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Dec 19th
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A&E

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Music For Change

Music For Change

Baaba Maal uses his songs as a vehicle for global unity

Though he has been playing music his entire life and recording with fervor for the past two decades, rhythm and melody are not Baaba Maal's primary focus. These days, the Senegalese singer and songwriter, views his music—along with the worldwide recognition it has brought him—as more of a means to achieving a greater good.

While he is certainly a dedicated musician—he has released roughly one LP each year since he began professionally tracking his tunes in 1989—Maal is also a thinker, a philosopher, a pundit, an organizer and a storyteller. Then again, where he comes from, that is exactly what a musician is supposed to be.

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Contest Mania Winners

Contest Mania Winners


Contest Mania Winners
9-word Novel Contest
See > all the novels >

Pet Party!
See all the pets

Thank you to all our entrants.
Also see: Santa Cruz area dog-friendly shops directory >

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Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters beware: a potions master has it out for you

Monsters are under the bed. They lurk behind the door. They tiptoe around a toddler’s room. Even Pixar made a movie about the monsters that scare children. But no one has fought with monsters like Stephanie Corey. The potions master created a line of products that offer several functions: Spray her Monster Armor on a monster and the creature will turn into a friend, or spritz it around the house and monsters will stay away. Or take a bath and your whole body will be covered in armor, protecting you from one-eyed ghouls and vampires. Of course, this might sound like child’s play, and that’s partly correct.

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Motion ... at the Mill

Motion ... at the Mill

New dance spaces and the Third Annual Ethnic Dance Festival mark an exciting time in the world of dance in Santa Cruz

Do you remember visiting Disneyland when you were a kid (or maybe with your kids) and taking a spin on the “It’s a Small World” ride? The little boats sail through all the cultures of the globe, as tiny robots representing the citizens of each country serenade visitors with the local dance, costume and culture. Sure it’s trite, and the cloying sweetness of the music may leave you wanting to abandon ship, but the idea of using dance as a way to unite the world’s cultures is one that should not be underestimated.

This weekend, the Third Annual Ethnic Dance Festival hits Santa Cruz by storm. A kind of live action version of “It’s a Small World,” dancers representing more than a dozen different cultures will assemble in Downtown Santa Cruz to offer classes and performances open to the public. This year, the festival has moved to Laurel Park behind Louden Nelson Center.

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Getting High

Getting High

Inner High Foods brings whole-food edibles and teas to the medicinal marijuana market

Two years ago, Jacqui Pearson* noticed that her father was wheezing and coughing—and he began to complain of shortness of breath. After a few medical tests, his doctor diagnosed him with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The third leading cause of death in the United States this progressive lung disease manifests itself as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or, most often, both. As the integrity of lung tissue is destroyed, it gets harder and harder for the patient to breathe. Usually, COPD is caused by smoking tobacco. But Pearson, now in his late fifties, has smoked less than one pack of cigarettes throughout his entire lifetime. The culprit for Pearson’s lung disease is a decades-long habit of smoking marijuana.

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Creation Happens

Creation Happens

Art duJour re-tools the art of learning—and paints it yellow

How may times have you said to yourself, “Santa Cruz would be great if only there was a place to learn about beekeeping, watch movies in the backyard, decorate my bicycle helmet and take in some splendid local artworks—all under one roof. And it should be yellow.”

Well, you’ve said that for the last time, bub, because now there is such a place, and they are calling it Art duJour.

“They” are Heather Young and Christine Currie, two moms (a teacher and a marketing consultant) who have managed to coax a common dream out of the ether and will it to materialize in our midst. That dream was to create a space and fuel the momentum for a nonprofit arts-education program for adults and children. And it was to be inspiring, community-oriented, and inviting.

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The Fabrica

The Fabrica

At the end of Pacific Avenue sits a DIY fashionista’s gathering place

Surrounded by used sewing machines, heaps of scrap fabric, spools of thread and buttons, Elaina Ramer instructs a visitor on how to mend the hem of her shirt in the middle of The Fabrica: a hole-in-the-wall sewing and textile arts workshop that opened in March of last year. Ramer, Ann Altstatt and Stefanie Wolf are the founders of The Fabrica, where locals can take sewing classes for free (though donations are welcome), and bring in sewing projects to work on, like a visitor in the early days—a man who wanted to sew a yurt, a portable, canvas-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Mongolian nomads.

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Manufacturing Hysteria

Manufacturing Hysteria

Author Jay Feldman sheds light on the darker side of American history
He compares it to the urban legend of frogs in boiling water. The story goes that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if you introduce the frog into a pot of cold water and then heat the water by degrees, the frog won’t perceive the incremental increase in temperature. It will stay in there and boil to death.

True or not, the parallel between this analogy and Jay Feldman’s newly released book, “Manufacturing Hysteria,” is clear. Feldman’s comprehensive history of America’s political climate of scapegoating and surveillance starting with World War I and leading up through the 20th century gives a compelling account of how incremental encroachment of civil liberties has led us up to where we are today in post-9/11 America.

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Moving in Concert with Art at MAH

Moving in Concert with Art at MAH

The tears in this piece are rough, fast, vertical, stacked close together; surfaces are shiny skins on flat fields of naked paper. The blue comes in from the top left, seeming to drip down in sinewy strands of indigo, cerulean and ultramarine—different blue colors: the tears sometimes bulge into tear-shaped strips, a little fuzzy in the edges as if abraded by a too-wide passing frenzy. There are radical divergences, but for the most part the direction is all down, down until stopped by that whisper of scarlet.

Trying to let the body tell that story of movement—those tears, and the strips, and the edges and the dripping down and the act of tearing and the act of holding onto the paper … that what I was invited to do as I joined artist Andrew Purchin in preparation for his upcoming residency in one of the Museum of Art & History’s new programs, “Makers at the MAH.”  Purchin is a painter of movement and an avid dancer.  When MAH Executive Director Nina Simon invited him to spend a day painting in the lobby as a way to connect art making with art viewing, Purchin devised a way to make it all flow.

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Craftacular

Craftacular

Hart’s Fabric hosts a craft fair

They’re crafty, smart, savvy seamstresses. Meet the youthful trio that’s behind what will surely be a magnetic and rather spectacular upcoming event hosted by Hart’s Fabric—Craftacular Wonder Fair. They are: Megan Werdmuller von Elgg, Chelsea Gurnoe and Dana Harris, all Hart’s employees and part-time crafters. Decked out in handmade clothing, they meet up with me for a serious conversation about handmade goods and the upcoming Craftacular Wonder Fair that they are curating. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28 in the back parking lot of Hart’s. There, 17 local vendors will sell their wares—clothing, jewelry, knit projects, sewn goods, print pieces and paintings. For crafty types, it’s definitely going to be craftactular.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire