Author spotlight: Les Firestein

Les Firestein is a writer who has written for some really good TV shows and some bad ones. Les has also built some great houses and no bad ones. Les writes about architecture and design for the Montecito Journal. Thirty years ago, at The National Lampoon, Les predicted that Donald Trump would conquer North America. You can look it up.

Montecito’s Watershed Moment
By Les Firestein   |   January 31, 2023

Exactly five years ago on this day, I was working with The Partnership for Resilient Communities (TPRC) to help develop a plan to contain Montecito’s occasional debris flows. Since a lot of folks are relatively new to Montecito, now is a particularly poignant time to look back at where we’ve come from, what’s been achieved […]

Reitman Was Righteous
By Les Firestein   |   February 22, 2022

I reconnected with showbiz vets James Widdoes and Tim Matheson on the passing of Ivan Reitman, the prolific director and producer and founder of the wildly successful production company The Montecito Picture Company. All four of us (including Reitman) are connected through the National Lampoon, a magazine where I was once editor but which has […]

Gabe Escobedo Announces Assembly Run
By Les Firestein   |   January 18, 2022

Thanks to redistricting, Santa Barbara will be getting a new State Assembly seat and of course a new assemblyperson to go along with it. At the Courthouse Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara on January 11, throwing his hat in the ring was 33 year old Gabe Escobedo, most recently chairman of the Santa Barbara Planning […]

Ellen DeGeneres, a Stand-Up Person
By Les Firestein   |   August 13, 2020

In recent weeks, sharks have been circling the waters off the coast of Santa Barbara. It is a scientific fact that certain species of shark must always move forward, constantly feeding, or else they will die. This is true of Mako sharks. It’s true of hammerheads. It is true of Great Whites. My big question […]

Rage Against the Machines
By Les Firestein   |   June 25, 2020

Thanks To the Internet of Things, It’s Always Open Mic Night at Su Casa Humanity may never have been more disjointed, tribal, and disconnected but our stuff, thanks to the Internet of Things, is thriving wirelessly and virtually everything has been WiFi enabled, or, in today’s parlance, is “smart.” It’s my observation that most things […]

Rise of the Machines
By Les Firestein   |   June 25, 2020

Give Me My “Dumb” Stuff Back; I’m tired of Getting Narked Out by my Printer I love tech and wireless convenience as much as the next guy. In fact I used to enjoy going to people’s houses – okay, even real estate open houses – finding the Alexa and saying, “Hey Alexa, buy Les Firestein […]

Unsolitary Confinement and Other Considerations in the Age of Coronavirus
By Les Firestein   |   May 14, 2020

You’ve gotta give it up for humans. With the exception of the Dark Ages, we’re always trying to figure out better ways to nest and adapt those nests to what life throws at us. But how we shelter has never had to absorb so much change… or so much stuff… so quickly as now. Our […]

Shelf Improvement
By Les Firestein   |   April 23, 2020

With plenty of extra time on my hands thanks to social distancing, I’m doing what millions of Americans are doing: reimagining my home office. Because quarantine is a great time to fixate on that which you control (or perceive you control). Sketching out a new blueprint, I asked myself: do we really need all these […]

With TP Scarce, Will the Bidet Finally Make it Across the Pond?
By Les Firestein   |   March 26, 2020

For a smart species, humans can also have bizarre gaps in their logic. For example, the wheel was invented around 3500 BC… but wasn’t affixed to the bottom of luggage till 1970. In a similar brain fart of civilization, people have been duking it out over toilet paper at Costco, when, a few aisles over, […]