A city on the North shore of Monterey Bay, a half hour's drive over the infamous Hwy 17 from Silicon Valley. It has a university with a nationaly recognized computer science program. The government is dominated by Greens from&the student population. The old timers gripe about them. But like other college towns like Madison and Ann Arbor, Santa Cruz wouldn't be Santa Cruz without people griping about something. Oh, and Lost Boys was filmed here.

A costal town in Northern California of roughly 50,000 people. Though its plagued with an endless wave of idiot tourists going to the Boardwalk in the summertime, it remains a liberal stronghold that has a simply unique, relaxed feel. Inhabited by large amounts of Hippies and pseudo-hippies going to UCSC, surfers, and thousands of commuters who brave Highway 17 everyday to go that cesspool of suburbia, San Jose. Though suburbunites are awry, this place definitely still is 20 square miles surrounded by reality.

The lame thing about Santa Cruz: The median house price is hovering at $400k. I live in an apartment for obvious reasons.

I lived in Santa Cruz in 1991 and 1993 for 3 months each time. The people are one of the most interesting things in Santa Cruz. Two interesting characters at that time were the Bird Man, who wore all flowwing white and rode a bike periodically yelling out "Marianne!" The other interesting guy would do his own strange version of Tai Chi in the doorway of an a vacant building across the street from the post office. He would have a radio, which could be playing anything including disco, and he would wear a bee keeper type/safari hat. While there I worked in an organic saurkraut and kimchi factory. It was cold and stinky there. We would fill 55 gallon drums with cabbage and stuff and then stick them in the corner near a space heater. A few days later we would takle off the lids and scoop out all of the moldy muck on the top few inches and then bottle the rest. People would often stare at us when we stopped off at the supermarket on the way home from work, I assume because of the way we smelled.

Santa Cruz is best known for its surfing, UC Santa Cruz, the Boardwalk, and its redwoods. However, it is really still just a small town with a small town history for those who grew up and live there.

The city is named for the mission founded there in 1791. Most people are not aware that there was once actually a castle on one of the many beaches in this town. Nothing remains of it now (it was condemned about 30 years ago) but memories and a few pictures. Actually, locals still call that beach "Sand Castle Beach," but most don't remember why.

Santa Cruz is also known for the Mystery Spot, the Brookdale Lodge, the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and around the time "The Lost Boys" was filmed there, Santa Cruz had one of the highest homicide rates per capita in the United States. This may be due in part to the large forests surrounding the town where people seem to love dumping bodies. Some movies filmed there are:
Thrill
Frog and Wombat
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
$40,000
Alone in the T-Shirt Zone
Back to the Beach
Brotherhood of Justice
Dangerous Minds
The Entertainer
Escape to Witch Mountain
Family Sins
Harold and Maude
Hell Hath No Fury
Homegrown
Jagged Edge
Out on a Limb
Shadow Riders
Starman
The Sting II
Sudden Impact
and many, many more.

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