The Mesa is a quaint little village on the oceanside elbow of Santa Barbara, California. It has its own unique tale --more like the ugly duckling from where today’s swan has emerged.
Once considered the hinterlands that was “too foggy," people asked would-be residents,
“Why would you want to live on the Mesa? ”
Why indeed? The Mesa was the not-so-desirable-place “on the other side of the hill.” It was isolated bluffs that once had a castle, an airstrip, a forest of oil derricks, numerous farmlands --bean fields, flower nurseries, vegetable gardens --dotting the area.
For a while, it had a religious commune - and the city dump. It had six gas stations and a pizzeria to today’s one gas station and five pizzerias. It became an artists’ mecca when Ed Borein had his famous Hopi house on Barranca, which drew from his Hollywood and Broadway milieu.
Its hills offer such breathtaking views of the ocean right below - to where you could easily get one’s feet wet in the warmer waters of the Pacific - in just a few minutes walk. Many residents have their own photo albums of spectacular sunrises and sunsets and spectacular ocean panorama, inspiring its many resident artists.
Soon, people began to gradually discover the hidden beauty of the bluffs.
New owners built their houses on lots bought for about $500 and constructed for another $1500. By the early 1950s, housing boomed in the area starting with the first tracts on Marine Terrace. Many purchased with GI loans. Before long, the new residents began to appreciate life on the Mesa--fog and all.
Indeed, the Mesa has its own unique climate. It is 10 to 12 degrees warmer in the winter and as much cooler in the summer than downtown Santa Barbara. South-facing, the Mesa shoreline is ideal for solar powered energy.
Today, the Mesa has four neighborhood parks (Escondido, Hilda Ray, Hondo Valley and La Mesa), and two community parks (the magnificent Shoreline Park and Arroyo Burro aka Hendry’s Beach, a beautiful cove where dog lovers can walk in the sand with their pets.
In addition, the Mesa has a 70-acre nature’s preserve on its west side by Arroyo Burro aka Hendry’s Beach, a beautiful cove where dog lovers can walk in the sand with their pets. This conservancy, formerly the Wilcox Property, is now Douglas Family Preserve. It also directly access the south side of Elings Park.
It has a modest business center at the crossroads of its major arteries: running north-south is Meigs Road, and east-west, Cliff Drive (or State Route 225 though not for long because the city of Santa Barbara will soon be taking over the highway).
The Mesa is the only neighborhood in the city of Santa Barbara with its own paper, The Mesa Paper, which for two years now has chronicled its history and the lives of its residents.
Our Mesa Neighborhood (OMN has its own proactive sectoral groups - the artists (one for Art on the Mesa and another for the Mesa Artists Studio Tour); the volunteer Mesa architects; a home and garden group (Mesa Exchange), nature conservancy advocates (Friends of Douglas Family Preserve); and the Mesa Business Association, composed of three business groups: the shopowners, the home business owners, and the resident business owners, Recently an interschool forum for Mesa’s young artists came about; and the residents put up its weekly Mesa Bazaar for extra homeyard produce and crafts to share and/or sell raising funds for community projects.
OMN has monthly village hall meetings - one to get information from guest speakers and panelists on topics of relevance; another for working on our various projects and events.
We, Mesa residents, have of our visions for the Mesa. Our neighbors are enthusiastically working on making them happen!
Thanks to all our dedicated volunteer team leaders and street workers!
Thanks to Ron Freese, San Clemente we now have our OMN logo, and to Marty Golden, Miramesa, our webmaster.
OMN is at the ground floor of grassroots organizing - by street and/or block teams. There’s plenty to do and the Mesa neighbors are enthusiastically working on making them happen!
OUR MESA NEIGHBORHOOD (OMN) ....doesn’t that make you want to relax and have fun?
In the days’ lingo - OUR MESA NEIGHBORHOOD is swell, groovy, rad, rocks - it's cool!
Truly, the Mesa is the only neighborhood in beautiful Santa Barbara, where you can enjoy both the hills and the ocean every single day! Its secret nooks and hidden jewels of nature would make your day - any day!
We invite you to explore with us - the beauty of our neighborhood on the hills, by the ocean. Discover for yourself why we are very proud of it.
If you are just visiting our beloved city of Santa Barbara, the American Riviera - check us out!
Remember always and tell your friends
WHEN IN SANTA BARBARA, LINGER ON THE MESA!
In the mean time - Enjoy!