Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Carriage District

One of the most beautiful spots in Santa Maria is a neighborhood called the Carriage District. I'm a little fuzzy on what all counts as the Carriage District, but there are several blocks of beautiful old homes within walking distance from my neighborhood, starting around McClelland St. and Park Ave. My neighborhood also has many beautiful old homes (I live in one!), but they are not well kept. In fact, many of them are boarded up (feel free to come explore with us), the "lawns" are made of dust and we may or may not have seen a real gun on the sidewalk the other day. I can't get the ferrel cats to eat chicken off my porch, let alone go after the damn gophers. Other neighborhood attractions are the Amsterdam Smoke Shop and the Spearmint Rhino. It sounds kind of sad, but walking into the Carriage District feels like walking into a world far, far away from Santa Maria. The streets are lined with enormous old trees, every lawn is manicured, plump model-citizen cats nap in driveways, and gentile elderly people water their roses. That, or a whole crew is upkeeping the grounds. It's like a little chunk of Santa Barbara lost its way and is hiding out sandwiched between my neighborhood and Santa Maria High. It's definitely worth driving through if you have a spare minute or two, or better yet, take your kids or dogs on a walk.

Here are some photos from the most recent excursion I went on with Ishmael. They will probably not strike you as that impressive if you live on the East Coast, or really anywhere that has nice old houses, but they are really in stark contrast with the rest of the north side of Santa Maria, and I much prefer them to the nice new homes in Orcutt. I will do everything in my power not to own a tract home when Jonas and I get to that stage in life.

What are some hidden gems in your neighborhood or town?

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