The City of Carpinteria
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"Royals watchers crowd Carpinteria Polo Club"
"Coastal hop in
sunny Carpinteria"
"The New Gold Coast"

"Just after noon, the anticipated couple, William and Catherine, arrived at the Carpinteria polo club in a gray helicopter.

Guests, who had arrived about 11 a.m., gathered on the side of the red carpet and cheered as the couple made their way to a white lunch tent, where the tables were decorated with vases of white peonies.

As the morning fog cleared to a classic Southern California summer day, people waved and sipped Champagne from flutes as they stood on the lawns, with a light breeze coming in off the ocean.

Catherine wore a simple taupe spring dress with flowered print, and William wore white slacks and a navy blazer.

William will compete in this afternoon’s polo match, and the former Kate Middleton will award a trophy to the winning team.

About a dozen celebrities were attending the event, which is part of the second day of the newlyweds' visit to Southern California.

Guests attending the sit-down lunch, complete with cocktails, paid $4,000 a ticket.

On the other side of the field, thousands paid $400 for a boxed lunch. The menu included grilled vegetable sandwiches with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, penne with butternut squash, walnuts and mascarpone cheese, and chicken and arugula in a pita pocket. A selection of cookies was also available.

Among the attendees was Marianne Schwab, a travel blog writer, who traveled from the Los Angeles area for the polo match. Schwab, like many Americans fascinated by the couple, viewed William's nuptials and his late mother's wedding to Prince Charles. She researched the polo event on the Internet and decided to attend.

“As a royal watcher, this is a must-do,” she said. “Plus, I can blog about it.”

Cousins Redonna Carpenter-Woods, 46, and Theresa Edward-Dymally, 48, likewise decided this was an event they could not pass up. The two drove to the area from the north San Fernando Valley.

“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Carpenter-Woods, wearing a white summer dress and a matching white sun hat. She was also drawn by the couple’s demeanor. “They’re so real, not like royalty,” she said. “I’m just amazed at how they manage all this.”

Carpenter-Woods, a bank vice president, and Edward-Dymally, a school psychologist, were a little put off by the price of the tickets but decided to take the plunge.

“I had a garage sale and bought one,” Carpenter-Woods said jokingly.

Diana Lytel, 32, and her husband, Kipley Lytel, 43, live in condos overlooking the polo fields.

Diana, an attorney, said security had been in place for weeks. The British Secret Intelligence Service inspected everyone’s home and gave residents passes to get in and out of their neighborhood.

While most of the Lytels' neighbors had balcony parties, Diana and Kipley wanted to mingle with the crowd at the polo match.

“This is the biggest event we’ve ever had here, so we had to come down and feel the vibe,” she said.

The match started around 2 p.m. To be on William's team, each player paid $100,000. The event was a benefit for the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

So far, the couple have also attended a technology conference in Beverly Hills and a private reception at the home of the British consul general in Hancock Park.

On Saturday night, they will head by helicopter from Carpinteria to Los Angeles to attend a black-tie event at the Belasco Theater downtown. The evening will be hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, of which William was named president in February 2010."

LA Times July 9, 2011

"Blessed with warm weather and coastal breezes, Carpinteria is home to commercial flower growers like Rose Story Farm, where the heady perfume of thousands of blooms grows ever stronger as the sun climbs in the sky.

Carpinteria's also a coastal community of pastel cottages and tall palms leading right to the water's edge ― a laid-back small-town alternative to posh Montecito, its neighbor to the north. Kick back downtown with a melon-size Hawaiian shave ice before joining the locals at the beach to watch the sun set over the Pacific."

Sunset Magazine 11/08

"CARPINTERIA, Calif. -- This middle-class beach town used to be but a blur for wealthy vacationers speeding toward tony Montecito and Santa Barbara, about 10 miles up the road. Today, the clutch of the megarich have made Carpinteria an unlikely stop for buyers who can afford any ocean view in the world.

Public records show that New York billionaire hedge-fund manager Bruce Kovner spent $83.3 million this year to amass 15 bluff-top acres, including a luxury villa. He also has agreed to buy part of Kevin Costner's field of dreams next door: Last year, the actor acquired 17 grassy acres dominated by a polo field for $28.5 million. Just down the road, a beachfront house on a mere quarter-acre is listed for sale at $24 million.

Carpinteria's arrival on the luxury-estate scene illustrates how California's gold coast is defying the downdraft in the national housing market. It also was the only region of California where the median sales price surpassed $1 million. Estates in the exclusive Hope Ranch and Montecito communities set the standard in an area long prized by tycoons and Hollywood players for its mild climate, natural beauty and low-key sophistication.

Indeed, at Oprah Winfrey's Montecito fund-raiser tomorrow for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, more than her political firepower will be on display. Ms. Winfrey's 40-acre hillside estate, bought six years ago for around $50 million, has swelled in value to $84.7 million, according to public county-assessor records."

Wall Street Journal 9/07

"Carpinteria's
Culinary Cache" 

"The seaside hamlet just south of Santa Barbara is undergoing a restaurant renaissance on Linden Aveneue. As new joints open up next to old haunts, cuisines from the four corners of the globe have covened within a few blocks of each other."

Celebrating two years in business, Franco, Anna, and Giovanni Sherwyn's family-owned and run Giannfranco's Trattoria, 666 Linden Ave., cranks out delights such as Guanciale, sauteed sea salt and herb-cured pork served over fresh rolled pasta and topped with a spicy tomato-based Amatriciana sauce and parmesan cheese. The monthly winemaker dinners feature local vintages from the Cal-Italia wine list.

Santa Barbara Magazine 1/09

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