Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Home for the Homeless: Hotel de Riviera

Soon after I moved here I noticed a rustic-looking hotel on Carrillo that I thought might be a good spot for out-of-town visitors... until I start paying closer attention to the client base. At any point in the day, you see people in various states of dishevelment lingering on the lawn in front of the hotel, garbed in the finest the nearby Goodwill has to offer. "What is this, some kind of whorehouse?" I wondered.

As it turns out, the Hotel de Riviera is a space for adults in recovery, a "Dual Diagnosis Structural Clean & Sober Living Environment" with 30 single-occupant rooms. Pretty sweet deal for those down on their luck, right? There are six other projects like the Hotel de Riviera in Santa Barbara County, which are collectively "State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Rental Housing Complexes."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Illustrious Past

What's that? A castle? In Santa Barbara!? Sadly this castle houses naught but a CVS and a franchised dance school. The only knights hanging around are the illustrious purchasers of 3AM donuts and beggars of cigarettes/change. The full title is "The Pythian Castle Lodge Hall" and it's a registered historic structure. The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization that used to have lots of castles/temples/lodges nationwide. The ultimate Pythian Castle is in Missouri, and puts Santa Barbara's to shame. Fun fact: Sun Ra was a Pythian Knight!