Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Then and Now

news 3 Midtown MonarchsParticipants in the MAH’s third annual Race Through Time explore local history

Two women and three children stood in the middle of El Palomar’s crowded dining room, taking a headcount of the Aztecs who barter leisurely inside a large painting on the restaurant’s wall.

Normally, such behavior might seem strange—especially considering all five were made up to look like butterflies. Last Friday, Sept. 20, however, one diner had seen enough other groups doing the same to guess exactly what was going on. She turned to the group and asked, “Are you on a scavenger hunt?”

This scene was followed by many more like it as the Midtown Monarchs navigated the Race Through Time, an event put on by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). The race had several teams of up to five (mostly costumed) Santa Cruzans zipping around town on bike or foot, guided by cryptic clues to areas of historical interest.

The building that now houses El Palomar, for example, was a historic hotel constructed in the 1920s, and the first building in the area to rise over three stories high. Once they figured out locations based on the clues, each team was required to bring back proof that they’d actually been there—hence the head counting in the El Palomar painting. The teams received points for each clue successfully solved, with the winners taking home prizes ranging from free MAH memberships to bizarre, grandmotherly hats.

Nora Grant, the MAH’s community programs coordinator and a co-organizer of the event, says it was conceived as a tactile and active way for participants to engage with Santa Cruz’s colorful past.

news3“A lot of people tend to think of history as something you read in a stuffy book somewhere,” Grant says. “But we want to remind people that it’s a living presence, that it’s part of our everyday landscape. This was a way to bring history to life, a way to bring it to bikes, to feet.”

For the Midtown Monarchs, the event was indeed a chance to learn a bit more about the place they call home, but also a chance to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

“I thought it would be a fun way to get to know our town,” said Jennifer Cosby, one of the two women who led the Monarchs through the race. “And hopefully the kids learn something by accident along the way.”

Filling out the Monarch’s lineup was Cosby’s son Hayden, along with friend Nicolle Schmidt and her two children, Silvee and Jude. With the girls decked out in butterfly wings and hairpins and the boys wearing matching orange wigs, the team made quite an impression as they walked the downtown streets, frantically trying to make sense of the clues.

“Make record speed by spinning into this hip hangout … ” muttered Cosby, looking back as she read a clue to make sure the kids hadn’t fallen too far behind. “Oh! Streetlight! Kids, quick, this way!”

At 7:05 p.m., 25 minutes before the end of the race, Cosby puzzled aloud over one of the last clues. Hayden and Jude perfected a secret handshake ending in an explosion of jazz hands and an impassioned cry of “Afro-Powah!”

After a few more mad dashes to spots such as the former house of a famous silver screen actress and the old Santa Cruz Sentinel headquarters, the Monarchs were forced to cut their losses and sprint back to the MAH. The kids drank soda and the adults sipped wine as the winners were announced. With a score of 170 points out of 200, the Monarchs took home the bronze.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

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

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

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