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Santa Cruz, CA


Santa Cruz is my Heart Home in so many ways - 10/3/2019
I was born over the hill in San Jose area, and as a kid I loved coming over to the boardwalk. Santa Cruz has always been and always will be a town of diversity, creativity and very pro-local. I dreamed of the day I could live here, and finally, back in 2009 we bought our townhome, just a 10-minute walk to one of the local beaches in a neighborhood called Live Oak/ Pleasure Point. The fresh ocean air, ancient redwoods to hike through nearby, world-class surfing, huge art community. I feel so lucky to live in such a wonderful place. Let me break it down for you:
Good:
+ Multiple Farmers Markets, Organic Produce, Farm Fresh Eggs
+ Foodie delight (everything from Brazillian, Italian, Mexican, Farm to Table, Japanese, Thai, and more)
+Love Coffee? We have a lot of local roasters including the famous Verve Coffee. I also love Cat and Cloud and so many other places
+ Books: Santa Cruz Bookshop is always packed with locals - so many author events - we had Chelsea Clinton sign one of her books for us at one of their hosted events
+ Art? Every October there is Open Artist Studio, all over Santa Cruz you can go to the Studio spaces of local art and purchase it directly from the creator. My wife and I have purchased multiple pieces we just love for our home. Then year round there is First Friday - where a lot of shops in Downtown Santa Cruz feature local artists.
+ Diversity - Very GLBT Friendly, my wife and I feel right at home here - every year during Santa Cruz Pride march through downtown SC, the streets pack and it has a very hometown feel to it - local politicians, local businesses have floats, local marching bands, different religious groups, our roller derby girls, and more - a real feel good experience

Downsides:
Just because we are a beach down - we are nothing like the homogenized Orange County. ( I think that's a good thing though) We do have a homeless problem - it has come out some of the wealthier areas like Menlo Park were literally bussing people here (its called people dumping) intentionally. But all the homeless people I have encountered have been friendly kind and pretty harmless. One night after eating out I was carrying my leftovers to the car and a homeless person asked me "Are you emotionally attached to your leftovers?" I laughed and handed them to him. And the violence that does happen - is usually by "Visitors" to the area- and tends to only impact areas like Beach Flats, Boardwalk and Downtown when they do happen.

I dearly love Santa Cruz, imperfections and all
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