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Category: santa cruz

Near Future Labs Far from my Future

Not sure what is cooler. The fact that there is a post on Near Future Labratories detailing an opening in the History of Consciousness department at UCSC, my undergraduate alma mater in Film and Digital Media or the fact that one of the main contributers to the blog Julian Bleecker is a graduate from said program.

While a T.A. at UCSC I met quite a few grads in this program. As I prepare for applying to graduate school I keep finding that there are a many connections I didn’t even know to graduates.

So close and yet still so far away.

12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered

Santa Cruz in Top 25 Movie Piracy Schools

Um… what? Cam Archer’s Movie on Quicktime Trailers

I browse the Quicktime Trailers from time to time to see what’s going to be coming up soon and I recognized one title instantly but couldn’t remember from where.

Wild Tigers I Have Known is Cam Archer’s movie that he did with Gus Van Sant. Yes, “the” Cam Archer.. the dude from Santa Cruz who apparently seems to be doing well for himself. I remember seeing the poster for this hanging up around the Communications building last year but it seems like the film has traveled far and wide and got a distribution deal with IFC.

I took at least one production class with Cam and he always had an interesting eye both cinematography-wise and in his choice of subject — mostly having to do with adolescent boys. It’s interesting though how when I look at the shots in the trailer it reminds me a little of film school and the types of things that you’d see recurring in UCSC films.. that one beach shot.. the tall grass outside the music center in the west field (though here its obviously not Santa Cruz). I guess it’s just that shock a little of feeling someone close to someone very talented (though Cam probably doesn’t remember me). I wish him well and look forward to seeing the movie.

— Check out camarcher.com

Hipster Vs. Scenester Showdown

Ever since my sister brought up that she had never heard anyone use the word “hipster” before (saying that she had heard of “scenesters”) I’ve been curious about the distinction between hipster and scenester and what they mean in our modern vocabulary.

My recent move to New York has reinvigorated my own internal debate abotu the whole “Hipster” versus “Scenester” thing since I have noticed further regional distinctions.

When I was in Santa Cruz an aquantence of mine mentioned that they tend to use the word “Hipster” in Nor Cal and “Scenester” in SoCal. Here are some defintions I’ve found to ground your understanding:

Hipster Definition (Urban Dictionary)
Scenester definition (Urban Dictionary)

From these general definitions I can gather two general senses of the distinctions:
1. Scenesters are about image and dress and what is “in”
2. Hipsters are intellectuals (or pretend to be) who watch independent movies and read

The regional issue that is tripping me out having recently moved to the east coast is that it seems to me that the term “Hipster”, like in Northern California, is more in-vogue in New York than the term “Scenester”. I would suspect this is simply because from what I can tell every one in New York reads.

But what seems a bit anachronistic to me is the fact that generally one is called a hipster here just for looking a certain way, the way being, to me, typically San Francisco. I don’t think that everyone in San Francisco is a hipster but I do believe that if any of my friends from San Francisco were to come out here they would immediately be labeled a “Hipster”, a distinction they would not warrant back home.

I myself prefer the more tradition definition of the term hipster (found here) which is more in-line with beat culture. It is alluded to in the definitions from the Urban Dictionary but mostly in derisive ways. Still if you were to go with that definition then most likely no one is a hipster any longer.

Devil’s Slide Un-slided?

Article claims devil’s slide will be reopened by September.

This is a stretch of road north of Half Moon Bay that has completely cut off Highway 1 access between SF and the rest of the penninsula.

Article should be followed shortly in April by an aticle stating “Highway 1 again closed due to rocks on devil’s slide”

Published in the Sentinel

Jamie Burkhart

Denise Denton kills herself

Maps of Santa Cruz

My previous post about what to call my neighborhood inspired me to layout Santa Cruz in a logical arranging of neighborhoods based upon how I know them and how I’ve been explained its been laid out.

First We have all heard the stories of East-side Vs. West-side. But there seems to be little conscensus about which is which and where each are. Simply dividing Santa Cruz in half leaves Downtown split and its difficult to see whether it fits into the east/west dicotomy. For this reason I created this map (click for larger image) to cleanly divide Santa Cruz:

For those unfamiliar with the internal divide in Santa Cruz culture here is a brief overview of the culture clash. Essentially the break in the Santa Cruz culture derives from local surfing culture where there are west-side surfers and east-side surfers. The generic stereotype of a west-sider is an affluent, jockish, bro who wears baseball caps. There is even a symbol for West-Side Santa Cruz which is a “W” and “S” squished together to form a masculine shield. This stereotype is based partly on the fact that the west cliff drive area of Santa Cruz is some of the priciest property within the city limits.

The generic stereotype of the east-sider is more of a poor, hippie or spanish-speaking non-native. This area encompasses the beach-flats and so has a rougher edged reputation. Its not uncommon to see tamale vendors roaming the streets in east side neighborhoods. Speaking spanish will help you get by. This is also the easiest place to find heroin, cocaine and other hard edge drugs. Prostitution is rampant along major streets lined with cheap motels.

For a more specific breakdown of the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz I’ve created this map (click for larger view):

I’ve based most of these neighborhood names off of what I’ve heard described by people who live in each of the neighborhoods. There are further divisions and some overlap which aren’t covered on this map. For Instance the areas around Ocean and Water Street have a very unique culture separate from those that flank each sides of the street. I’m also a little unsure of the area near UCSC campus it is such a large area I would think there might be more divisions in there but I’m not that familar with that neighborhood nor do I know many people who live there.

Anyway. Hope you enjoy!

Whats in a Name?

I’ve heard many names for my neighborhood but nothing really sticks. There needs to be some balance between horribly ghetto and not “too” ghetto. I think this is the problem of labeling. Its not the best neighborhood but its not the worst ever. I live on the corner of Barson and Campbell in Santa Cruz. (click here to see a google map) Here are some names I’ve heard for my neighborhood and why they don’t work:

1. The Flats: This is an obvious choice that many people unfamiliar with the neighborhood tend towards. The thing is that we are clearly divided from the flats geographically by the San Lorenzo River. The housing type in our neighborhood is also clearly different. The Beach-Flats (narrowly defined by beach hill to the west, San Lorenzo River to the North and East and the Boardwalk/main beach to the South) are so called because the neighborhood is comprised of small one bedroom and studio apartments and a smattering of older small hotels that are one room with no kitchen. The streets are narrow and there are a number of one way streets that direct a driver straight into the large parking lots in front of the boardwalk. Zoning is also more sporadic in the flats with housing and retail mixed in. There is a wide variety of taquerias, bakeries and convenience markets which serve the summer tourist crowd headed to Boardwalk. Most parking is regulated and becomes very tight in the summer.

2. Downtown: Clearly the Barson, Campbell area is separated from downtown again by the San Lorenzo River. Downtown’s definitions are a little unclear but I tend to define it by San Lorenzo River to the east, Beach hill to the South, Santa Cruz high-school to the west and Highway 1 to the north. The way I like to divide Santa Cruz is to say that downtown is in the middle to the west is the “West-side” and east of downtown is the “East-side”. The heart of downtown is obviously Pacific Ave but Front, Cedar and Center also host a wealth of restaurants and shops that fit squarely in the central business district. Go much further West and you end up on Mission, which is clearly its own definable area. Suffice to say Barson and Campbell is culturally and geographically different than both of these Areas.

3. Lower Seabright: We’re getting closer to figuring out a definable name but still the Barson, Campbell area is definitely not Seabright. Seabright is generally defined by Oceanview park to the Southwest, Broadway to the North, The Harbor to the East and Seabright/Twin Lakes to the South. Seabright is definitely its own little neighborhood with shops and restaurants along Seabright Ave at Murray. The Barson/Campbell area is more residential with only a few stores and restaurants. Seabright also hosts small shack-like dwellings similar in size but not worth to the Beach-Flats. There are some larger houses but these are usually built upon land formerly occupied by smaller dwellings and as such have small or no yards. To compensate there are a number of roof-top decks for barbecues and a number of summer rentals. Along OceanView there is also a beautiful collection of stately Victorians which recall an elegance from Santa Cruz Past. These huge, plantation-like properties host some of the best views in Santa Cruz.

4. Lower Ocean: Again this is getting closer. Ocean Ave is an older, more automobile based neighborhood with shops catering to tourists on their way into town for the summer. Much like Mission it is an old highway but has less recent development with more of the shops having been built in the 1940s and 50s. By the time ocean winds its way past Broadway, however, the types of shops and feel of the neighborhood shifts drastically. There is La Esperanza, a mexican market and deli which cater to the neighborhood’s spanish-speaking residents. There is the Little Ceasars which in some ways caters to tourists but has not nearly enough parking for the automobile crowd. Also along Ocean at barson there are a few convenience stores (711 and the Ocean market) which recall more of a Beach-Flats feel than the collection of gas stations and hotels that line Ocean from 17 to Broadway.

5. The River Flats: This seems most appropriate but is marred a bit by its definition of the neighborhood being composed of “Flats”. Again, the Barson/Campbell area hosts a number of owner-lived-in houses that have sizable yards (compared with Seabright to the East) and has a diversity of student and family residents. These are not “Flats” per-se and have a distinct economic difference from the Beach-Flats.

6. Branciforte: This is the old name for the secular settlement set up east of the Santa Cruz mission (whose primary residents were good catholics). Its squarely in the middle of the East-side but is generally too far north to be considered part of the Barson/Campbell neighborhood. It is centered around Branciforte Ave and Soquel and radiates out to Water to the North, Ocean to the West, Broadway to the South (leads to Seabright), and Seabright Ave. to the East.

So the question begs to be answered what do we call our neighborhood? I would say it is generally defined as the houses and restaurants that are bordered by the San Lorenzo to the west and south, by Soquel Ave or San Lorenzo Park to the north and by the hill leading to Seabright Avenue to the East. Its basic center is Broadway and Ocean or Barson and Ocean and encompasses the Radioshack, Little Caesars and both Clay and Campbell Streets. It is close to downtown but has unregulated parking (for the time being. The Santa Cruz Beach Inn is located in its boundaries and it is nearly completely surrounded by the San Lorenzo river (being that its in its flood plain).

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