Thursday, March 12, 2009

In A Far-Away Place, The Familiar and The Unexpected

Every time I'm in a foreign city, I play a little game: I try to locate as many businesses as I can that carry Santa Barbara place names. Wednesday, I nearly hit the trifecta.

I'd say that Santa Barbara has a lot of cache down here in Argentina. This clothing store in the Palermo SoHo district of Buenos Aires, is not named after some obscure Saint but rather after our own city. The clothes, which appear to be dead ringers for the styles carried at American Eagle, bear the logo, "Santa Barbara, CA."

In that same neighborhood I saw a store with this sign.

And even that graffiti to the right of the window reminds me of home!

Wednesday evening we had another great meal for dinner, this time at Sorrento near the Four Seasons Hotel.

It is directly across the street from El Mirasol, a place that reader Bill Tomicki, who publishes the ENTREE Travel Newsletter, had e-mailed me to suggest. Unfortunately, the wait to get into El Mirasol was too long, so we went across the street.

Despite being very swanky and beautifully appointed, Sorrento was very reasonably priced. Even the restrooms were not to be missed. In fact, it's the fanciest restroom I've ever seen that has a condom dispenser hanging on the wall. (It also dispenses Carolina Herrera perfume.) According to Allison, the women's restroom is similarly outfitted.

We've come a long way. I'm old enough to remember when the only place you could find a condom dispenser was in the restroom of a gas station along the highway.

With Sorrento being so romantic, I guess the owners felt they had to send a message: "no glove, no love."

If the demand for condoms is so high after dining here, perhaps they should call the place "Lucky's."
© 2009 by Craig Smith and