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Aug 01st
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

Surreal Estate

Surreal Estate

The cryptic-looking temple on Fair Avenue has mystified Santa Cruz residents for decades. Believe it or not, it’s even stranger than it looks.

Just off Mission Street on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, there’s a sleepy little street by the name of Fair Avenue. Bookended by Farrell’s Donuts on one side and the ocean on the other, it’s a pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable, stretch of asphalt: Not much to see here—just a bunch of houses and the occasional business such as Extra Space Storage or the recently relocated Westside New Leaf.

That is, until you get to 519 Fair, and suddenly you’re face-to-face with a mind-bendingly bizarre building straight out of a Tim Burton film or an H.P. Lovecraft tale.

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Cover Stories

Easy Riders

Easy Riders

Rick Graves and his Clutch Couriers

As a young boy growing up in New Zealand, Rick Graves used to ride to school on the back of his older brother’s bike, holding on for dear life as his brother would tear down gravelly roads in an attempt to knock off the pint-sized passenger. At the age of 10, his family moved to Santa Cruz and, now, with those early recreational bike days and a stint as a professional bike messenger in New York City under his belt, the 39-year-old is the one tearing down local roads on two wheels.

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Cover Stories

Taking Action Now

Taking Action Now

Ecology Action ‘greened’ Santa Cruz before ‘green’ became a marketer’s dream. Now, with nearly four decades of environmental stewardship, the local giant is paving the way for a brighter—and Blue—future.

In celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970, a group of environmental activists roamed the Golden State, sprinkling Ecology Action groups across it as they went. According to legend, they planted dozens, each with a unique environmental focus. Only two remain today—one is a sustainable farming agency in Willits, California, the other is holding its ground as one of Santa Cruz’s most proficient non-profits. see full feature with Web Exclusive content on Josh Hoy and Wise Solutions ...
see also BLUE Notes
, Tips, resources and other news to keep the skies blue, the oceans clean and your life environmentally sound and Twenty simple things you can do to live a more sustainable life.

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Cover Stories

High Tea

High Tea

The inside story on the booming local kombucha business
and why it’s putting Santa Cruz on the map


Fermented yeast and bacteria. If the soda-slurping generations of yesteryear had been told that a beverage based on that combination would be the fastest growing drink on the market someday, they would’ve laughed, or maybe even made a gagging gesture, and offered you another Dr. Pepper.

But the day is here and the drink is kombucha, a probiotic brew of tea and a multiple culture of yeast and bacteria.

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Cover Stories

Science & Synchronicity

Science & Synchronicity

Can quantum physics help explain eerie coincidences?

“Synchronicity is no more baffling or mysterious than the discontinuities of physics. It is only the ingrained belief in the sovereign power of causality that creates intellectual difficulties and makes it appear unthinkable that causeless events exist or could ever exist.” -C.G. Jung, “Synchronicity”
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Cover Stories

Surfing Vietnam

Surfing Vietnam

Local vet Pat Farley sheds light on the untold story of surfers during the war

I am a product of the Vietnam War. Though I’ve jokingly said that for years, it is true. During the war my mother was a Vietnamese civilian working as a translator for the United States Army in Saigon, where my father was stationed as an American helicopter pilot in the Navy. They met there. Just as the North Vietnamese were taking over Saigon on April 29, 1975, my mother fled Vietnam aboard a refugee boat amidst the historical chaos. My father was also on the coast, hovering overhead while commandeering his final mission in Vietnam. They were separated but four months later, my mother would ultimately relocate to San Diego where they reunited and eventually married.

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Cover Stories

Wild at Art

Wild at Art

More than 400 artists unite in a stunning county-wide exhibit where assemblage meets collage

To call it an undertaking would be an understatement.

Susan Hillhouse, Theresa Myers and the team at the Museum of Art & History in downtown Santa Cruz have pulled off an undeniably impressive artistic feat. They have launched an inventive, county-wide art show,  “Assemblage + Collage + Construction,” which runs through April. The show features a cornucopia of talented artists from Santa Cruz County and beyond. Fourteen art galleries will showcase the work of about 400 artists, which includes Angelo Grova, Jack Howe, Michael Leeds, Robbie Schoen, Shelby Graham and many others.

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Cover Stories

Ruth Boerefijn

Ruth Boerefijn

Boerefijin strings together creative beauty.

Boerefijn’s ‘connecting tissue’ at the Cabrillo Gallery is nearly indescribable—it’s beautiful and indeed airy—strings of aviary wire sculpted into a pattern, with delicate dangling objects attached that reflect light. Her piece at the MAH is also enormous in size, taking over an entire corner of a gallery room, with doorknob-shaped wire sculptures that connect and hang from the ceiling.

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Cover Stories

Working It

Working It

The CrossFit Mystique

There’s a reason why it must be called “CrossFit.” You’re going to get fit, and you won’t be bored—you’ll be zigzagging through all types of fitness regimens, trying something new, in essence a cross section of exercise, every day (or as often as you workout). In Scotts Valley lies one of these updated gym experiences called Santa Cruz North—a CrossFit center. Santa Cruz North co-owner John Larson explains that CrossFit is really a way of exercising that is for all people, all shapes and all sizes.

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Cover Stories

The Issue With No Name

The Issue With No NameHomeless camping, panhandling, drug dealing, drum circling, parading, petitioning and protesting. For those who are annoyed with the state of downtown Santa Cruz, these activities are all lumped together, and need to be dealt with. But is there such a thing as a “solution” to a culture?
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Cover Stories

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?

Bruce Willey's gripping Santa Cruz holiday tale

Verily, verily, I say unto you that when you were young you girt yourself and walked wherever you wished; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another shall gird you and lead you where you would not go.  —John 21:18


Their relationship began out of mutual romantic disinterest and had remained that way, but as friends they were steadfastly attracted to each other. Which is why, when they both became weary of living with housemates who borrowed recklessly or a found bed-headed stranger camping on the couch each morning above the sticky beer-stained floors, they had signed a lease on a sunny little two-bedroom in the Seabright neighborhood for $1,200 a month. In a few years they would be pushing into their thirties. It was time they stopped living like college students even though it was a hard habit to break.
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Final Cut

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Film, Times & Events: Week of August 1

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Foodie File: Maharaja

Chef Didar Singh on Royal Taj’s reincarnation as Maharaja

 

What’s the best advice your mom or dad ever gave you?

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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.