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!

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