. Rubin, Mr. Evans was writing about golf for ESPN.com. His connection to the golf industry began when he landed an internship with the PGA Tour as part of an effort to increase opportunities for minorities in the sport. The Tour began the program in response to the controversy surrounding the 1990 P.G.A. Championship, which had been held at Shoal Creek, then an all-white country club outside Birmingham, Ala.

Farrell Evans, left, a co-creator of the Bridge Golf Foundation, works with Juan Cortorreal, 15. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Farrell Evans, left, a co-creator of the Bridge Golf Foundation, works with Juan Cortorreal, 15. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mr. Rubin, 63, came to golf later in life. The son of an appliance repairman, he grew up in Monmouth County, N.J, with zero ties to the sport. After college, he went to work on Wall Street. Only then did he learn what currency golf has in the business world.

Mr. Rubin founded his club, the Bridge, in 2002. It self-consciously shirks tradition. The rolling grounds unfurl across the site of an old racetrack, relics of which, including flag stations and a spectator bridge advertising Chevron gasolines, still dot the property. The initiation fee is $975,000.

When Mr. Evans and Mr. Rubin strolled along the fairways of Westchester County that day, trading stories, Mr. Evans asked him, “Have you ever thought about doing something around golf with kids in the city?” Mr. Rubin was interested. Within a week, Mr. Evans had come up with a plan.

The two men established the nonprofit foundation in January 2015.

The annual budget is roughly $1 million, Mr. Evans said. Most of the funding comes from donations, with the major benefactor being Mr. Rubin. His motivation in underwriting the organization, he said, comes from what he considers a growing inequality of opportunity in America.

“I think there is a self-reinforcing, protectionist mechanism among the elites, and I’m thinking about ways to crack that,” Mr. Rubin explained. “The system that gave me my opportunity is broken now. So this is a way to create little openings in the armor that the elite have built around themselves.”

While President Trump, with his gilded private clubs, has become for many the face of golf in America, the foundation reflects a far different mission within the game.

Along the walls of the learning center are sculptures made from old leather golf bags by the conceptual artist Charles McGill, who was black (he died in July after a brief illness). The golf bag, he wrote in an exposition on prominent display, is “a very political object due to its historical associations with class inequality and racial injustice.”

Tariq Washington attempts to leave the sand trap at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Tariq Washington attempts to leave the sand trap at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Not only were many country clubs and municipal courses once segregated, so, too, were the ranks of professional golf. The Professional Golfers Association of America, the precursor of the PGA Tour, maintained a Caucasians-only policy until 1961, forcing pioneering black pros, including Ted Rhodes and Charlie Sifford, to play for years on African-American circuits. Sifford became the first black professional golfer to break the color barrier, but although he went on to win two PGA events, his best years were behind him.

It was in light of this history, and the ongoing plight of minority men in America today, that Mr. Evans came up with the idea of a youth golf program with an academic track in Harlem.

Early on, Mr. Evans recalled, people asked him why he was focusing exclusively on young, male minorities. “I said, ‘All you have to do is read the newspaper, look at your nightly news.’ It doesn’t take rocket science to see what’s going on in America.”

The Bridge students have examined issues of race through STEM as well as golf. Antonio was part of a team of students who researched the water contamination crisis in Flint, Mich. They presented their findings at a water-themed fair at the foundation in June.

The scandal’s disproportionate effect on Flint’s poor black population made an impression on Antonio. “It just seemed unfair to me that they had to drink that water,” he said.

The majority of the foundation’s STEM lessons are designed around the physics and statistics of golf. The students explore physics principles like the magnus effect, a lift force that determines the flight of a spinning ball. They also design their own experiments to determine, say, mean, mode and median and the correlation between two factors, like a golf club’s loft and the rotation of a ball.

Brian Hwang, right, works with Noah Folks at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Brian Hwang, right, works with Noah Folks at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

“You learn statistics in school and you think that it’s boring and why the hell are they making me do this?” said Veeshan Narinesingh, a co-leader of the Bridge’s STEM program. “But they see it in an actual application to something they care about and it sticks in their head more.”

The foundation began working with Eagle Academy students in September 2015. The learning center was still under construction, so the classes met at the Harlem Y.M.C.A. The boys swung plastic clubs until the center opened eight months later.

“As soon as we put a real club in their hands, they wanted to swing it,” said Brian Hwang, one of the foundation’s two full-time teaching pros. “And then they started to hit their first shots into the screens. That was it — they loved it.”

As the only boys’ high school golf team in Harlem, one composed entirely of freshmen, Eagle Academy lost every match last spring. Still, the boys said they gained valuable experience. The season produced highs as well as lows.

 

“Look at this shot!” Randy Taylor, the foundation’s other full-time pro, said during the Bronx Science match last spring as a drive of Antonio’s flew toward the green at Mosholu’s third hole, stopping 10 feet from the cup.

Mr. Taylor, 35, grew up in a family of modest means in Bridgeport, Conn., and took up the game at the insistence of his mother, who enrolled him in an after-school program that combined golf and academics. When he was 14, Mr. Taylor met Tiger Woods, then a rising star, who awarded him a scholarship to a Nike golf camp.

“I tell the boys all the time,” said Mr. Taylor, “that changed a lot for me and put me in a situation where I could learn this game of golf, be good at it and teach it for a living, and pass it on to them.”

Juan Cortorreal on the fairway at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Juan Cortorreal on the fairway at the Bridge. Image: JOHNNY MILANO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

A few times a year, the foundation hosts the students at the Bridge, Mr. Rubin’s club.

Their most recent visit, in late July, combined hands-on lessons on how a golf course is maintained with sumptuous food, an instructional clinic and time spent playing on the course.

After a work session in the morning and a lunch of quesadillas, cheeseburgers and push-up pops on the club’s patio, the boys limbered up for golf lessons. Then they hiked to the first tee.

Zion Smith, 14, hit his opening drive and then took a moment to admire the verdant tableau, with its views of Peconic Bay in the distance. “It’s different than every other course I’ve played,” he said. “Everything is just so clean.”

Far more than just offering the occasional day in the country or an introduction to golf, Zion said, the foundation has become a second family to him after his father died of cancer.

“It’s very helpful to have people around to support me, that want me to be successful just like my father was,” he said. “They’re kind of stepping in as a parent figure in my father’s shoes, treating me special. Like I’m someone and not invisible, not being ignored.”

Article by: Paul Rogers - New York Times

Susan Pate

At Compass, we're all about helping people find their place in this world. 

Billionaire's Trailer Park Hotspots

Malibu and the Hamptons have something in common, million-dollar views, billion-dollar residents and a location on one of the world's most iconic beaches. Image | New York Times Style Magazine

Malibu and the Hamptons have something in common, million-dollar views, billion-dollar residents and a location on one of the world's most iconic beaches. Image | New York Times Style Magazine

America's Most Affluent Trailer Parks

More and more, there's a growing trend in America of trailer parks with million-dollar views on prime real estate drawing the affluent. But why would the wealthy invest in boring rows of modular mobile homes squeezed onto tiny plots of land? We find the answer hidden in Paradise Cove, a private waterfront community of 265 trailers in Malibu and Montauk Shores, a trailer park in the  Hamptons, both built in the 50's.

Montauk Shores, Hamptons. Image | New York Post

Montauk Shores, Hamptons. Image | New York Post

Paradise Cove, Malibu

Paradise Cove was first developed in 1950, when fishermen began parking their trailers and campers down by the water. In the ’70s, the Cove’s owners graded the bluff above their original plot, which at that point had 100 trailers, to make space for an additional 165 double-wide units. A buyer bought one of these larger mobile homes for around $70,000 (the going rate at the time). Thirty-six years later, the mobile homes sell in the millions.

And yet despite that stunning appreciation, Paradise Cove remains very much what it was when buyers first moved there: a laid-back, humble 85-acre classic California beach scape populated by people who want to live within walking distance of a secluded stretch of the Pacific Ocean. The difference (besides prices, of course) is that although people once came here because it was all they could afford, the Cove’s new generation of residents — entrepreneurs, financiers and a handful of actors, designers and filmmakers — come here because they want to, because the area represents an antidote, and at times a rebuke, to the sprawling estates of nearby Los Angeles (where, in fact, some of them maintain their primary residences). The other thing that attracts these newcomers to the community is its coziness, its very sense of community (hard to avoid when your neighbors are just 10 feet away) and the unlikelihood that it will ever be developed: There are still just 265 trailers here, and no room nor plans to add more.

And while the newcomers may drive nicer cars and trick out their old trailers — most of which date to the 1970s and which range between 400 and 1,000 square feet — with clapboard siding and Viking stoves, for the most part they respect the spirit of the Cove, its peaceable lack of ambition. They see the same thing that drew Carter so many years ago — a place that is nearby but feels far away. Here are a few members of the next generation of Paradise Cove.

Paradise Cove Cafe, Malibu. Image | Laura Csorta

Paradise Cove Cafe, Malibu. Image | Laura Csorta

113 Paradise Cove Road
Malibu CA 90265

Welcome to the "Seaside Cottage" located in Malibu's famed Paradise Cove. Charm best describes the ambience. A white picket fence with a morning glory-covered arch leads you through a lovely garden straight out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. Start your day with a spectacular ocean view from the spacious master bedroom! French doors lead to a generous deck with spa. This 3 bedroom 3 bath home includes 6 parking spaces, 3 of which are covered. Features include: gated community, hardwood floors, skylights, charming sunroom, lush gardens, ample storage. The expansive tree covered common area gives a feel of an extended yard with a path leading to Paradise Beach and restaurant. Enjoy a meal at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe with your toes in the sand while waves crash on the beach. The 'Seaside Cottage' is ready for you to experience a little piece of Paradise!

3  Beds  |  3  Baths  |  1,700 Sqft

Offered for:

$3,200,000

Montauk Shores, Hamptons

Montauk Shores in the Hamptons has become a billionaire's hotspot and owning a trailer at the park has become the ultimate status symbol for the tony Long Island town’s summering rich and famous, many of whom use their relatively modest mobile digs as a second pad to escape with the family or even as a glorified changing room after a long day of romping in Montauk’s waves.

"Owning a trailer at the park has become the ultimate status symbol...There’s also the indescribable cachet that comes with shabby chic."

“All you own is the box of air above the land,” noted a former Montauk Shores trailer owner. “Whoever buys here is essentially buying a 24-foot-wide-by-50-foot-long box of air.” But for some deep-pocketed denizens, that’s all they want. So many wealthy people have infiltrated the trailer park that it now has its own “Billionaires’ Corner,’’ a local Realtor told The Post.

“It has definitely become a thing — it’s epic,” he said.

Montauk Shores wasn’t always a refuge for the rich. Originally created as an impromptu campsite with tents in the 1940s and ’50s, the trailer park eventually drew public servants — especially police and firefighters — along with some teachers and fishermen. In 1976, 152 of its residents banded together and bought the 20-acre property — with its 900 feet of shoreline at the end of Long Island — rescuing it from bankruptcy. The move made Montauk Shores the first trailer-park condo association in the state.

Life was good. Blue-collar workers who wouldn’t normally be able to enjoy an expensive oceanside view got one, local surfers landed access to the gnarliest waves, and retirees searching for peace and quiet were rewarded with unspoiled coastline, with only Dick Cavett’s Tick Hall home and the late Andy Warhol’s estate far off in the distance. Helping to keep the park’s development under control was an unspoken rule: Anything new had to be wheeled in. But as improbable as it seems, the trailer park has been increasingly pulling in billionaires by the boatload.

There’s Vitaminwater co-founder Darius Bikoff, hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb, film producer Karen Lauder — whose ex-husband is billionaire William Lauder — and wealthy socialite Bettina Stelle and her starchitect hubby, Fred, not to mention their house guests, who include Jimmy Buffet.

“I know quite a few billionaires here,” Fred Stelle said. “The most appealing aspect is the park’s quality of life. It’s a classic throwback to a summer community — relaxed and low-key in a funky way, like what Southern California must have been like in the 1950s, and it’s safe for kids.” The park’s cast of characters also includes a “legendary” retired ConEd lineman who taught Stelle’s son how to spearfish. Most of the trailers are from 200 square feet to double-wide models of up to 1,400 square feet. Some owners have tacked on second floors, but they can’t build out and widen the footprint of their original lot. Depending on whether they’re leased or owned, the homes currently go for from $200,000 to $1.495 million. Owners shell out around $150 a month in dues, which pays for grounds upkeep as well as security and maintenance of its pool and clubhouse.

Montauk Shores, Hamptons. Image | New York Post

Montauk Shores, Hamptons. Image | New York Post

Of course, the billionaires are huddled together in the coveted oceanfront lots, by one of the best surfing beaches on the East Coast, with Ferraris and Porsches parked by their trailers. Rich residents aren’t settling for basic white siding and tired interiors for their new nests, either. One homeowner replaced his trailer’s plastic siding with mahogany. The inside is all “Italian marble, a kitchenette, a bathroom, a sitting area and a place to hang his surfboards,” a source said. “It’s completely decked out to the nines in a way that would make James Bond blush.”

The trailer also comes with a tiny plot of irrigated grass with Zen-like stones that were hand-polished by the billionaire’s advance team, the source added. Leaving no stone unturned, his workers make sure the trailer and its plot of grass are spotless before the billionaire’s arrival, the source said, buffing the stones to remove sandy footprints. Some of the wealthy leave their mansions for the trailer park to escape their families. Others bring their children to “reconnect.” And some use their mobile homes to shower in comfort after a day at the beach.

Bikoff has reportedly never slept in his trailer, which doesn’t even contain a bed. He uses it as a swanky “changing room and storage locker for his surfboards and as a place where he can hang out with his friends,” a source said. Bikoff did not return calls for comment.

Montauk Shores has become a symbol of the creeping change that is transforming the area, locals say.

Article & Images by: Jennifer Gould Kiel (New York Post) & Tom Delavan (New York Times Style Magazine)

Montecito Lifestyle Blog - Susan Pate

Interested in becoming apart of America's most affluent trailer park in Paradise Cove?