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Old 01-11-2013, 02:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awregar View Post
We are expanding our search to areas closer to San Jose, as well. This might aid in the job search. Road Warrior 101 had mentioned Los Gatos in a post. Would you recommend other towns proximate to San Jose that are nestled in a more wooded area? Also, Google Maps says that it takes about 45 minutes from SC to San Jose on Highway 35. Does that sound right to you, or is it an underestimate?
Los Gatos is great...IF you can afford it. I think the bottom end of the housing market there starts at 700K (and that might be too low...I haven't checked recently). Rents on apartments and homes in the whole SV area have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. Our economy has picked up the last few years but not by THAT much...This is very typical of this area.....The economy picks up a little bit and then home prices and rents skyrocket.

The commute from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz is probably tolerable, given what you're used to. But it is not an easy one...you'd be driving over a winding mountain road every day; although it would be a reverse commute. I'm not sure but I think during commute hours you're still looking at a 45 minute commute from door to door on an average day.

Another option might be to live in Scotts Valley. It's inland, but on the Santa Cruz side of the hill...so it's closer to the coast. Housing there is still very expensive, but probably cheaper than Los Gatos. The downside to that is if one of you is commuting to Silicon Valley, it is not a reverse commute, so lots of traffic. Some people can take the bus to downtown SJ, but if you don't work where the bus goes, you end up driving.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bentobox34 View Post
Have you thought about Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo? Both are beautiful locations with beaches, outdoor opportunities, great downtowns and colleges, and significantly fewer drug/crime issues than SC.
Those are great towns, but they are similar in that their job markets are limited and many of the jobs available don't pay much, yet the cost of living is quite high.

San Luis Obispo isn't right on the ocean, but it isn't far.

Both places are more clean cut and have better weather than Santa Cruz.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easybay View Post
I guess this was what I was getting at in my original question. The idea of being close to the ocean in beach sounds nice, but what do you envision? Living here in San Jose, we occasionally drive down south of Santa Cruz to Manresa beach to walk our dog. In the summer it will be 90 here in San Jose, and find that it is cloudy and 50 at the beach.
This has happened to me, too...but I'd say it's the exception and not the rule. I've gone over there plenty of times at different times of year and the weather has been nice. But I admit I don't go over there every weekend. Sometimes it's actually a few degrees warmer over there on sunny winter days and the winter weather is just as sunny as SJ. July/August can be more unpredictable when it comes to sunshine, though. I will concede that going over there on the weekend and living in that weather every day may be two different experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by easybay View Post
I have been at the beach here once when the temp. was in the 70's and I could wear a bathing suit. And forget going in the water - it's freezing cold and really rough. Perfect for wetsuits and surfing.
This is absolutely true. The Pacific Ocean is COLD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by easybay View Post
As for hiking, hope you don't have a dog because you can't take your dog to many public parks here (on or off leash). Funny how you can take a dog INTO a restaurant in Carmel (you must have a dog as an accessory in Carmel) but you can't take one on a walk in a state park. So we don't do much hiking here either.

Anyhow....back to walking the dog. Down at Manresa there are people picnicking by the lifeguard station and parking lot, so we walk away from them to let the dog run off leash to chase his ball. (Even he hates how cold the water is). Makes for a great image until the beach patrol drives up and tells us to put the dog back on the leash. We haven't been fined....yet.


This is a lifestyle issue. The OP didn't say whether he had a dog or not. I don't have one, so I don't care about this stuff. I would say living in this area, pets are more hassle than they're worth, especially if you're a renter. (I know that will sound heartless to pet lovers but it's my opinion).
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
This is absolutely true. The Pacific Ocean is COLD!
Ocean currents travel clock-wise in the Northern Hemisphere. So, the ocean current in the Pacific moves west just above the equator towards Japan, then turns upwards and heads north towards Alaska. It then curves back down heading back towards the Equator, bringing with it all the cold Arctic water.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
Ocean currents travel clock-wise in the Northern Hemisphere. So, the ocean current in the Pacific moves west just above the equator towards Japan, then turns upwards and heads north towards Alaska. It then curves back down heading back towards the Equator, bringing with it all the cold Arctic water.
Thank you for the clarification. I guess I also meant to say that the West Coast has a cold current off our coast that perhaps other parts of the Pacific don't have...although to the best of my knowledge, there's no Pacific Ocean equivalent to the very warm Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:50 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
to the best of my knowledge, there's no Pacific Ocean equivalent to the very warm Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic.
No, but we do have the occasional El Nino and Pineapple Express events.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:12 PM
 
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We don't live in SC, but here's my impression from knowing people who've lived there... (Keep in mind: I don't mean these as negative or positive) The people/families that I see living in SC long term tend to fall under many of these stereotypes IMO....the granola-ish, older volvo-driving, bumper stickers all over the car, hemp-organic-wearing, my-kids-take-surf-lessons and love to skate board, down-to-earth, and/or being-one-with-nature and organic gardening loving-type... If you are the type who could spend hours waiting for the next wave on your surfboard in the fog (and freezing water doesn't phase you), very into new age-y healing or self help practices, or consider yourself politically anti-yuppie (but still have the money that a yuppie would make) Santa Cruz and the surrounding towns may work for you I love the area myself, but don't know if I could take all the overcast days, and my husband and I love the ocean, but not enough to go surfing or boogie boarding in it for more than 10 minutes. So we will continue to visit and enjoy it every few months or so.

If you are coming from NYC, the homeless wont bother you much--more of just something that is a part of Santa Cruz and you come to expect it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:18 PM
 
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I was a lifetime resident of Santa Cruz County for 44 years until moving to San Jose very recently.

Cons:
1. If you like fast-paced city life I think you will find Santa Cruz too slow, too laid-back, too much like Hawaii where everyone seems to be on vacation or unemployed -- but never hustling and bustling. Go downtown on any given weekday and you'll wonder why so many people don't have to BE anywhere. (And I don't mean affluent soccer moms like you see in Los Gatos.)

2. Weather in some areas (including Capitola and Aptos) is downright cool and socked-in by fog roughly 300 days per year. I worked in Aptos for years, I am not exaggerating.

3. If you are very liberal you will like the dominant mentality, however it could be considered a "con" when it veers far into the groovy/sixties/everything has to be organic outlook.

4. Santa Cruz is most definitely a tourist town: Quiet in the winter, congested with visitors during the summer.

5. Santa Cruz may not have more homeless people than other cities, but Santa Cruz is more tolerant of the homeless than other cities.

6. Commuting from Santa Cruz is hazardous, that's why I moved to San Jose. I refuse to risk life and limb on Highway 17 every day. Period.

7. Not racially diverse. I consider that a negative. Very, very few blacks, Asians, Indians, etc.

Pros:

1. Santa Cruz is unique, think Berkeley or San Francisco during the hippie era. It still has a hangover from those days. The city motto? "Keep Santa Cruz Weird." You'll see it on bumper stickers.

2. Beautiful beaches and parks, but unless you are retired or independently wealthy or a professional surfer, how many days a year will you really spend at the beach? I guess I'm spoiled because I grew up there, but I don't miss it.

3. Schools are probably safer and provide a more tight-knit community than big city schools. Same with neighborhoods.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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I'm so surprised to hear so many negatives about Santa Cruz. We were positively surprised by the well-developed downtown area with its many shops and restaurants, which seemed cleaner and more upscale by a longshot than Berkeley, which is where I was an undergrad. Hey, it's a college town, so it's a little funky, but it still seems pretty nice. The beaches are beautiful, although the area right along the Beach Boardwalk had some seedy people.

I've probably been to the area (SC/Capitola) a dozen times in my life, and the weather has always been perfect (except one time when we came during a 97F heatwave). One person mentioned it being 50 degrees and foggy in the summer, but that's clearly an anomaly if you look at historical data. According to Wikipedia, the average JANUARY high temp is 60.6 degrees, and it averages above 70 degrees for six months a year. This weekend, it's supposed to hit 70. I mean, if you can't handle the weather in Santa Cruz, along with the exotic vegetation it supports, then that's what I call a high-class problem.

But I do think Capitola is the overall cleaner and nicer town. I love that place.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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Quote:
I've probably been to the area (SC/Capitola) a dozen times in my life, and the weather has always been perfect (except one time when we came during a 97F heatwave).
So how old are you? 40? That would be once every 4-5 years over the course of your life? So obviously you or someone who took you, checked the weather before going (which is what we do now) so you hit the warmer weather. In 3 years we have gone more than you have in your lifetime. I wasn't the only one who said the weather was cold and overcast - the people who lived there said so too. I would definitely use them as a source before Wikipedia.
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