Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 17th
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Halloweekend

blog_noise_EmilyHellerSA roundup of comedy, music and mayhem
Friday, Oct. 29, had the foreboding element of heavy rain hovering in the night sky like a million drops of determent. Still, the holiday vibe coursed through the Santa Cruz community strong enough to bring several hundred hopeful to the Rio Theatre for an evening of guffaws, entitled “Jack-O-Laughter.” Brainstormed by Capitola resident John Brown, the night featured Bay Area Comedy Central star Kevin Camia—but the balmy evening belonged to UC Santa Cruz graduates Emily Heller and Brendan Lynch. Heller and Lynch both share a deadpan delivery that provides a foundation for their snarky humor, and each found their way into the audience’s heart.

Later in the evening on the other end of town, a voodoo party was gearing up to unleash the power of the Dead. Moe’s Alley has become the favorite digs of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and with his latest incarnation, 7 Walkers, the thick crowd was bordering between jubilant and too drunk to funk. Local openers Shady Groove unleashed the gremlins and by the time 7 Walkers took the stage, the blog_noise_Pumpkinssound became a mix of cacophonous caterwauling. New Orleans mainstay Papa Mali, resplendent in golden dreads and a girth that far surpassed Jerry Garcia, took the helm. With a few precise Vodon chants, he killed the feedback dead.

Last minute Halloween preparations on Saturday, Oct. 30 meant scooting up Highway 1 to Rodoni Farms for an annual hunt through the pumpkin patch. Slogging through the mud at the gourd orphanage I nimbly avoided being led into the corn maze. Having seen The Shining one too many times, my fear of being stuck in any sort of a labyrinth without a machete kept my eyes on the ground looking for the perfect orange buddy to take home.

blog_noise_halloweenAnd finally, the arrival of Oct. 31 meant only one thing—strolling Pacific Avenue and watching, participating in and being one with the freaks of Santa Cruz as the annual, almost-anything-goes costumed parade emerged in a strictly organic manner. Always better than Burning Man, as we’re not stuck in a desert, the streets came alive with mischief, magic and meaningful mayhem. Sock Monkey chased down a wary banana, a Toblerone candy bar ran into a carton of milk, a silent movie complete with Charlie Chaplin, Keystone Cop and flickering movie camera enacted silent vignettes, a makeshift wresting ring emerged complete with masked marauders, and a large group of pirates took seize of a corner and started a swarthy drumming encampment.

Truly a hallucinatory swirl of visions best to escape from before 10 p.m., when Zack Friend’s friends began to try and contain the revelry with cops and copters recreating the feel of Apocalypse Now, Halloween was, and will hopefully always be, a time for us to come together as a community of cleverly costumed characters.

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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

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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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

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.