Santa Cruz Connected: The Best of #SantaCruzLife

Santa Cruz Connected, October, 2015

Collage includes photos from Instagram users @billydsc & @onetravelingsoul. Tag photos with #SantaCruzLife for a chance to be featured next month.

From Open Streets to Open Studios, October was a month of great events and interesting stories in Santa Cruz. We saw the Santa Cruz Sentinel run a series about spooky phenomena leading up to Halloween and a rediscovered film from the early 1900s that offered a peek into Santa Cruz’s past.

A new TV network was launched by two locals and one of the best high schools in California got a new home.

Food and beer were hot topics in October as the emergent Santa Cruz beer scene continued to make waves.

The Beach Flats community battled to save an important part of their neighborhood while the county braced for the oncoming storms of this year’s El Nino.

Two tasty new restaurants opened up and we gave a shout out to some local icons in our “Friends To Follow” section. All that, plus the best of the month on social media in this edition of Santa Cruz Connected.

Is There A Ghost Haunting Ocean St.?

The Santa Cruz Sentinel published a series of spooky stories based in local lore during October, perhaps none stranger than the story of the “Lady in White” that allegedly haunts Ocean St. According to the article, which floats a theory as to the identity of the White Lady, the story is one that’s common in other communities as well. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Pacific Collegiate School Gets New Home

Pacific Collegiate School started the move to a new location last month, relocating to 3004 Mission St. from its former home on Swift St. According to a Sentinel article, the school was forced to move in anticipation of reopening Natural Bridges Elementary School. The plan to reopen the elementary school was discarded in light of budget concerns.

PCS is an independent charter school that ranks as the #3 high school in the state according to US News rankings.

A New Santa Cruz Venture: Cannabis Club TV

The Los Angeles Times published an article about a new marijuana-centered TV show that was born in Santa Cruz: Cannabis Club TV. The idea behind the new network is that will provide programming and an avenue for advertisers where they otherwise wouldn’t have one–marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to advertise through traditional mainstream media outlets.

The future plans of the venture include launching a full-fledged network with 24 hour programming that is geared to marijuana users, medicinal or otherwise. The idea for the network was launched by Santa Cruz locals Pete Biggam and Danny Keith. They recently partnered with Tommy Chong, who they plan to integrate into the programming schedule.

1917 Silent Film Shot In Santa Cruz Restored

A silent film called “Mothers of Men,” originally filmed in Santa Cruz in 1917, was thought to have been lost several years ago. Thanks to its rediscovery by Santa Cruz native James Mockoski, it is being restored for presentation at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival before it will be returned to Santa Cruz.

According to Mockoski, the film features many shots of downtown, local buildings, and the Santa Cruz coastline.

The film was originally produced in support of women’s suffrage, detailing a world in which women played a more important role politics. You can read more about the film here and here.

Santa Cruz Beer Scene: Brew Cruz

A local Santa Cruz business, Brew Cruz, was featured in an article in Edible Monterey Bay. Brew Cruz is a local bus tour that highlights our microbreweries, complete with pit stops to sample the goods.

The owner of the business, Annie Pautsch, recently launched a map of some of the tour stops called the Santa Cruz Beer Trail (click here to view map). According to the article, Pautsch has plans to incorporate a “Trail Passport,” which will offer deals and discounts at breweries along the way.

Santa Cruz Life also has a comprehensive and updated list of local breweries, which you can view here.

Preparing For El Nino–What to Know

In case you haven’t heard, El Nino is on its way and it’s going to be a doozy this year. Santa Cruz County published an informative article about how to prepare for the oncoming storms (available in english and spanish). Included in the article is information about disaster preparedness, and what to do before, during, and after the arrival of the winter storms.

What To Do In Santa Cruz: Eat, Drink, & Relax

If you’ve ever wondered how to spend 50 hours in Santa Cruz, the website 7×7 published an article detailing just that. The article includes many great local stops such as Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe, Shadowbrook, and Gayles Bakery, complete with an itinerary and timetable. (Given the timeframe for activities in the article, you’ll have to be an early bird to experience all that it covers.)

If you haven’t noticed yet, the Santa Cruz craft beer scene is fully blossoming. Monterey County Weekly published an article in October that reviewed some of the best local places to grab a craft beer or a bite to eat. If you prefer to do your own beer and food tour, this is a great place to start.

Beach Flats Community Garden

For more than 20 years, the Beach Flats Community Garden has been a place where local residents have been able to grow and produce their own food. The property on which the garden sits is owned by the Seaside Company, which recently put forth a plan to reclaim the space, much to the dismay of local community members in the neighborhood surrounding the Boardwalk.

The Seaside Company has since curtailed the plan in an agreement that would lease two-thirds of the current land to the community, which prevented the closure of the garden. While it is a concession, many residents in the area feel that they must fight for the full plot of land which has been developed and helped turn around a part of town that had previously been known as an area rife with illicit activity.

Another announcement regarding the plot of land will be made in November. You can read more about the issue in this article from the City On A Hill Press and this article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Friends To Follow

The Great Morgani – Also known as the guy in outrageous outfits that plays the accordion, Frank Lima (AKA The Great Morgani) is a Santa Cruz icon and a beloved local street performer. You can follow his adventures on Facebook and view his website here.

Bookshop Santa Cruz – A community favorite among bookworms, Bookshop Santa Cruz is long overdue on this list of local favorites. Since 1966, Bookshop has remained one of the cornerstones of downtown Santa Cruz. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and visit their website here.

New In Town

Five Guys Burgers & Fries – Five Guys recently opened in the Capitola Mall in the space formerly occupied by Carl’s Jr. The burger chain is one of the few places you will hear mentioned in the same breath as In-N-Out, which is rare air in California.

Mandarin Gourmet – After the closing of Little Shanghai in June, we wondered what was going to take its place. The answer came this past month when the Mandarin Gourmet opened in the same space on Cedar St. They feature traditional Chinese dishes and have several vegetarian options. For more information, you can view their Yelp! page here.

Best of the Month from From Santa Cruz Social Media

Want to see your photos here next month? Just tag them with #SantaCruzLife. We’ll pick our favorites to feature in next month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected.

Open Streets of Santa Cruz County was a hit for the second consecutive year, drawing more than 10,000 participants to West Cliff Dr. in October.

The Sky Glider at the Boardwalk heading into the sunset.

Great shot of the Monte Foundation fireworks show in Capitola.

Great Scott! Turns out we still do need roads where we’re going.

The Coldwater Classic always draws a crowd to watch world class surfing.

More than 300 artists contributed to this October’s Open Studios Art Tour. You can learn more about the event by visiting their website here.

Comedian/actor/musician Fred Armisen performed a short set at Streetlight Records in October. This one is a cover of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.”

The monarchs have returned to Natural Bridges State Park–always a sight worth taking in, even if you’ve seen it several times before.

Incredible aerial view of the Boardwalk.

A view that never grows old.

True joy.

Great shot of Twin Lakes Beach.

Crowd in the water!

Family enjoying a sunset.

One of the many interesting things you’ll find in the Seabright neighborhood.

The historic Felton Covered Bridge.

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About Joshua Vincent

Joshua Vincent is a freelance writer who has lived in Santa Cruz for 12 years. Follow his tweets at @VincentChirps.

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