Saturday, December 16, 2006

If we lived here, we might pay our parking tickets

They say, here in Santa Barbara, that the Santa Barbara Courthouse is "the most beautiful courthouse in America"; everything looks like it should be in a movie (about heroic Spanish explorers, with stilted dialogue spoken by tan white people). Judges are movie stars, and maybe the outlaws are movie stars too. All this was designed after the "real" (Victorian) downtown Santa Barbara was destroyed by an earthquake in 1925, and civic boosterism bursts from the "educational" murals. In the Meeting Room, tourists can walk around and take pictures even when there's a meeting going on. I tried not to accidentally insert myself into the commemorative photos of a commitment ceremony and a quinceaƱera as I wandered, imagining myself enthusiastically heading to my court date.

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