Opening the Castle Doors

By Richard Mineards   |   January 10, 2023
Sarah’s Vintage Consignment is currently at the Magic Castle (photo by Priscilla)
Arlene Larsen, Helene Schneider, and Caroline Chufar (photo by Priscilla)

Milt and Arlene Larsen opened the doors of their former club, the Magic Castle, to let the public know that the space by the Bird Refuge is now available for rental.

Sarah Anticouni’s Groovy Vintage Clothing is already leasing space in the property, the former Cafe del Sol, so guests, including Alan and Lisa Parsons, Ginni Dreier, Teresa Kuskey and Rick Oshay, Ian and Denise Barrows, and Lorraine McIntire were able to do some holiday shopping while quaffing the libations and noshing on the comestibles.

A boffo bash…

Friendly Breaks

Montecito actress Gwyneth Paltrow is still friendly with all her celebrity exes, she has revealed.

When it comes to “conscious uncoupling,” the Goop founder, 50, has had many A-list exes in her romantic history over the year.

The Oscar winner, currently married to TV producer Brad Falchuk, 51, says she has a policy of turning breakups into friendships when she answered questions from fans on her Instagram site.

“When you spend inspiring time with someone, it’s nice to have it morph into friendship,” she says. “I don’t want to have bad blood with anyone, ever.”

Paltrow’s exes include former Coldplay rocker husband, Chris Martin – by whom she has two children, Apple, 18, and Moses,16 – former Oscar winner Ben Affleck from 1997 to 2000, and another Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt, a romance that lasted three years.

A Prized Truffle

Former TV talk show titan Oprah Winfrey has been gifted a whopping two-pound truffle by luxury Italian brand Sabatino Tartufi.

The company advertised its eight-ounce truffle olive for $1,899.99, but the version the Montecito resident has received is four times its size and appears to be quite unique.

“It’s the largest white truffle found this year in Umbria,” declares Oprah, 68.

“I’ve gone truffle hunting with them, you know, almost a decade ago and so they know I love truffles. I always get my truffles from them.”

New Board Members at the Music Academy

How appropriate that a man named Singer would be the new board chair of the Music Academy.

Maurice Singer, a founding principal of The Evergreen Advantage, a real estate investment trust – a current board member who has served from 2010 to 2018 – succeeds Eileen Sheridan, who was board chair of the Miraflores campus from 2020 to 2022.

There are also four new board members – Michele Brustin, former executive director of the Performing Arts Association of New York State; Daniel Dokos, partner at the international law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Rachel Fine, executive director of the Yale Schwarzman Center; and Joshua Ramirez, a realtor with Compass Real Estate in Santa Barbara, and co-founder of Princeton North, an innovative branding and marketing company.

The new directors join a group of 23 local and national education, performing arts, and corporate executives
and leaders.

SBCC Scholarships

Santa Barbara’s City College Foundation awarded around $1,037,775 in scholarships to more than 770 students for the 2022-23 academic year.

“The success of every student is our goal and scholarships play an important role in that effort,” says Geoff Green, foundation CEO. “We are honored to support these scholars and grateful to the generous donors who continue to invest in our community’s college and its students.”

The President’s Scholarship and the Towbes-Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship were among those awarded. The two scholarships, each a $10,000 multi-year award, are the top prizes available through the foundation.

Alejandra Ceja is this year’s recipient of the President’s Scholarship, which is endowed through the estates of Eugene and Janet Aiches and by the Luria Foundation, while Sofia Gotthold is the recipient of the Towbes-Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship.

Barbara Walters Remembered

I remember legendary TV broadcaster Barbara Walters, who I knew well both professionally and socially.

The pioneering journalist who broke countless barriers during her 50-year career was 93 when she died at her New York home.

Barbara was the first woman to host NBC’s Today Show in 1974 after joining the Peacock Network as a humble researcher.

In 1976 she moved to lusher financial pastures at ABC co-hosting the evening news, another major first.

We first met when I moved to Manhattan from London in 1978 and became good friends.

When she launched and co-hosted The View in 1997, I became a regular guest on the panel with Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, and Star Jones talking about the Royal Family, as well as appearing on her syndicated radio show.

Barbara, who co-hosted the program for 17 years before stepping down in 2014, was also a fixture on 20/20 for 25 years until leaving in 2004.

A true legend and trailblazer…

Pelé Remembered

On a personal note, I remember Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, who died in São Paulo after a valiant battle with colon cancer aged 82.

I have fond memories of a fun-filled evening at the Copacabana Palace in Rio with Brazilian Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and the global soccer icon when I was flown down from New York in 2011 when the vibrant city’s officialdom attempted to win the right to host the Olympic Games, which was eventually staged in the South American city in 2016.

Regarded by many as the greatest soccer player of all time, he won three World Cups for Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970, and scored 643 goals in 659 official matches for his club Santos.

Pelé also scored 77 times in 92 games for his country’s national team.

An extraordinary legacy and extraordinary athlete…


TV host Jane Lynch and comedienne Kathy Griffin noshing at Tre Lune… Oprah and beau Stedman Graham in Maui for Christmas and New Year… Gwyneth Paltrow frolicking in Barbados.

Pip! Pip! Be safe, wear a mask when needed, and get vaccinated. And Happy New Year!


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