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Aug 29th
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Crow’s Nest Comedy Comp

Crow’s Nest Comedy Comp

Keeping Santa Cruz funny
You might think that Santa Cruz is off the beaten-track for humor—located on the outermost spoke of the Bay Area comedy hub—but you would be mistaken. For 30 years the Crow’s Nest, on East Cliff Drive in the Santa Cruz harbor, has been presenting four comics on Sunday nights to a mostly sold-out crowd—which means Santa Cruz has one of the longest running comedy rooms in all of California. Locals and tourists jam pack the upstairs area and through the din, clamor and, at times, extremely rowdy environment, road weary stand-up comics and newbies attempt to tickle strangers’ funny bones.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Shattered Dimensions

Shattered Dimensions

Video games based on comic books are notorious for their lack in quality (Just ask Superman about his Nintendo 64 game). More often than not a company will rush out a half-baked product in order to capitalize on a familiar franchise, usually to coincide with a movie release or something like that. So when one comes along and manages to receive solid to great reviews, it's a very welcome surprise. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions has done just that since it's release this past week and nerds everywhere are singing it's praises.

 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Playing the Pub

Playing the Pub

Tips on how to book a show at The Poet and the Patriot
Booking the music for a venue is usually not a group effort. Normally there is a “booker” and they are the end all, be all. Want a show? Get in line to talk to the booker. If the booker doesn’t like “your kind,” then you can forget about ever getting on the calendar.

Not so at downtown drinkery The Poet and the Patriot, where the entire crew, from sound man to door man, have the power to pencil you in. If you call for a show you might talk to Jason, if you walk in off the street you might talk to Chris or Sean, and if you email you will probably hear back from Tim.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Maggie’s on the Move

Maggie’s on the MoveLocal girl caps track season with final meet in Paris
It’s Saturday morning, and where are you?

Maggie Vessey, a Soquel High School and Cal Polytechnic University alumna, stands on the maroon track of Santa Cruz High School in a powder-blue sports bra and black shorts. Heat shimmers around the distant bend; the sky is clear and the sun is hot on the neck. A few morning joggers circle her on the outside lanes, and on the grass of the field the groundskeeper sprays yard lines for the upcoming football season.

With a hop-skip into her stride, Vessey runs.

Fast.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

National Parks are an Incubator for Artists—Who Knew?

National Parks are an Incubator for Artists—Who Knew?I just got back from an eight-day journey to Yreka and back, getting to meet and interview many incredible people.  One thing that stands out as unusual, but fascinating was the program at Whiskeytown, National Recreation Area.  It is the National Parks Artists-In-Residence Program at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area that offers established visual artists the opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being surrounded by the inspiring landscape of the park. The park provides a rustic cabin to participants for up to a four-week period.
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Batmania!

Batmania!

Its been a long time coming for comic readers waiting to see Bruce Wayne make his way back into the tights as Batman. After fighting his way through the centuries in Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne and back into the present day, he's all set to reclaim his mantle. But just what would become of Dick Grayson (who's donned the cape and cowl in his absence) has been the big question mark the entire time. Tim Drake has moved on from Robin to Red Robin, so that job's taken. Ditto for his old Nightwing gig (currently occupied) and there was never any chance he'd hop back into his original red and green duds. Well, it turns out the answer's a lot simpler than I would have guessed...they'll both be Batman of course!

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Blogs - CultureBeat

JrCon 2010

JrCon 2010Junior Roller Derby gets its own convention!
What looks like roller derby (wild socks, booty shorts), sounds like roller derby (whistles, crashing falls), and smells like roller derby (don’t go there)?  Right.  But something’s different. The participants can’t vote, drink or in most cases, drive. You think “cute!” as often as “awesome!” This is the future of roller derby. This is JrCon 2010. The future of roller derby is now!
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Scott Pilgrim on Top of the Nerd World

Scott Pilgrim on Top of the Nerd World

It's no secret that I love to yap about comic books. I've been doing exactly that for Good Times coming up on two years now. But video games are a medium that I’m just as passionate about - specifically ones involving Mario and Zelda which means I loves me some Nintendo. Now I've been a complete loyalist to the company ever since I scored an NES action set on that sweet 6th birthday of mine. I've never so much as allowed a competing console to be connected to any of my televisions growing up. I even have my own Nintendo fan-site that I've been running for a while in addition to a Virtual Boy that's collecting dust on top of my entertainment center right now (how's that for the street cred, kids?).

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Wine Country

Wine Country

I never really realized how amazing wine is.  When I say that, I don’t mean that I haven’t tasted all sorts of amazing wines and enjoyed their after-effects.  What I mean, really, is the grape and the incredible subtly that it takes to make wine and the enormous variations of grapes that can stand alone or be mixed with other grapes to produce varietals.  Having spent a week in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa and the North Coast interviewing Winemakers, grape growers, distributors, and an array of people involved in California’s enormous wine making industry, I have a whole new appreciation for the grape.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

These Golden Years

These Golden Years

Anyone that knows me knows that I love Alan Moore - and anyone that knows that knows that of all of his gifts to the comic book world, his 16-issue revamp of the (I guess) classic 50's British hero Marvel Man (Miracle Man in the states to avoid the obvious legal entanglements) towers as my personal favorite of his. Hell, it's probably even my favorite comic book ever written.

While I've never actually read much of the source material that Mr. Moore's run set out to deconstruct, it's for good reason. The guy was a blatant ripoff of DC's Captain Marvel, complete with his own family and magic word that transforms him into a superhero. I never felt like I was missing much but it looks like I'll get the get the chance to find out since this week Marvel releases the first in a series of fancy hardcovers collecting a bunch of those original comics from over a half century ago. While I can't imagine it being all that great it's still nice to see old titles like this maintained for historical value and not just left to vanish into oblivion.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.