Northern California - Is it just me or is Santa Cruz kind of dumpy?
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Or is it just the tourist/beach/boardwalk area?
08-22-09, 08:55 PM
It's a hippy college surfing centric beach town, street people haven, political correctness center of the universe! Yuppies like it dumpy. With plenty of upscale fern coffee shops servin' chai lattes with organic soy milk. But the Boardwalk area is just plain tourista trashy.
I had only been to the boardwalk/riverside drive/ocean street areas when I posted that. I just took a walk through pacific av downtown and it's ok, but yeah lots of street people...
08-22-09, 09:38 PM
"Keep Santa Cruz Weird" is the local slogan.
Pacific Ave is nicer in the mornings before the street people get up.
Eric, I'm out here to do the university race, if it wasn't obvious ;)
there were a bunch of your teammates in my race at San ardo today.
Just make sure to leave your nukes at home. Santa Cruz is a nuclear free zone. And they don't take too kindly to nuclear powered bikes either.
08-22-09, 11:48 PM
08-22-09, 11:57 PM
I grew up there. The Beach Flats area by the Boardwalk is gang-infested and you don't want to wander into that neighborhood. Downtown has tons of bums and some gangster spill-over from the Flats. The rest of Santa Cruz is nice though, in a laid-back quirky sort of way.
When I was a kid working at the Boardwalk, I always had a knife with me for walking to/from the bus metro center downtown. Really rough neighborhood. Very worst part of Santa Cruz.
08-23-09, 12:13 AM
Santa Cruz is a armpit with an ocean view... :thumb:
08-23-09, 01:14 AM
I went to the university there for 4 years. Great road and mountain riding opportunities. Easy access to the beach. As for the town itself, meh.
I'll be back there tomorrow for the race. I hear the smoke had settled down on the town pretty thick on Friday. Hope it clears up by the time my race rolls around.
Then again, I went to UCSC, so I should be used to smoke, right?
08-23-09, 01:38 AM
It's hippy heaven. ;)
There's nice parts of town, just not downtown or the boardwalk.
08-23-09, 03:27 AM
I lived downtown in Santa Cruz for 9 years, and one on my favorite places there was The Crepe Place. West Cliff Drive is another great bit of town. I'll be there tomorrow afternoon, between the lighthouse and Natural Bridges, with a specially filtered telescope on a mount of my own design, looking at the sun. Stop and have a look if you're riding down the path!
08-23-09, 04:28 PM
Santa Cruz is one of my favorite cities. I like the UCSC library system because of easier access to library materials versus other colleges in the Bay Area. We frequent the Boardwalk, downtown, pier and the cliffs and beaches. When the anchovies are running, I fish for Halibut. Rockfish are also good in the area. I went to Berkeley and my wife went to Santa Cruz.
08-23-09, 07:38 PM
I'm a Santa Cruz native and my family has been there for 5 generations (Filipinos migrated there to share crop along the Pacific Coast HWY and my family settled in Davenport). I grew up on the West Side near Natural Bridges Beach. Completely speaking from a TOTALLY biased point of view, you can't find a more bicycle friendly town. I grew up there BMX'ing and my brother has been racing MTB and CX there for 20 years. The place lives and breathes cycling, especially the off road type. Santa Cruz has spawned a large part of the professional BMX and MTB'ing world, especially in the more all-mountain and dirt jump styles, although there are a lot of XC types. The Surf City CX race is a classic. I mean, com'on... there's a BIKE COMPANY named after the town. Rock Lobster started there, too... Paul used to weld our broken BMX frames back in the 80's and 90's. Right on Dufour St. across from McDonalds. My brother still races a custom Rock Lobster frame. 2-Hip, a major BMX company resides there, as well as Calfee which is right outside of Santa Cruz. Speaking of 2-Hip, Ron Wilkerson, a legend and pioneer of freestyle BMX has a neat little restaurant across from the County building - Ron is 43 yrs. old and still rides a half-pipe like he's 23.
Growing up in Santa Cruz, every kid was surfing, skating, MTB'ing or BMX'ing... so the option of playing video games really made you a "square" - any kids staying indoors to couch surf were LAME. There really was no need for PE... every kid was super active in outdoor sports - the place just lends itself to that. A handful of my childhood friend became pro riders in BMX and XC.
Santa Cruz is a great place. The Boardwalk area is the "Beach Flats" and that is our ghetto - it's the worst of it. Some people hate the hippies and homeless and they do get annoying... but they are harmless (well, at least before the meth problem got bad).
But I'm sticking to the point that, as a SC native, I couldn't think of a better place for bicycling. The town is designed to be bicycle friendly with paths that take you from one end of town to the other without having to mix it up with cars.
Personally, I hate living in San Jose. The MTB'ing sucks monkey ass and I can't stand the Bay Area hip-hop, UFC wannabe douch3bags, uppity valley b|tches and overall stress and traffic. Can't wait to move back to SC.
I didn't have any chance to ride around while I was there except a brutally hilly loop at the university for the race today. The university are looked nice as did the residential area I drove through to get there... I was just amazed at how nasty the whole boardwalk area was.
08-23-09, 09:01 PM
Ooohhh... Mt. Charlie would've been a good one for you.
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