Scavenger Hunt: Celebrating Ventura County’s minutiae
By Stephanie Kinnear 01/25/2007
Long live the community bulletin board
Before Craigslist, this is how we survived
Craigslist.com can be incredibly useful and, if you’re in a rush, probably the best place to find random stuff (not to mention random people). But bulletin boards, those things we used before we’d ever heard of Craig Newmark (and his Web site), are infinitely more entertaining: the clutter, the randomness, the frantic, handwritten notes. A good bulletin board is regularly cleansed of out of date junk and holds only the most interesting announcements and offers. Local trapeze artist desires roommate and potential partner in new act. Must be double-jointed and at least 6’5’’.
A bulletin board lacks any sort of organizational structure and the luxury of searching by keywords, which is the beauty of the thing: You might be looking for a mountain bike and leave with the phone number for a potential house sitter (or babysitter.) You might think you need a massage and suddenly realize that what you really need is someone to cut down that ugly tree in your front yard.
A good bulletin board reflects a community’s personality and it’s just a little wacky. Next time you need a new pet tarantula, or just some great reading material, skip Craig and try a local bulletin board. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s a sampling of some of the best from around the county.
566 E. Main St., Ventura
Nature’s Grill in Ventura actually has two bulletin boards. However, if you’ve never used the restroom there, you’ve probably never seen either (they’re located in the narrow hallway that leads to the back of the restaurant). These boards perfectly reflect the laid-back, vegetarian vibe of the cafe. Need a class in holistic childbirth preparation? You’ve come to the right place.
1876 E. Main St., Ventura
Filled with a vast array of business cards and the occasional flyer, this is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for professional services such as realtors, landscapers or makeup artists.
4071 E. Main St., Ventura
This is a small but mighty bulletin board. It’s located in the café section of the health food store and, fortunately, is not big enough to accommodate much junk. What’s there (fliers for classes, workshops, slide shows, etc.) is up to date and interesting. This is the best kind of bulletin board, one that’s obviously tended to on a regular basis by someone who cares.
Ojai Coffee Roasting Co.
337 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
This bulletin board is so small you might almost miss it as you walk out the door, latte in hand. But, if you want to keep up to date on the new music and theatre making its way through Ojai, you best pay attention.
Wachter Hay & Grain
114 S. Montgomery St., Ojai
Got animals you don’t want? Want animals you don’t have? The double-wide bulletin board outside this all-purpose pet store has kittens, puppies and even Arabian horses up for grabs. Not to mention an offer for cheap dental insurance. Go figure.
Santa Paula Coffee Company
943 E. Main St., Santa Paula
Anything goes on this bulletin board — from play announcements to stuff for sale to local gardeners looking for work. Staff at the local coffee joint claim that, for the most part, this bulletin board is always packed to the gills with anything and everything local.