About Town: James Rosenfield
Country Mart proprietor James Rosenfield has a knack for restoring and renovating quaint shopping centers across the Golden State while simultaneously outfitting them with unique merchants. The L.A.-native who now resides in Marin County shares some of his favorite places to sip, shop and soak up California culture:
• BRENTWOOD COUNTRY MART It’s simply my favorite place on earth. I never know who I’m going to see but I’m always happy to catch up with friends and neighbors.
• AERO THEATER Aero (short for Aerospace) was built by the Donald Douglas Company in 1939 and has been lovingly preserved by American Cinematheque. The nightly programming is always changing and intriguing, and they often have famous speakers before the shows.
• THE FOUNTAIN COFFEE ROOM It takes me instantly back to old Hollywood glamour in the most casual of settings. Plus, is there anything better than an Orange Freeze?
• SAN YSIDRO RANCH I’ve always felt at home when getting off the 101 freeway at San Ysidro Road where I am transported to another time and place. I return to memories of my youth spent riding around Montecito on horseback.
• THE MORRISON READING ROOM, DOE LIBRARY This space is as beautiful as any reading room in England, but it’s our Californian version. Our history is not as old as other cultures, but it’s our history, and worthy of preserving and appreciating. I’ve spent many days reading and enjoying the atmosphere of this special room where textbooks are not allowed.
• GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE I never take a ride across it for granted. Every trip feels like the first time in the car with my parents. I’m still excited and amazed by the vistas and the engineering feat of the masterpiece. The color, called “international orange,” was selected after a long design process; it was the finish of the steel when it was originally shipped 75 years ago.
• OUR HOME IN BEL AIR It was built by Gerard Colcord in 1941 for the Irvine family. It has cozy fireplaces in all the public rooms and secret passageways between the kitchen and den for passing drinks. The woodwork and moldings are different in each room, and I never tire of looking around.
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