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Old 08-23-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Escondido
434 posts, read 910,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Millennium View Post
Disagree with most of your PHX assessment. Unnecessary to bash a great city when this question has nothing to do with Phoenix.

But to answer your question:

Santa Cruz is a terrible place to raise children. Way too much drugs and homelessness in that city. And a fair amount of crime for a small population. If you wanted to live in the area consider Aptos or Scotts Valley. Much more family oriented and normal. I'm a big fan of Scotts Valley. You're not on the beach like Santa Cruz, but a quick 10-15 minutes away.

SLO would be a good place to raise kids. But keep in mind the isolation. You're far from a major city and airport.

I don't know much about Santa Rosa. But I do know it's more affordable for the Bay Area but is also a bit "out there" in the far north bay. Has some issues with gangs and crime; so choose your neighborhood carefully.
And in your thread you bashed my great home base, too. How unnecessary and rude!
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Overlooking the vineyards, olive groves, cattle and horses in the hills of San Miguel CA
167 posts, read 295,934 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
I don't know much about Santa Rosa, but can compare Santa Cruz and SLO. Tough decision between the two based on what you are looking for.

"- Santa Cruz is larger and busier, with more activities. Closer to Bay Area and all the benefits that involves. Probably a better job market, but if you have to drive over the hill to San Jose for that job, the benefits of living in Santa Cruz will diminish. Bad commute."


Actually, it's a now bad commute from Watsonville to the West Side, just as a hypothetical... the local routes are now as crowded as the 'commercial/tourist/commuter' routes because the traffic workarounds are now saturated too... at all times of the day, seemingly at random- 11 am on a Tuesday might see a 5 mile traffic jam on NB Route 1 between Aptos and SC... every day's a crapshoot, so we leave early to prepare for the worst.

"Santa Cruz is more liberal. Also more diverse. I would expect more alternative education opportunties there. It seems kids grow up faster there, with drugs, gangs, etc., but still probably less so than much of CA. I'd bet that stuff can be avoided."

Liberal might describe SC thirty years ago... now it's so reflexively white-guilt-motivated handout happy that it defies credulity, logic and past experience. Diversity with a VERY small 'd', perhaps... few folks other than standard-issue white hippies, addicts, homeless, Silicon Valley millionaires, boho millionaires, aggravated-assault-prone territorial locals/surfers, hard-partying students, gang members and tourists... middle and working-class folks have left en masse for decades now. The diversity seems to be mostly from tourism, ironically.

Avoiding all this is a full-time job... we have a 10-year-old in public school here. The educational choices boil down to: hit-or miss public schools like Westlake, Mission Hill, Bayview, etc. or religious schools in Watsonville, private day schools like Kirby or magnet schools like Pacific Collegiate School, just down the street from us but with a 700-to-1 lottery for admission. One of the founders of PCS lives up our street and can't get her grandchild in there... she goes instead to the Watsonville private Catholic school rather than chance the mediocre SC public school system. What was once a sleepy, safe college and surfing mecca is now a stumblebum also-ran where homeless grocery-cart pilots pee themselves outside Mission Street bars and addict-used hypodermic needles accumulate everywhere from one end of SC to the other. The SC 'mountain' towns like Scotts Valley, Ben Lomond, Lompico, Zayante, Felton and Boulder Creek have their own Methhead+tweaker/grower/biker/redneck/crazed exurban commuter/road person/vagabond thief issues as well.

"Santa Cruz gets a lot more rain and foggy weather. The surf is much better, but damn the crowds are bad. It really detracts from my enjoyment of the surf in town."

Morro Bay actually *seems* cooler than most of SC north of Aptos and south of Pescadero... compared to SLO, though- yeah, SC is foggier and cooler. Crowds are bad, our local surfers are generally the surliest, aggro, overrated 'legends-in-thier-own-minds' in CA... exceptions proving the rule... where else can you get menaced, beaten and have your car/truck vandalized and your surfing gear stolen as part of the extreme territoriality of the surfer-jock-rebel-subculture around SC? Used to be that Steamer lane and Mavericks were the worst offenders, now it's all up and down the coast here they treat everyone new like a Barney and ask questions later... a friend of mine, an SC native of 40 years who's been surfing Mavs since the 80s had all this happen to him at the Lane several years back...a few happy exceptions are Pacifica and again Mavericks which has grown up a lot in the last 20 years a community up in HMB. There are a lot of folks who


"-SLO is off on its own and in a bubble. Pretty slow paced, but the university does provide opportunities for activities. Jobs can be tough to come by."

Looks just as you say... I'm an independent IT Security Consultant (which means I get paid to make a bad problem impossible to fix without my help lol), and your take on SLO sure sounds right-on.

"SLO itself is moderate, but many of the surroundng areas are conservative. It is also not very diverse at all. People are very accepting, but there just aren't a lot of people of color compared to most of CA."

We're liberal without being SC-insane about it but also very Libertarian... I grew up building houses, working on oil rigs and West Texas ranches in the 1970s as a long-haired Austin TX inhabitant... my wife spent years as a PS teacher in the Bay Area and raised two children pretty much alone in one of the worst neighborhoods in 1980s SF... we are independent, open-minded 'live-and-let-live' folks who sense many kindred spirits in the SLO area... at least we hope so.

"Great place to raise kids. Very wholesome and plenty to do, with lots of outdoor activities. Good schools are available, from preschool on up."

Man that sounds great.

"The weather in SLO is great. Close enough to the ocean to get some of the cooling influence without the constant fog and wind. I really enjoy surfing SLO County. Lots of room and lots of places to explore. The surf is not of the quality of the points in Santa Cruz but the lack of crowds makes up for it."

Again, the crowds, traffic prices crime and snooty, insanely PC attitudes in SC preclude our enjoyment of the SC area's many charms. SLO sounds like SC was in the early sixties!

"Happy deciding!
"

Moving down to SLO soon, too. Keep us posted (no pun intended lol), OP!

Last edited by threepounduniverse; 09-01-2013 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:52 AM
 
Location: Overlooking the vineyards, olive groves, cattle and horses in the hills of San Miguel CA
167 posts, read 295,934 times
Reputation: 253
Default Perspective on SC from an SC native and current resident...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What about the college student who was shot and robbed at a bus stop? Was she out late at night? Where was the bus stop--downtown? Near/on campus?
At 7:30 pm on a Monday night at a bus stop several miles from campus the UCSC student was shot in the back of the head by an assailant/robber with a rifle who had demanded money... miraculously the bullet didn't completely pierce her skull and she recovered. Never did catch the suspect, though...

Not too long before that a woman walking near downtown SC at 11:00 AM was knifed and killed by a criminal just down from SF apparently... they caught this one.

A martial-arts instructor was shot and killed outside an SC restaurant at his own birthday party one evening, rapes on the UCSC campus, a shootout with a double-cop-killer that lasted over 20 minutes near downtown have all combined, this year especially to provide an ongoing, ominous pattern of violent incidents, not just the petty property crimes for which SC has always been known... if you'd like, check my previous post for some other SC absurdities that are now depressingly familiar and common around here. The pretext SC loves to share with the world is that it's a safe, friendly, frisky little town full of weird lovable characters, surfers and students in one big square dance of happy Cali fun... the most dangerous thing a 'small town' can do is to promote an atmosphere of denial in the service of tourism. Look what it did for the fictional town of 'Amity' on Martha's Vineyard in 'Jaws', right? '^)

No one dislikes and regrets hating on SC more than me... I was born here in 1960 and have had some great, great times here. But Santa Cruz is not the place for fun, sun and kids to grow up in that it once was. If you're wealthy it's too crowded, dirty and small-time... if you're a criminal/gang member, a transient thief, a student, a tourist or a surfer who likes riding 3-foot swells on the most overrated break in North America, SC's still the place for you. Parent of a young child? I'd suggest looking elsewhere... unless you want to try and enjoy what's left of the fabled, world-famous 'Surf City' lifestyle with a little one to care for I recommend other places where safety isn't third. A small town with big-city problems is twice as dangerous especially for kids as a big city with big problems... because the focus of precious resources for law enforcement, urban planning and management, etc. are all in their infancy while the big-city problems like gangs, drugs, random street violence and rampant homelessness grow faster than anyone is willing to acknowledge let alone do anything about either in tactics or strategy... there is no workable 'plan' for SC's *present*, let alone future. And that fact has NOT been lost at all on predators, criminals, weirdos and scammers from all over the world let alone the state of California.

We'd love to continue enjoying Big Basin State Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods, all the beaches, the downtown, Aptos, Capitola, the mountain towns, restaurants and bookstores... but the whole town is a 'food desert', with little cuisine that cannot be eaten by a skinny student with a hangover and a Mastercard... the downtown is a maze of sticky body fluids, needles, surly homeless vagrants, overpriced tourist/student swag and spaced-out white locals with bad tattoos, low-paying service jobs and no disposable income. If we're going to put up with big-city problems, we'd live in San Jose, SF, the East Bay or LA and have those cities' scale, diversity and depth as productive and enjoyable counterbalances... but we came back to the SC area with a young child for another type of experience, NOT the big-city (my wife and I spent many years in NYC) one... now we have to navigate, plan and behave as if SC IS a dangerous and expensive place, because it's become a traffic-clogged, scummy mid-sized CA coastal town with wishful thinking as its foolproof plan to solve all its problems going forward. SC has never been Mayberry, and we expected to be dealing with doses of all these issues as we would with almost any 50k+ population CA city... but the schizophrenic nature of SC now has worn us down... just when we begin to relax like we want to, some jarring reminder that we can't live like that around here shuffles around the corner and tries to defecate on our car in the driveway (true story). What good are 'city reflexes' when you are trying to relax with your young family in a town that won't let you put your 'city-guard' down at least a little? Hence our decision to move to the more low-key environs of the Five Cities/SLO area. We always lock our doors and stay alert everywhere but at least we won't have to wonder every morning when we wake up what fresh new piece of hell is going to jump off that day. At least in the city we'd be able to fall back on what great resources we know are there for the taking, day or night, rain or shine. Living in SC in a nice West Side neighborhood a half-mile from the beach and trying our best to enjoy all the local resources and activities isn't sufficient comfort to make up for dealing with all the SC bull every day.

I guess that's what happens when a town gets smug & complacent and then decides to go without 'adult supervision' for too long. More's the pity. Our small family is gone from here to the Five Cities/SLO area as soon as possible and we'll miss our little rituals... but we won't miss the lie that SC tries portray itself as to the world and tries to pawn off on its residents- young, old, rich, poor, educated, homeless, gang-affiliated, artists, surfers, fun-hogs or parents of children of all ages... 'we're a small town with small, simple problems! Ignore what you see, hear and read have fun!... we are Surf City and we are immune to reality!' Um, no. WanderingSunDevil, try SC at your own risk... but remember, its problems are larger than they appear in the mirror.

Last edited by threepounduniverse; 09-02-2013 at 02:27 AM..
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:59 PM
 
4,883 posts, read 11,720,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque View Post
I'm pretty easy and like all 3 actually.

Santa Cruz is a bit of a problematic commute to San Jose if that's where you end up working. Santa Cruz is a bit more liberal.

SLO is a bit more conservative. But it's a pretty good for nature and trails if you can find a job.

Santa Rosa's been a long time since I've been there, but it's pretty nice.
SLO is at 72% registered democrats compared to the other parties. All the city council members are registered democrats.

San Luis Obispo's largest employers are the community college and university, the prison, the nuclear power plant in Avila Beach, the hospitals, and the county government.

Santa Cruz you have the community college and university (but are smaller colleges), the hospitals, Plantronics, the county government, and tourist service sector jobs like at the Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz is closer to Monterey and Gilroy which open up a bit more jobs.

You could also commute from San Luis Obispo to Santa Maria for jobs.

Santa Rosa is more of a mid-sized city. You are not far from Napa and Marin County and too far from San Francisco.

Depends on where you can find work and what your likings are.

If you want a small town college town then SLO is for you. If you want a coastal college town feel, then Santa Cruz would be better. If you want a city feel, then Santa Rosa would be best.

My friend is going to college at Sonoma State and doesn't like the Santa Rosa area. He prefers SLO.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Overlooking the vineyards, olive groves, cattle and horses in the hills of San Miguel CA
167 posts, read 295,934 times
Reputation: 253
Default Southbound out of SC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the city View Post
SLO is at 72% registered democrats compared to the other parties. All the city council members are registered democrats.

San Luis Obispo's largest employers are the community college and university, the prison, the nuclear power plant in Avila Beach, the hospitals, and the county government.

Santa Cruz you have the community college and university (but are smaller colleges), the hospitals, Plantronics, the county government, and tourist service sector jobs like at the Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz is closer to Monterey and Gilroy which open up a bit more jobs.

You could also commute from San Luis Obispo to Santa Maria for jobs.

Santa Rosa is more of a mid-sized city. You are not far from Napa and Marin County and too far from San Francisco.

Depends on where you can find work and what your likings are.

If you want a small town college town then SLO is for you. If you want a coastal college town feel, then Santa Cruz would be better. If you want a city feel, then Santa Rosa would be best.

My friend is going to college at Sonoma State and doesn't like the Santa Rosa area. He prefers SLO.



Of the three Santa Cruz is most expensive and not by a little bit... UCSC and the Scotts Valley businesses as well as Plantronics, etc. are possible sources of employment as is the killer Route 17 commute to San Jose, etc... not much in the way of real jobs south of SC until you hit the 5 Cities/SLO area anyway...

SC is also more dangerous because unlike Santa Rosa (have a few old SC friends who are by now longtime SR residents), the random nature of relatively uncontrolled violent and property crimes in almost all neighborhoods at all hours in SC makes it difficult to provide safety and consistency while out and about with the fam and also provide a safe and relaxing school experience for your child... Santa Rosa has crime, sure- but it's both perceived and handled differently. Crucial distinction as it applies to quality of living...

Traffic in SR is generally more predictable and not usually as bad as SC... better infrastructure to match big traffic volume equals faster commute, etc. times.

See my previous two posts for more on the bait-and-switch that is the young family experience in SC... IMHO the winner would be SLO unless a particular deal-breaking job is in the offing in SR... summers are *hot* in SR/Petaluma but there are several scenic and relatively quick routes to the ocean from either town... lived in Point Reyes Station and went into Petaluma/Cotati/Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa frequently for shopping, supplies, eating, etc..

While all three have trade-offs, if decent work's possible in the five Cities/SLO area for you that might be the ticket... if you feel particularly lucky and really, really want to come into contact with surly homeless folks, Trustafarians driving old Mercedes diesel wagons like NYC taxis, Steamer Lane surfers on their day jobs in Tundra pickups in homicidal moods because they're not in the water and wannabe boho white kids with the world's worst tattoos and Silicon Valley commuters in Beemers cutting through traffic like Mario Andretti up Route 17 into San Jose, one of the most dangerous roads in CA your way to a real estate Open House where you'll share a look with several score other SC Pilgrims at a $675K 2BR 1B in a noisy, cramped neighborhood with students, surfers and addicts in the homes nearby, try SC out... but you'll likely be moving down the coast like us eventually. I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Hope the OP will keep us posted (again no pun intended)! '^)

Last edited by threepounduniverse; 09-02-2013 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:38 AM
 
345 posts, read 941,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSDLifer View Post
And in your thread you bashed my great home base, too. How unnecessary and rude!
. I'll assume you're referring to the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R Higgins View Post
try SC at your own risk... but remember, its problems are larger than they appear in the mirror.
This. There is an under-belly of SC that people don't hear about. It has an interesting dynamic and is certainly not a boring plain jane city. It has character.. but not a place I'd want to live long term, personally. YMMV.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:09 PM
 
4,883 posts, read 11,720,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R Higgins View Post
Of the three Santa Cruz is most expensive and not by a little bit... UCSC and the Scotts Valley businesses as well as Plantronics, etc. are possible sources of employment as is the killer Route 17 commute to San Jose, etc... not much in the way of real jobs south of SC until you hit the 5 Cities/SLO area anyway...

SC is also more dangerous because unlike Santa Rosa (have a few old SC friends who are by now longtime SR residents), the random nature of relatively uncontrolled violent and property crimes in almost all neighborhoods at all hours in SC makes it difficult to provide safety and consistency while out and about with the fam and also provide a safe and relaxing school experience for your child... Santa Rosa has crime, sure- but it's both perceived and handled differently. Crucial distinction as it applies to quality of living...

Traffic in SR is generally more predictable and not usually as bad as SC... better infrastructure to match big traffic volume equals faster commute, etc. times.

See my previous two posts for more on the bait-and-switch that is the young family experience in SC... IMHO the winner would be SLO unless a particular deal-breaking job is in the offing in SR... summers are *hot* in SR/Petaluma but there are several scenic and relatively quick routes to the ocean from either town... lived in Point Reyes Station and went into Petaluma/Cotati/Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa frequently for shopping, supplies, eating, etc..

While all three have trade-offs, if decent work's possible in the five Cities/SLO area for you that might be the ticket... if you feel particularly lucky and really, really want to come into contact with surly homeless folks, Trustafarians driving old Mercedes diesel wagons like NYC taxis, Steamer Lane surfers on their day jobs in Tundra pickups in homicidal moods because they're not in the water and wannabe boho white kids with the world's worst tattoos and Silicon Valley commuters in Beemers cutting through traffic like Mario Andretti up Route 17 into San Jose, one of the most dangerous roads in CA your way to a real estate Open House where you'll share a look with several score other SC Pilgrims at a $675K 2BR 1B in a noisy, cramped neighborhood with students, surfers and addicts in the homes nearby, try SC out... but you'll likely be moving down the coast like us eventually. I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Hope the OP will keep us posted (again no pun intended)! '^)
I still think Santa Rosa is their best option. It's the most affordable and there are ore jobs and the city is closer to a big city.

You are going to be limited job wise if they chose either Santa Cruz or San Luis Obispo. That's why Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo has a lot of tourism and retirees living there.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:30 PM
 
65 posts, read 67,727 times
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I could make it long. But I won't waste your time so... DO NOT move to Santa Cruz if you're black with kids who are already in school.

Fitting in here is hard if you're not a white kid who's parents have lived here forever.
Driving to SJ is time consuming, dangerous, and will keep you many hours.
If your kids do makes friends in school, the residents are extremely truant and don't really go. You're kids wouldn't be in the best place even if they do make it socially. Lose/Lose.
Homeless and transients everywhere.
Bad shopping.

If you (or your kids) don't surf more than 5 days a week, aren't white, don't have to drive to SJ or don't do something to fit the niche here, then you won't have a good time for a VERY high price.

This is coming from someone who lives here. Partially grew up here. Loves this place. I'm not trying to keep you out with fear. Just what locals portray and what actually happens here is not one in the same. Not at all.

Your other options are infinitely better and provide your kids with better connections and quality of life. More traditional and welcoming if they decide to move away.

That is unless they skate, or surf, or mountain bike, or enjoy weird artsy things etc, etc. Santa Cruz is perfect for that. One of the best place in the world. Good supermarkets too...
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:36 PM
 
65 posts, read 67,727 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R Higgins View Post
Of the three Santa Cruz is most expensive and not by a little bit... UCSC and the Scotts Valley businesses as well as Plantronics, etc. are possible sources of employment as is the killer Route 17 commute to San Jose, etc... not much in the way of real jobs south of SC until you hit the 5 Cities/SLO area anyway...

SC is also more dangerous because unlike Santa Rosa (have a few old SC friends who are by now longtime SR residents), the random nature of relatively uncontrolled violent and property crimes in almost all neighborhoods at all hours in SC makes it difficult to provide safety and consistency while out and about with the fam and also provide a safe and relaxing school experience for your child... Santa Rosa has crime, sure- but it's both perceived and handled differently. Crucial distinction as it applies to quality of living...

Traffic in SR is generally more predictable and not usually as bad as SC... better infrastructure to match big traffic volume equals faster commute, etc. times.

See my previous two posts for more on the bait-and-switch that is the young family experience in SC... IMHO the winner would be SLO unless a particular deal-breaking job is in the offing in SR... summers are *hot* in SR/Petaluma but there are several scenic and relatively quick routes to the ocean from either town... lived in Point Reyes Station and went into Petaluma/Cotati/Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa frequently for shopping, supplies, eating, etc..

While all three have trade-offs, if decent work's possible in the five Cities/SLO area for you that might be the ticket... if you feel particularly lucky and really, really want to come into contact with surly homeless folks, Trustafarians driving old Mercedes diesel wagons like NYC taxis, Steamer Lane surfers on their day jobs in Tundra pickups in homicidal moods because they're not in the water and wannabe boho white kids with the world's worst tattoos and Silicon Valley commuters in Beemers cutting through traffic like Mario Andretti up Route 17 into San Jose, one of the most dangerous roads in CA your way to a real estate Open House where you'll share a look with several score other SC Pilgrims at a $675K 2BR 1B in a noisy, cramped neighborhood with students, surfers and addicts in the homes nearby, try SC out... but you'll likely be moving down the coast like us eventually. I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Hope the OP will keep us posted (again no pun intended)! '^)


This <-------------


I especially loved the part about the Steamer surfers in their Tundras. That really is all they drive... Many of them god friends of mine.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Overlooking the vineyards, olive groves, cattle and horses in the hills of San Miguel CA
167 posts, read 295,934 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by the city View Post
I still think Santa Rosa is their best option. It's the most affordable and there are ore jobs and the city is closer to a big city.

You are going to be limited job wise if they chose either Santa Cruz or San Luis Obispo. That's why Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo has a lot of tourism and retirees living there.


When I lived up that way Santa Rosa was obviously the big fish in a small pond... going north there really is no city with more of an economy until you hit Oregon lol. The nearby towns of Petaluma, Rohnert Park have some employment ecosystems too... San Rafael, Sausalito, Novato, Mill Valley, etc. are commutable but they are not close.

It's a hella commute to SF/East Bay but I know people who do it two or three days a week. Bring lots of music, a good hands-free phone setup and a fast, reliable car... they *change tires* at 65 mph up there.

Point Reyes, Fairfax, the Northern Coast, Marin County's coast, the rest of Sonoma County are all cool family resources up there, too.

Of the three Santa Rosa is also the only one with the amusing retail sampling of an In-N-Out Burger, an Apple Store, a great gun shop (Pacific Sportsman) and the best indie bookstore (Copperfield's in Petaluma)... '^)
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