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Apr 26th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

One of my favorite places downtown is the sidewalk that passes in front of Pacific Cookie Company. The sugary aroma of cookies baking draws me through the doorway, and after choosing one of my favorite flavors I head back onto that sidewalk and slowly savor its comforting crumbliness.

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Wine Reviews

Hallcrest Vineyards

Hallcrest Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2008—A Lovely Libation

There are Pinots and then there are Pinots. When John Schumacher, winemaker and owner of Hallcrest Vineyards, makes a Pinot Noir, the result is usually a knock-your-socks-off wine. And the 2008 Pinot ($48) most certainly falls into that category.

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Dining Reviews

Doing The Diner

Doing The Diner

Variety and accessibility make Santa Cruz Diner a popular destination

A yellow banner hangs from the roof at the Santa Cruz Diner announcing that "Guy ate here." This would be a reference to Guy Fieri, host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Clearly, this give owners Chip and Kim Kirchner something to cheer about.

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Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping Happy

Last weekend we were in San Francisco and stumbled across one of the five locations of Pizza Orgasmica. Besides wolfing down a pretty tasty salami, sausage and mushroom pizza, we really enjoyed sampling their craft beers.

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Wine Reviews

Odonata Wines

Odonata Wines

Rosé of Petite Sirah 2011

The opening weekend of Odonata’s new tasting room at the beginning of May was a huge success. With an abundance of delicious food catered by Nonno’s Restaurant in Redwood Estates, and a packed house of customers trying Denis Hoey’s fabulous wines, it’s on the cards that this is going to be a hot new spot.

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Dining Reviews

White House Dining

White House Dining

Casablanca Bistro offers inviting fare and stunning views

Located on the site of the enormous turreted, Victorian Sea Beach Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1912, the historic Casablanca Inn and Bistro was once the secluded private residence of Marcel Cerf. From our window seat in the multi-level Casablanca Room we admired the fog bank hugging the horizon at the edge of the sapphire bay. On Main Beach below, volleyball players frolicked under the spring day's final hour of sun.

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Wine Reviews

Bargetto Winery

Bargetto Winery

Brut Sparkling Wine ... a drop of celebratory bubbly  

On June 2, all of Great Britain was rejoicing for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. I sincerely wish that I could have been there at that time—in the country of my birth —celebrating Her Majesty’s reign of 60 years.

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Dining Reviews

Let's Do Lunch

Let's Do Lunch

Extensive lunch menu at ABC Chinese fills you up without emptying your wallet  

Business is brisk during the lunch hour at ABC Chinese Restaurant in a tidy Scotts Valley business park. More than 40 lunch specials include huge bowls of soup ($5.25) and main courses ($5.45 to $6.45) which are served with the appetizer and soup of the day, and fried or steamed rice.

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Dining Reviews

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

I was on a mission to disprove the theory that advises against entering a grocery store when hungry. I had run out of cereal and was just too starved to cook. Across the street from my parking space at Staff of Life, Burger King unsuccessfully launched a counter-offensive, beckoning me with the promise of Cini-minis with sugary frosting dip.

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Wine Reviews

Big Basin Vineyards

Big Basin Vineyards

Riesling is a much-loved wine in many parts of the world, especially in Germany and France’s Alsace region where many of the best Rieslings come from.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise