Cantwell's Summerland Market

On the Fourth of July, the husband-and-wife team of Jim and Carla Gally, who have lived in Santa Barbara for more than forty years, officially opened what is now called Cantwell's Summerland Market at 2580 Lillie Avenue. Both will be working there as well as at Cantwell's, 1533 State Street (805-966-3902), which the Gallys bought from longtime Montecito resident Joe Atwill in March 2001. In addition to the two Cantwells, Jim was and remains a general contractor and does business under the name Creative Construction.

The Gallys have renovated the space and virtually doubled the offerings in Summerland to include a kosher section, plenty of organic items, specialty items like Thai lime pilaf, spinach soy, gluten-free pasta, and special dietary foods such as organic refried and vegetarian beans, La Brea Bakery bread, and many other such offerings. There is a big fresh Caribbean Coffee bar featuring a variety of blends (an espresso bar is planned for behind the deli but isn't in yet), and an inviting sitting area nearby with tables and chairs both inside and out. Cantwell's Summerland Market is likely to quickly become a destination breakfast and lunchtime spot.

Prepared meals (from $5.99 to $10.99) include chicken piccata, chicken cattiatore, beef stroganoff, chicken enchiladas, and more; the hot case boasts ribs, chicken, and tri-tip. More exotic items such as glazed salmon, orzo with pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes, are also often featured. Whether you are a tourist, a casual traveler, or local contractor, you'll appreciate the fact that Cantwell's Summerland Market, which carries beer, wine, and utensils, can put together a picnic basket for two for as little as $20.

"We're trying to get everyone to eat healthy," says Jim during a brief telephone conversation. "We want people to eat the right things," he continues. "What we want to do is take out products from manufacturers that don't care about the environment, and include products from those that do."

Cantwell's Summerland Market (805-969-5893) is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 8 pm; Saturday 7 am to 8 pm, and Sunday 7 am to 7 pm. Deli orders can be called in ahead of time, or faxed (805-969-5894).

It’s All Happening Here

Rich Block, general manager of Santa Barbara Zoo, says the California Condor exhibit, centerpiece of the zoo's ongoing $6.7-million reconstruction project, (the entire campaign is expected to top $12 million), will be ready for occupancy and visitor viewing later this year or early 2009.

The enclosure, which will hold up to six adult condors at any one time, rises about twenty feet above grade on the top of the hill, extends out and drops down at the base to about fifty-five feet. The material surrounding the aviary will be made of stainless steel woven mesh that, at a distance, becomes almost transparent.

The space is comparable, Rich notes during a leisurely lunchtime tour of the unfinished area, to that used at San Diego Wild Animal Park for its condors.

In the center of the enclosure, there will even be a small pool of water. “Apparently condors really like to get into water," Rich says, "so we’re going to supply the complete spa opportunity for condors." Not only swimming, but, he promises, "perching opportunities will be abundant too."

Condors need a lot of room – what with their nearly ten-foot wing spans – to actually fly, and Rich concedes there simply isn't the room to allow for that but, "there is room to glide."

The exhibit will be a functioning part of the California Condor recovery program, and Rich expresses the hope that people going by on the nearby train, or drinking on the patio at Cafe del Sol, working out at Montecito Health Club, or eating at Stella Mare’s can also look up "to see the astonishing sight of condors with their wings extended enjoying the afternoon sun."

Money for much of the work has been donated from local institutions like the Dreier Family Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Chumash, “and we’re still looking for money,” Rich says, stressing that, “We still have money to raise." Anyone interested in donating to this exhibit or anything else on the grounds of the 28-acre complex should know, he adds, that "there are great naming opportunities throughout. There’s always a way for people to sign on to something.”

Rich credits Paul and Leslie Ridley-Tree for putting the zoo on the philanthropic map. "They were really instrumental in starting to cultivate the zoo as a good place to invest community resources," he says. Over a million dollars was raised in Paul’s name to create the space and because of that, the entire hillside area will be dedicated as the Paul Ridley-Tree Condor Plaza.

The zoo is a significant supporter of the work on the Channel Islands. Zoo directors, for example, help create management plans for captive foxes there. Santa Barbara Zoo personnel have also helped build release sites on three wildlife refuges here and in Baja California. "We have contributed financially, we’ve put staff in the field on a regular basis to monitor nests and be part of that effort, but we haven’t," Rich laments, "done a great job of communicating that to the public.”

Last year, according to Mr. Block, Santa Barbara Zoo drew over 470,000 visitors, second only to Hearst Castle in the tri-county area. Anyone interested in a donation should call Jill Rode at 805-962-5339 at the Development Office.

In The Dark No Longer

Although he's made his name as a painter of nocturnes, Thomas Van Stein's latest output includes a number of paintings done in plein aire as is his wont, but most in the waning hours of afternoon sunlight, rather than by moonlight. Tom's paintings will be on display at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, at 229 East Victoria Street, until July 30. And if you haven't become familiar with Mr. Van Stein's work, this is an excellent chance to admire the full range of his talent. One painting in particular is a view of Montecito's Val Verde estate, looking up from the reflecting pond below the iconic double stairway. The painting has been hidden from the public for at least the past five years, as it was painted by Van Stein for an Ellen Easton book on Montecito Gardens and purchased by the Val Verde Foundation and kept on the grounds of the estate. It will only be available for viewing during this exhibition. All together, some 22 paintings are on display.

As for the stunning nocturne of the Presidio, Van Stein explains: “I’ve always been interested in the effect of moonlight on stucco, based on Charles Rollo Peters’ paintings (from the 1920s); he was known for painting Monterey-style buildings with moonlight on stucco. I was intrigued by the way the Presidio would react to the moonlight, but I also knew there were streetlights and traffic lights, as well as security lights in the olive trees nearby. In an attempt to eliminate all that extra ambient light so I could see the moonlight," Van Stein admits sheepishly, "I actually traced the electrical wires from the olive trees down into the building and found the switch and turned it off one night so I could [record and capture] the actual moonlight on the facade of the building. It glowed."

Other subjects of Van Stein's passion include the Santa Barbara Mission, the Riviera complex, St. Anthony’s Seminary, Casa del Herrero, and Stearns Wharf. Prices range from $1,200 to $4,800. You are welcome to visit the gallery during regular office hours or call Thomas for an appointment at 805-962-2776 (he has a key to the building), or visit his website: thomasvanstein.net.

Designer of the Year

Longtime Montecito resident Kathleen Koszyk was named "Designer of the Year" at the 19th annual ARTS Awards in Dallas, Texas, which bills itself as “the only international program recognizing excellence in product designs of decorative home accessories.” Ms Koszyk was raised in Ireland, schooled on the continent, and boasts three decades in the interior design field. “I design pieces that have intrinsic value, intriguing but functional accessories that are versatile enough to fit in any home environment and which add a special, individual statement to any room,” she says. Her office is in Ventura and she can be reached at 805-642-6444.