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Apr 24th
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Local Lens

Local Lens

Second annual Watsonville Film Festival shines light on Central Coast talent

With this year’s Oscar ceremony in the rearview mirror, the time is ripe for a cinematic palette cleanser, and the second annual Watsonville Film Festival, which takes place March 2-3, might be just what the doctor ordered for cinephiles and casual filmgoers alike. “It’s definitely a community film festival,” says Consuelo Alba, a local filmmaker whose company, Veremos Productions, is one of the festival’s founders. “Our mission is to educate and inspire the community—and specifically young people—to get involved, to create their own films, to document their own stories,” she continues. “There are many stories in this area that need to be told, so we want to engage students and the whole community in the experience of watching film and producing our own films.”

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The Poems of Dane Cervine

The Poems of Dane Cervine

Editor’s note:  Dane Cervine’s poems have won, or been finalists for, awards from Adrienne Rich, Tony Hoagland, The Atlanta Review and Caesura. His work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, including The SUN Magazine, The Hudson Review, anthologies, short films, animation, newspapers and online. Cervine serves as Chief of Children’s Mental Health for Santa Cruz County, and has a small private practice as a therapist. Visit danecervine.typepad.com.

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Washed Away

Washed Away

Tsunami survivors share stories of resilience in Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, ‘Facing the Wave’

When a massive earthquake struck Tohoku, Japan in 2011, it shook the waterfront house of an 84-year-old woman so badly that it fell over. A local merchant who happened to be running past scooped the older woman onto his shoulders and carried her to higher ground. Interviewed later by a local journalist, the woman revealed that she was the last geisha on the northern coast of Japan and the last person who knew a traditional song.

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Welcome To The Jungle

Welcome To The Jungle

Watsonville native Scott Serrano turns back time, lets imagination run wild

Scott Serrano’s journey backwards in time began roughly 10 years ago, when he became interested in science travel writing as a source of artistic inspiration. “I read ‘The Malay Archipelago’ by Alfred Russell Wallace, and I basically fell in love with that book and the way it captured the feeling of being in dense tropical jungles, and somebody immersing themself in that kind of universe,” says Serrano.

“[Wallace] was like a sponge; he was absorbing everything around him,” he continues, “tribal people, plants, insects, the weather, geology… He spent most of that book celebrating how rich the diversity of life is—this from a sheltered young man from uptight Victorian England, raised in a small town in almost-poverty conditions, who had never been out of England until he began exploring.”

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You Make My Heart Sing

You Make My Heart Sing

Valengrams make hearts hum in barbershop harmony

We all remember the scene. John Cusack’s character in Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film, Say Anything, legendarily attempts to get the attention of his love interest by holding a boombox above his head and blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of her house.

The tradition of making such grand romantic gestures lives on, thanks in part to groups like Santa Cruz’s Gold Standard Chorus (GSC), a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, which was founded the same year that Say Anything hit theaters.

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Mapping Our Future

Mapping Our Future

Local octogenarian eco-artists are ahead of the environmental curve

A note to all future journalists preparing to interview environmental and ecological artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison: Despite all of your prior research and groundwork, chances are you will end up asking all of the wrong questions. “There’s a better way to look at it than that,” Newton will say. “I would like to go somewhere else with that question.”

Rest assured, the former UC San Diego professors are happy to help you figure out what questions you should be asking, and in the process, you will learn much more.

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Sowing Survival

Sowing Survival

Author Rebecca Thistlethwaite helps small-scale farms find success 

When she’s not busy training baby oxen and learning to make fermented foods—her new favorite pastimes—Rebecca Thistlethwaite runs a small farm and food holistic financial planning business in Oregon and blogs about “honest meat.”

To top off her pursuits as of late, Thistlethwaite has released a new book, entitled “Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business.” The former Aromas farm owner and UC Santa Cruz researcher will be back in town to speak about her new book at Capitola Book Café on Jan. 22.

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The Poems of Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

The Poems  of Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

Editor’s note: Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is the author of “My rice tastes like the lake,” “In the Absent Everyday” and “Rules of the House” (all from Apogee Press). “My rice tastes like the lake” was a finalist for the Northern California Independent Bookseller’s Book of the Year Award in 2012. Her non-fiction book on Tibet is forthcoming from Penguin, India in 2013. She recently moved to Santa Cruz where she is pursuing a doctorate in Literature at UC Santa Cruz.

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Behind Bars

Behind Bars

Filmmaker depicts how music shapes the lives of the incarcerated

Any opening night jitters that Benjamin Harbert may feel at the Santa Cruz debut of his documentary on Louisiana prison music, will be tempered by one crucial fact: The film has already received a thumb’s up from its potentially harshest critics: the prisoners themselves.

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Mixed Nutzle

Mixed Nutzle

Clowns and pot plants abound in Santa Cruz art icon Futzie Nutzle’s latest exhibit

When it came time to put together his new 100-piece retrospective, “Creating the Path,” local art icon and former Rolling Stone cartoonist Futzie Nutzle went to the attic and dug out some oldies, some dating all the way back to the ’80s. The resulting collection of paintings, drawings, cartoons and assemblages—some funny, some poignant and some a combination thereof—can be seen now through Jan. 26 at the new R. Blitzer Gallery location inside of Westside Santa Cruz’ old Wrigley building. “It's a remarkable collection of his work and a rare opportunity to see them all in this gallery space,” gallery owner Rob Blitzer states.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management