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Aug 20th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

A&E

Drumming a Dream

Drumming a Dream

Watsonville Taiko breathes new life into ancient Japanese tradition

When Ikuyo Conant was growing up near Mount Fuji in Japan, she never imagined she would play the Taiko drums. Every summer, her family and neighbors used the instrument to celebrate the Obon, a festival which she compares to Christmas in terms of importance. But as a child and a female, the drums were forbidden to her.

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A&E

Viva Los Mejicas

Viva Los Mejicas

Mexican folkloric dance group celebrates its 40th anniversary at UCSC

once a Mejica, Always a Mejica,” reads the motto for Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas; it’s a tagline that holds both literal and symbolic meaning, one that represents more than the simple association of having once participated in the group. It indicates something deeper, an acknowledgement of where one has come from, and the promise to take that knowledge into the future. And now at the impressively ripe age of 40, the group has certainly accumulated a substantial amount of members who will always consider themselves as such.

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Literature

Outward Bound

Outward Bound

A young woman loses everything, then finds herself on the Pacific Crest Trail

She was only 22 when she lost her mother to cancer, fell out of touch with her remaining family members, and began to drift from her husband. A few years later—after a rampage of extramarital sexual escapades with men whom she had no feelings for, her subsequent divorce, and a fling with heroin—she made a spontaneous and unlikely decision: Cheryl Strayed set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Alone. With no cell phone or GPS, (this was 1995, before the days of smartphones), and with only her ill-fitting boots and a backpack that weighed nearly as much as she did.

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A&E

Renewing Pride

Renewing Pride

Annual Santa Cruz Pride Parade returns—with a twist

When the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz was thinking about a slogan for this year’s Pride Parade and Festival, its organizers immediately thought of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign and the Gay Straight Alliance’s “Make it Better” campaign. “We wanted to riff on that theme,” says Jim Brown, executive director at the Diversity Center. “Some teens can’t wait for life to get better—they need to do something now.”

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A&E

Beauty and the Scientist

Beauty and the Scientist

Upcoming exhibit features inspired collaborations between scientists and local artists

It’s not hard to find art that makes you think. It’s much less common to find art that actually requires scientific collaboration—a seemingly counterintuitive pairing. But, the upcoming show “earth • science • art / sixteen collaborative explorations,” at the R. Blitzer Gallery, does just that.

Featuring the work of 16 artists from the Central Coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area working in collaboration with 16 research scientists from the Santa Cruz-based U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, the exhibit opens on June 1, with two evening panel discussions on June 7 and 14.

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A&E

Art in Action

Art in Action

Middle school art students make colorful mark on the city

When Kathleen Crocetti’s Mission Hill Middle School art students installed mosaics on the Water Street Bridge last year, the City of Santa Cruz helped pay for the art supplies. But this year, when she approached the City with a plan to place 93 mosaics depicting the agricultural products of Santa Cruz County onto the Soquel Avenue Bridge, she learned the chances for funding were slim.

“I wrote to the art commission, a proposal for doing the Soquel bridge, and they said, ‘Yes, yes, we love it, we want to do it—if we have funding,’” says Crocetti. “Well, of course, the redevelopment agency closed and everything is a mess financially in our state. And so I could see the writing on the wall that the City wasn’t going to be able to pay for this, but I’m sort of driven and I really wanted it to happen anyway.”

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A&E

Live, Work, Create

Live, Work, Create

Tannery Arts Center announces Grand Opening of new art studios complex

In phase two of the Tannery Arts Center’s three-part project, the City of Santa Cruz is close to becoming a model living-working-performing artistic community.

“I call this phase the ‘open the Tannery to the public phase,’” says Rachel Anne Goodman, Tannery Arts Center executive director, about the unveiling of the Tannery’s new Digital Media and Creative Arts Center. More than 70 working artists currently rent space in this 25,000-square-foot art studios complex, where the public can take classes, purchase art, and watch masters at work.

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Theater

Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind

New play re-imagines the lives of famed Siamese twins Chang and Eng

Growing up, renowned Bay Area playwright Philip Kan Gotanda remembers hearing the term “Siamese twins.” But it wasn’t until he was an adult that he came across a blurb written about the men for which the term was coined: Chang and Eng Bunker. Born in 1811 to Chinese parents living in Thailand (formerly known to Westerners as Siam), the twins came into the world conjoined by a band of cartilage at their chest.

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Literature

Safe and Sound

Safe and Sound

Irene van der Zande spreads the word about personal safety in ‘The Kidpower Book’

Anxiety does not make children safer,” says Irene van der Zande. “Fear does not make them safer, and neither does worry. What makes them safer is knowledge and skills.”

That message is at the heart of van der Zande’s new book, “The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence and Advocacy For Young People.” An expert in personal safety, with more than two decades of experience, and the founder of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International—a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching people how “to use their power to stay safe, act wisely and believe in themselves”—van der Zande’s book is directed toward parents, teachers, and all adults interested in promoting the safety of children.

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A&E

Blues Brother

Blues Brother

Pat Simmons hits the Blues Fest. In a GT interview, The Doobie Brothers’ guitarist/vocalist waxes nostalgic about Santa Cruz, opens up about the band’s origins and ponders the road ahead.

Who knew that the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, which began in 1993 as a one-day Chicago and Texas blues celebration in Aptos Village Park, would be alive and kicking 20 years later? And who could have predicted that the festival would boast a list of past performers that includes B.B. King, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Bobby “Blues” Bland and Albert Collins?

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.