Montecito Lifestyle

Annual Italian Street Painting Festival in Santa Barbara

Annual Italian Street Painting Festival in Santa Barbara

The I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival will celebrate its 31st anniversary from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 26, 27, and 28 at the Santa Barbara Mission. A ceremony at noon on Monday, May 28, on the Mission steps will introduce and thank the major festival sponsors and featured artist Meredith Morin as her street painting is concluded.

De La Guerra Plaza, a look back

Plaza de la Guerra, in the first block of East De la Guerra Street, has been a focal point of the city’s social life since the 1820s. During the Spanish and Mexican eras, the plaza was often the scene of dances, fiestas, and bullfights. Just to the north of the plaza, across De la Guerra Street, stands the former home of José de la Guerra y Noriega, perhaps Santa Barbara’s most prominent citizen during its early history.

Getty Images

Getty Images

In 1855, the city’s common council designated the plaza, along with Plaza Alameda and Plaza Vera Cruz, as a public square or park — the first official parks in Santa Barbara. There the matter rested for the next 20 years, as the plaza remained simply an open area. In 1875, a new City Hall arose in the middle of the plaza. Initially, the two-story brick building housed all city offices, the jail, fire house, and the municipal court.

Construction of the City Hall sparked more development around the plaza. Frenchman Louis Raffour opened the Raffour House at the northeast corner of the plaza in the late 1870s. José Borderre, a Basque sheepherder, opened his French Hotel in the southeast corner of the plaza in the 1890s. These and other businesses maintained the plaza’s position at the center of city life.

De La Guerra Plaza :: Town Hall

De La Guerra Plaza :: Town Hall

De La Guerra Plaza :: Casa DLG

De La Guerra Plaza :: Casa DLG

In 1910, the City Hall received a facelift with a new red metal roof and cement facade in the popular Mission Revival architectural style. By the early 1920s, it was apparent that the creation of new city departments and expanding government services dictated new quarters. The city already rented office space around town to accommodate its growing bureaucracy. Voters passed a $200,000 bond issue in 1922. Most of the funds were to go toward construction of a new City Hall at the site of the old Raffour House.

Ronald Sauter and E. Keith Lockard rendered the new facility in the Spanish Colonial style, in keeping with El Paseo and its “Street in Spain” across De la Guerra Street. The move to give Santa Barbara a unified architectural look based upon the Spanish Colonial Revival style was in full swing before the 1925 earthquake, which accelerated this trend. The new City Hall included not only city offices, but the police department and the city jail. The old City Hall in the middle of the plaza was razed, and the plaza landscaped with lawn and flowers.

Anchoring the plaza on the south side was the Santa Barbara News-Press building, designed by George Washington Smith and completed in 1922. At the time of construction, the building housed the Santa Barbara Daily News. In the 1930s, Thomas Storke would buy the rival Morning Press to form the News-Press. In 1951, the tower and the east wing were added to the building.

Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, controversy began to stir when plans were broached to ban autos from the plaza and transform it into a strictly pedestrian area. A number of businesses protested the proposed changes, and the plans were eventually shelved. The plaza continues to play host to a number of festivities during the year including the Fiesta Mercado and Cinco de Mayo celebration to name just two. Taken all together, Plaza de la Guerra, Casa de la Guerra, and El Paseo form a wonderfully evocative complex that is still, in many ways, the heart and soul of the city.

De La Guerra :: Fiesta

De La Guerra :: Fiesta

Click here for more details on article

Montecito Lifestyle Featured Listings


Montecito Lifestyle



Hello Spring

Hello Spring

Well Spring is in full swing in Montecito and what better way to spring-into-action by sprucing up your garden. What's missing in your garden? Discover practical ways to get your hands dirty + plot out that gorgeous garden you've always wanted. Take your cues from Veranda and add wildflowers to the mix this year.

Santa Barbara Rainfall + Lake Cachuma

Santa Barbara Rainfall + Lake Cachuma

The creation of Lake Cachuma took almost 20 years. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors commissioned a report early in 1938 regarding the “utilization of water resources.” This report, completed the following year, called for a new dam “between the mouth of Santa Cruz Creek and Cachuma Creek” on the Santa Ynez River. The report further stated that “the future of Santa Barbara County depends upon the prompt execution” of the proposal.

Disaster Resource Hub Opens in Montecito

Disaster Resource Hub Opens in Montecito

A new center is opening in Montecito Thursday, March 8, to serve as a central source of support, information and resources for residents, businesses, employees and communities affected by the Thomas Fire and Jan. 9 debris flow.

Upper Village Celebration!

Montecito, CA – Boutique shopping, complimentary food tastings, live music, kids’ activities and much more are in store on Saturday, February 24, from 2 pm to 6 pm at various locations in Montecito’s Upper Village.


All local businesses are open and ready to welcome shoppers following the devastating Thomas Fire and subsequent mudflow that shut down business for multiple weeks in December and January. Celebrate Montecito’s Upper Village is an opportunity for the community to show love and support to the restaurants and retailers who help to make the Montecito community the magical place that it is.

“The businesses in the Upper Village have really suffered during the recent events,” said event committee chair Ted Simmons. “We have heard that some businesses lost as much as forty percent of their annual revenue during closures over the holidays. The idea of this event is to gather and show that we appreciate them with our presence and by buying gifts, flowers, home decor, clothes, food and more!”


The event, organized by a group of community volunteers and neighbors, is kid friendly, with various activities including face painting and crafts geared toward the youngest members of our community. There will also be several musical guests at various locations in the Upper Village throughout the afternoon and evening.

Upper Village Businesses will be open and most will be offering discounts and donating to local non-profits to support mudslide relief.

The schedule is as follows:

2:00 to 4:00 pm: Face Painting, Station for Writing Thank You Cards for Firefighters and Rescue Workers in the grassy circle in front of Tecolote Bookstore.

3:30 to 6:00 pm: Music located near Pan e Vino; bands include Bryan Titus Trio, Paradise Kings, Tina Schlieske & the Graceland Exiles. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes in front of Village Wine & Cheese. Dan & the Dairy Queens with Leslie Lembo will be performing in the courtyard by Pierre La Fond & Wine Bistro 


Article & More info


Montecito Lifestyle



Summer in Santa Barbara? The Best Tech for Travelers

You may be headed for vacation, but that doesn’t mean your house can take a break. Invest in these seven smart devices and prepare for liftoff knowing your home is in good hands.

Words: Paulina Pinsky | Illustrations: Arina Shabanova

Maintain the grounds with Rachio

This smart sprinkler system and connected app allow you to specify grass type, shade levels, and soil by zone. Worried about unpredictable weather? Rachio automatically adjusts, taking into account the forecast as well as current conditions. Available at; compatible with Amazon, Google, and Nest products.

Save up to 50% on water bill

Protect your property with Canary

This security camera is programmed to automatically activate when you leave the premises and disarm upon your return. If tripped, you’ll receive an alert on your smartphone with the option to sound a 90-decibel siren and notify the authorities from afar. Available at

Secure the perimeter with August Smart Lock

Double-check that your entrances are secure from your phone — and, if not, lock them from thousands of miles away. The device, which integrates with your deadbolt, can create virtual keys for the house-sitter; it even logs who was there and what time they arrived. Available at; compatible with Amazon, Google, and Nest products.

Light up the night with Wink + GE Link

Pair GE Link’s LED bulbs with the Wink app to set up an automatic schedule mimicking your daily routine, and even the neighbors won’t know you’re gone. From table lamps to garden lights, the bulbs work indoors and out. Available at; compatible with IFFTTT and Amazon products.

Save the environment

Cool your home with Ecobee

Control this smart thermostat’s temperature settings from your phone, reducing energy usage while you’re gone and ensuring a temperate climate upon arrival. Better yet, the device will issue an alert should it detect any problems with your heating or cooling systems while you’re away. Available at; compatible with IFFTTT, Amazon, and Apple products.

Pamper the pets with Rover

Whether your dog or cat likes to stay on their home turf or they’re ready for a mini-vacation of their own, find a top-reviewed caretaker for house visits and boarding alike, backed by premium insurance for any accidents. Book at

Stock your fridge with Instacart

Who wants to return home to a bare cupboard? As you taxi down the runway, open the delivery app on your smartphone and order some fresh staples — milk, fruit, yogurt — to arrive within the hour. Order at; compatible with iPhone andAndroid phones.

How will you be spending your summer? Come see all Santa Barbara has to offer, leaving your home in good hands.