January, 2012
24 hours in Santa Barbara, California.
325 miles south from San Francisco, 250 miles from Mexico, 2800 miles from New York.

Plenty of Spanish tiles, white walls, a large record store, new and used. One nice coffee shop with Verve beans, close enough to the Bay Area and far from it at the same time. A myriad of UCSB students on bikes, mostly cruisers. Warm January weather, the sidewalks come with a flip flop soundtrack, the Pacific Ocean. Breeze.

Elsie’s is rather quiet on a Sunday. “My name is not Elsie, but I have something for you” and she puts on a few songs from the Olivia Tremor Control.
I have been floated.

She hands out a round of anchor steam for the handful at the bar. Lovers, friends, strangers, visitors, locals and a big bowl of popcorn. An old man minds his business chain smoking in the back patio.
And we are in cruise control.