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Old 01-16-2013, 10:56 PM
 
22 posts, read 22,606 times
Reputation: 43
I worked and lived in Santa Cruz for a couple years. Having spent most of my life in Michigan I considered the weather to be heavenly for the most part, and the city too, for that matter. The key to good weather in the SC area is living close to or north of hwy 1. Soquel usually has pretty nice weather. Even during the June gloom foggy days it usually burns off by afternoon. Other posters are right though, you don't want to be close to the water. It's cool/cold, foggy and expensive. I lived in Aptos for awhile too and it is noticeably foggier and colder there and socked in quite often. As others have mentioned, Capitola is a nice area.

Don't worry about localism unless you surf. If you surf, just be courteous and respectful and there's no problems. Someone else mentioned the residents being on a "permanent vacation", which in my experience is very true. I rented rooms in 3 different households with a total of 6 different roommates between them. Of the 6, only 1 had a conventional job and it was only part time. The others made money in various ways including astrological counseling, donating ovum, selling dubious nutritional supplements. Many people just happened to own real estate at the right time and either cashed in or rent out.

Going to the boardwalk is a mistake that most people don't repeat after going once. It's touristy, dirty, crowded etc. There's nothing for you there. On the other hand, I thought the downtown was great. Logos is a nice used bookstore, there are good restaurants, a record shop, some venues for live music, shops, and bars. There's a great farmer's market that used to be there a couple times a week where you can find awesome fresh produce. I really enjoyed going to the flea market too, tons of produce for dirt cheap. I rode my bike pretty much everywhere around town and there are lots of mountain trails to ride around the UCSC campus as well. You're close to SF, wine country, Tahoe/Sierra Nevadas/Yosemite aren't too far, Big Sur, LAs an hour flight from SFO.

All in all, I guess it depends what you're used to. It realize this may sound like hyperbole, but I honestly felt like I had arrived in america from the 3rd world. I was completely blown away by the weather, the optimism, and just how "nice" everything looked coming from the post-apocalyptic rust belt. IMO CA's the america of america, unbelievable everything: wealth/prosperity, food, music, people, scenery, weather. In my experience most people from there seem to take it for granted until they leave. It may be a bit of a let down coming from NYC, but I think you should give it a shot!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:28 PM
Status: "California Uber Alles!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,472 posts, read 6,355,909 times
Reputation: 4505
Quote:
Originally Posted by goblu View Post
IMO CA's the america of america, unbelievable everything: wealth/prosperity, food, music, people, scenery, weather. In my experience most people from there seem to take it for granted until they leave.
It may seem like they take it for granted, but many residents are just poor and burnt because they're working so long and hard to pay for all 'unbelievable everything' they are a part of. By the time Friday roles around, one often would rather look forward to rest and relaxation than scuttling off to the mountains or the beach. Luckily, any local "staycation" is nearby when you live in the Bay Area, and the weather is generally amenable to such.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:37 PM
 
9,833 posts, read 6,929,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goblu View Post
Going to the boardwalk is a mistake that most people don't repeat after going once. It's touristy, dirty, crowded etc. There's nothing for you there.
C'mon now... It might not be Great America and no locals over the age of 16 really hang out there on a regular basis but it's got character... The Giant Dipper will always be worth a stop as long as I live--it's sort of like the Cyclone at Coney Island.

Though I was bummed when I heard they re-did the original Cave Train--that and the old Haunted Castles were the weirdest attractions they had when I was a kid.

The clam chowder festival used to be fun as well...
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: earth?
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OMG. I disagree with 90% of what everyone has had to say about "life in Santa Cruz."

I have a lot of experience . . .

The weather is AWESOME - year-round. It is BEAUTIFUL right now.
The scenery can't be beat - beach, redwoods - what else could you want?
The housing is UNIQUE - not "cookie cutter." So many different neighborhoods and microclimates.
The soil is UNBELIEVABLE if you like to garden.
There is something for everyone.
I would be careful with kids and "surf culture" (but if you monitor your kids, it could be fine)
If you have a strong, healthy family I think this would be a great place to settle.
Don't even consider San Jose - BORING . . .

And please note "eastbay" might not be the best user name to talk about Santa Cruz.

I hope some other Santa Cruz natives chime in.

(And as far as "The Homeless" are concerned . . .just don't hang out down by the levee and you should be okay!)


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Old 01-17-2013, 09:12 PM
 
Location: earth?
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Nothing can beat the roller coaster.

The Boardwalk is fun every now and then.

Downtown is interesting too.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:38 PM
Status: "California Uber Alles!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,472 posts, read 6,355,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
O
Don't even consider San Jose - BORING . . .

Awww, and you were doing so well up til this.

I like SC as much as anyone, but if one can't find anything to do in a town of nearly one million as opposed to one with 60,000, it just might be a personal issue, not the town. Especially if it's typed in bold violet.

Care to detail what, besides the beach, presents so many unique things to do in SC that can't be done in SJ or Silicon Valley? There are some, to be sure, but would you grace us with some wisdom?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:54 PM
 
Location: earth?
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Beaches (and for the record, there are lots of dogs off leash on beaches in Santa Cruz - not legal except at Its Beach - but trust me, there is a huge dog culture in Santa Cruz)
Mountains
Ocean
Great Produce
Downtown - bookstores, restaurants, clothing stores, street performances
Interesting architecture all over town
Museums
University
Wine tasting
Coffee
Cute and interesting neighborhoods and towns (Capitola, Aptos, Soquel, Corralitos, Seabright, etc.)
The Yacht Harbor
Antiques
Farmers' Markets (several, different places and different days of the week)
Festivals
The Wharf
Great Health Food Stores
Amazing real estate
The Boardwalk
Wharf to Wharf
World Class Surf Spots
Great Walking Trails
Amazing Sunsets
Interesting People (of all walks of life - not as portrayed)
Interesting Local History
Chinese Massage
Spas
Etc.

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:05 AM
Status: "California Uber Alles!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,472 posts, read 6,355,909 times
Reputation: 4505
Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Beaches (and for the record, there are lots of dogs off leash on beaches in Santa Cruz - not legal except at Its Beach - but trust me, there is a huge dog culture in Santa Cruz)
Mountains
Ocean
Great Produce
Downtown - bookstores, restaurants, clothing stores, street performances
Interesting architecture all over town
Museums
University
Wine tasting
Coffee
Cute and interesting neighborhoods and towns (Capitola, Aptos, Soquel, Corralitos, Seabright, etc.)
The Yacht Harbor
Antiques
Farmers' Markets (several, different places and different days of the week)
Festivals
The Wharf
Great Health Food Stores
Amazing real estate
The Boardwalk
Wharf to Wharf
World Class Surf Spots
Great Walking Trails
Amazing Sunsets
Interesting People (of all walks of life - not as portrayed)
Interesting Local History
Chinese Massage
Spas
Etc.

Yep, got all that, except the ocean stuff. Got us there.

Got jobs? Earning a living makes money, which enables one to enjoy many interesting things, no?
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:42 AM
 
9,833 posts, read 6,929,223 times
Reputation: 9061
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdumbgod View Post
Yep, got all that, except the ocean stuff. Got us there.

Got jobs? Earning a living makes money, which enables one to enjoy many interesting things, no?
In the old days of the 1980s you could still just work in Santa Cruz and afford to live there. Especially if you bought a house in the 1970s or earlier. Past the late 90s and the whole dot-com boom, the whole town became too expensive and just about everyone I grew up with long ago left. Even people who loved the Central Coast went to Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo--each very expensive on their own, but without the whole series of problems that afflict Santa Cruz, which are in part because it's a little college/beach tourist town on the edge of a much more prosperous and larger metro.

If Santa Cruz was located somewhere in the middle regions of the Central Coast like say SLO, it could've sort of remained sort of just a quieter surf hick town with a hippy vibe, but alas that wasn't to be the case. I don't know how my parents have managed to make to commute over the hill for work for practically most of thirty plus years. The whole Bay Area is basically too expensive for most people for what you get for the price unless you really want to work in the tech industry... I've probably got no reason to ever move back.

Last edited by Deezus; 01-18-2013 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:42 AM
 
27 posts, read 35,535 times
Reputation: 25
I think the drug aspect of the homeless in Santa Cruz has to do with the age group.
There are many homeless youth that travel the coast circuit ( Seattle, Portland, down through Humboldt and Mendocino counties,through SF, and continuing along the coast including Santa Cruz) Drugs tend to be part of their lifestyle. Their presence shouldn't really impact your decision as to location as they are a small ( but visible) part of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is a liberal city and there's much more to it than the downtown area. There are some wonderful areas to live near UCSC, and just north of downtown, which are very walkable and bike friendly. In addition to the beaches in the immediate area, there are some very nice desolate beaches further north along Hwy. 1, and kayaking up Elkhorn Slough
which is south. Good hiking through the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Not sure about the "aggressive localism" you're referring to in Santa Cruz, except with regards to surfing spots.
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