Seeing Santa Cruz in my returning years brings back a few memories, but also surprises me otherwise. The traffic on the freeways is horrific. And there are many changes in some of the businesses I knew way back then.
Now, however, the Pacific Garden Mall has sprouted new, interesting businesses, many of them in the arts, and two theaters are still there.
The nature of Santa Cruz hasn’t changed, but became more of what it was: aging hippies, homelessness, street musicians and artists of all kinds. There’s a bumper sticker I’ve seen a few times that seems to say what the locals want. It says,:”Keep Santa Cruz Weird.”
But, on top of the so called weirdness, there is a surfing culture here, as well. I’ve seen another bumper sticker that says, “If you are not still surfing then you never did.”
And…transportation of the youth, is done either on bicycles or skateboards. It’s not uncommon to see a surfer carrying his board on his bike, or a skateboarder carrying his board, with his wet suit, half on and half off.
That’s Santa Cruz. I love it!