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Jul 28th
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A&E

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Oakland Museum

Oakland Museum

Freshly Redesigned it is a California Dream
The new director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, Nina Simon, champions “the participative museum” and promises to make MAH a more interactive place, part of the daily life of the community. For tangible evidence of how exhilarating a “participative museum” can be, visit the redesigned Oakland Museum of California.

The museum has three components:  the recently redesigned California art and California history buildings, and a natural sciences building which reopens in 2012.  Originally dedicated in 1969 as the “museum of the people,” the post-modernist Kevin Roche-architected building was lauded then as an example of innovative museum design. Sprawling over four city blocks in the Lake Merritt side of downtown Oakland, its scored concrete exterior rises forbiddingly above street level, but atop the broad, welcoming staircase the concrete forgets to be fortress-like. Light plays dramatically on the interlocking planes of buildings and staircases and leads the visitor to arbors and gardens, restaurant and inviting tables amid trees and nooks where artworks delight. A huge Viola Frey figure guards the entrance to the art wing.

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Match Games

Match Games

How are couples navigating pinched bank accounts in a shaky economy?
After nine years as a marketing manager, Santa Cruz resident Jack Carr, 35, was laid off from his job. It was 2009, the height of the economic downturn. But that wasn’t the only thing taking a downturn. His relationship with his live-in girlfriend was also strained.

In August of 2010, the couple broke up, but moving was not a financial option. So they kept their Santa Cruz rental, claiming separate bedrooms. Carr finally secured a job one year later.

His ex-turned-housemate started to date again a few months after their split, but Carr had to postpone dating until he could recover financially.

“If I get back out there, I’ve got to find stuff to do that’s free,” Carr says. “It’s not like I could take someone out to a nice dinner.”

After paying back debts accumulated while on unemployment, Carr had to buy new work clothes and deal with delayed car repairs. Plus, his income has been reduced by more than $1,000 per month from what it was previously.

As a result, he says he’s “had to change the way I think about dating.”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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Page 27 of 42

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The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays