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Oct 23rd
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

A&E

Liquid Astrology

Liquid Astrology

Local entrepreneur mixes business know-how with the cosmos to create a line of zodiac-specific drinks
It was Eric Wick’s mother and sister who instilled in him an attraction to astrology. “My mom used astrology as a way of explanation for me,” Wick discloses with a smile. “If I had a bad day at school, I would come home and we could talk about it in terms of that.”

Though one-third of Americans read their horoscope regularly, Wick has a deeper connection to the metaphysical art.  His interest stems not necessarily from its role in predicting the future, but rather from the descriptions of each sign’s personality, which he believes to be mysteriously accurate.

This intriguing combination of fascination for the stars and an education in business has led Wick down an unbeaten path, one that has culminated in the production of an innovative product.   

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A&E

In Bloom

In Bloom

Sculpture springs from the gardens of Sierra Azul
Hunched guard dogs made of river rocks take fluid shape at each side of a grassy entrance; behind them, a giant fish stands on its nose, glinting multicolored in the light. Beyond is the garden—as magical a landscape as man and nature can devise. The gardens of Watsonville’s Sierra Azul Nursery have sprouted their spring crop of sculpture, becoming a dazzling demonstration of the friendly annual creative competition between nature and man.

Over six years of maturation, Sculpture Is has become one of the most anticipated annual exhibitions in the Monterey Bay region, this year featuring 56 Northern Californian artists and 135 sculptures in widely diverse styles and media, placed within the now-mature plantings of the two-acre Mediterranean gardens in Watsonville’s agricultural outskirts.

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A&E

The Changing Tide

The Changing Tide

Geologist Gary Griggs wants to take you on a tour of our evolving coast
Should Californians worry about tsunamis? Why do we need coastal fog? Are you living on an ancient sea floor? The answers to these questions and more can be found in “Introduction to California’s Beaches and Coast” by Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory at UC Santa Cruz. Published last year by the University of California Press as part of their California Natural History Guides series, the book is a pocket-sized easy read, designed for the layperson, naturalist or anyone with a curiosity about the natural world.

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Theater

Whitworth’s Wild Ride

Whitworth’s Wild Ride

‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ is a light in the darkness of the mind
The expression on Paul Whitworth's face becomes comically distorted as he desperately searches his brain to find the term for the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

A few moments pass in silence, as his café con leche continues to cool on the table. Suddenly, he’s on his feet and wagging his index finger enthusiastically, “maybe this fellow knows.” In the direction of his pointed finger, Whitworth approaches the table of an old friend. The two warmly greet, but unfortunately, no answers are unearthed. He returns a bit disappointed, when a woman sitting at a neighboring table informs Whitworth that the term he is searching for is "Ikebana."

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A&E

Holy Crepe!

Holy Crepe!

How the owners of The Crepe Place fathered an unlikely music venue
Be careful what you wish for over a bubbling bong, because it just might come true. When best friends Adam Bergeron and Eric Gifford were trading tokes as roommates in their early twenties, two decades ago, back when Bergeron was a busboy at The Crepe Place, little could they have known that someday they’d be the responsible ones at the helm of the restaurant.

“It was always a weird, hokey dream over umpteenth zillion bong hits. ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do our own thing and ran our own business?’” Gifford remembers.

Donning a Hawaiian shirt strewn with Giants baseball logos, and sitting in the cozy front room of The Crepe Place, Gifford’s jokey, casual demeanor reflects the vibrant family atmosphere of the haunt. With Bergeron completing the My Two Dads partnership, the two East Coast transplants mull over their history on a quiet weekday afternoon.

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A&E

Man Opens Box: a Palimpsest

Man Opens Box: a Palimpsest

A few dozen chairs surrounded the double-wide card table in the middle of the Sesnon Gallery for an event on the afternoon of May 6, when artists Ian Everard and Maria Chomentowski performed the opening of a box. Handling the contents with white cotton gloves, the artists were mindful of the performance score. They encouraged audience members to participate.

The box is a Fluxus box; the score a brief list of actions (“Open the case. Take out the objects…”); the performance, called InFlux, an event in the spirit of Fluxus, an international movement of composers, artists, architects and designers in the 1960s and early ’70s influenced by Dada and springing from the ideas of composer John Cage. Prominent Fluxus artists included George Maciunas, George Brecht, Allan Kaprow (“happenings”), Yoko Ono and Nam Jun Paik. Fluxus influenced Christo and Gilbert and George among others including Ian Everard, an English-born artist now living in Santa Cruz. Everard is a copycat.

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A&E

The Biggest Little Blues Festival in the World

The Biggest Little Blues Festival in the World

Located down in the lush Aptos Village Park and up the mossy banks from Aptos Creek, the 19th Annual Santa Cruz Blues festival on May 28 and 29 guarantees blues enthusiasts a rare concert experience in an intimate outdoor setting.

While many of the original acts have gone to the great blues jam in the sky—Albert Collins, Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Koko Taylor—the festival has continued to flourish with fresh line-ups each year to satisfy the hardiest of music fans.

The booker and one of the main organizers, Bill Welch (along with Brad Kava, Michael Blass and Mike Spano), hunkers down in his basement bunker located in the Santa Cruz hills. Although it’s been the better part of two decades, it still takes Welch and his partners one thousand hours to put Santa Cruz’s favorite outdoor festival together. Each year starts from scratch with the organizers sorting through hundreds of possibilities and narrowing it down to fewer than 10 acts—without a doubt, one of the most spectacular this year will be Experience Hendrix, a massive combination of 13 headliners performing the rock god’s classic jams.

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Literature

Pantheon Collective

Pantheon Collective

Local publishing company brings a spirit of entrepreneurship and creative collaboration to the book industry
It seems an auspicious sign of the times that it started with a text message. A single question was relayed across the honeycombed cellular network from New Jersey to Santa Cruz in December of 2009: “What if [we] joined forces and created our own publishing company?”

Now, a mere year and a half later, the company is an entity, the first two books have been published and several more are slated to go to press in the next couple years. Stephanie Casher calls it the multiplier effect.

Casher, part owner in the Santa Cruz-based publishing company, Pantheon Collective, met her partners James W. Lewis and Omar Luqmaan-Harris in 2006 at the Black Writers’ Conference in Dallas, Texas. At the time, the three authors were in the process of shopping their unpublished manuscripts to agents and publishers.

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A&E

Funny Bone

Funny Bone

A chat with ‘The Daily Show’ creator Lizz Winstead
Lizz Winstead can’t help but be funny. The Brooklyn resident was the co-creator of The Daily Show, and served as its head writer for years. But before that she was a tireless standup comedian. But her comedy turned her into a kind of media visionary: in addition to helping to create The Daily Show, she co-founded Air America. And you can credit her with hiring Stephen Colbert. She’ll be at Kuumbwa Jazz Center Friday on behalf of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party.

The following day, she’ll conduct a workshop on writing political satire. The workshop, which will be at NextSpace in Santa Cruz, is co-sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. “I love doing the workshops,” she says by phone from Atlanta. “I tell people ‘I can’t make you funny,’ but the one thing I can do is help unlock the demons that fester inside people who want to write.”

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A&E

“DURBIN DAY” videos

“DURBIN DAY” videos

Santa Cruz, CA. James Durbin’s rock 'n' roll Cinderella story had a happy ending under a sunny sky on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Saturday. In what has turned out to be a rallying force in Santa Cruz and for many around the world Durbin’s rising star made an appearance in our hometown thanks to the efforts of Beach Boardwalk and city officials.

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
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Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher