Map of Santa Barbara Okay, let's begin by opening the map of Santa Barbara to see where everything is. The first thing you'll notice about Santa Barbara is that the mountains are to the north and the ocean is south, which is really strange considering we live on the west coast so the ocean ought to be west, but I've always just taken that for granted and never questioned it. There are now several communities which make up Santa Barbara.

From left to right, there's Isla Vista, Goleta, the city of Santa Barbara itself, Montecito, and Carpinteria.

Notice how the city of Santa Barbara cleverly defined the boundary of the city so it stretches out into the ocean where a small strip runs over to the left and then back inland to circle the Santa Barbara Airport in Goleta. This way they can collect more taxes by saying the airport is in the city of Santa Barbara when actually it's not. They get all of the benefits of owning an airport without any of the drawbacks of having to live next to it. [Feb. 2004: I attended a speech by Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum who said the city of Santa Barbara receives no revenue from the airport. Historically, they ended up running the airport because they were the closest city.]

There has been a long standing dispute over whether Goleta should annex itself to Santa Barbara or become a separate city. Both proposals make it very clear that Isla Vista is not to be included. [NEW: Goleta became a city on Feb. 1, 2002. Isla Vista was not included. The border of the city (shown in grey) was carefully gerrymandered so as to include everyone who in the past voted for cityhood and exclude everyone who in the past voted against it. Hence there is still a lot of "Goleta" that is not in the "City of Goleta." The sign on the freeway that used to say, "Goleta. Population 66,000" now says, "Goleta. Population 28,400". Thus more than half of Goleta isn't included in the city.]

To the right of Isla Vista we have the fabulous community of Goleta which is where I actually live. I would have made this a tour of Goleta except there's no scenic stuff in Goleta, just a bunch of houses and shopping centers. Awhile ago some T-shirts came out which said, "Goleta? What's a Goleta?" Later some different T-shirts came out answering that question. A "Goleta" is Spanish for schooner, a type of boat.

Farther over we come to the city of Santa Barbara itself. And past that we come to the elite community of Montecito. This is the land of upper middle class people who are on the verge of being rich. It's rumored that several movie stars live in Montecito such as Steve Martin and Jonathan Winters although I've never seen any myself. (A friend said she actually did see Jonathan Winters once.) [Oprah Winfrey and John Cleese also live in Montecito. A few pages later I give a list of celebrities who live in Montecito.]

Well I tend to call everything between Isla Vista and Montecito "Santa Barbara" although it's not quite technically correct. Everything beyond Montecito is too far away to really mention. There's a small town of Summerland a few miles east of Montecito which consists of a gas station and a few houses, and then after a short gap there's Carpinteria which is a rather small city in itself. From there on it's 17 miles along the coast to the city of Ventura. And from Isla Vista it's 29 miles the other way along the coast and then inwards to the small town of Buelton. So anything beyond Isla Vista and Carpinteria is "the rest of the world" as far as I'm concerned.

I might mention the main road through "Santa Barbara" is State Street which starts at Sterns Wharf and goes up and over to the left where it gets renamed Hollister which continues over through Goleta and on to the very edge of the map.