Skip to main content

Santa Cruz Scrapbook

All Photographs © 2013 Alexander Chow-Stuart.

We are becoming increasingly fond of Santa Cruz, which we visited again recently both for research for a script I'm working on and to celebrate our daughter Paradise's fourth birthday.

Aside from the fact that we love the ocean with a passion that cannot be fully expressed in words, Santa Cruz has something of the feel I imagine Malibu had in the 1960s - a surf town, with a college feel as well, of course (UCSC is close by), but without the high-end development and casual-chic of Malibu now.

My early morning rumpled look.

It also shares some of the appeal Miami Beach had when I first moved there in 1990 - when South Beach was first emerging as somewhere hip (I'm not suggesting Santa Cruz isn't already hip), before the massive overdevelopment and condo-ization of SoBe took over.

In 1990, South Beach was still partly a retirement community, partly a crack neighborhood, mostly Art Deco, and Cuban in a way that is different from now - filled with Cuban families overflowing onto the streets and alleyways, with children playing on bicycles and their papis drinking beer on the steps. I loved it then.

La Bahia, Santa Cruz - echoes of 1990s South Beach.
Santa Cruz has much of that appeal, and all of the qualities of a beach town that I desire: a pier, a boardwalk with rides and amusements (our children are crazy for this particular aspect), beaches that are scattered with huge chunks of driftwood in the early mornings (literally logs of a size that cannot easily be moved without some kind of front loader).

It also has surf and surfers - and a mix of beaches that are both popular and more natural and secluded, such as the wonderful, semi-hidden coves at Wilder State Park and the stunning rock formations of Natural Bridges State Beach.

Surfers at Santa Cruz.
One of the secluded beaches at Wilder State Park.
Running on the sand at Santa Cruz.
Natural Bridges State Beach.

Our favorite spot to stay in Santa Cruz is at the Coastview Inn at 301 Beach Street (tel: 831-426-0420), a cozy hotel directly across from the main beach, with ocean view rooms that offer the gentle sound of surf at night and stunning sunrises.

We're seriously drawn to Santa Cruz, and I think we'll be moving there at some point very soon.

Sunrise from the Coastview Inn.


Post a Comment

Please note that for reasons I have not been able to solve yet, I have enormous difficulty posting replies to comments - so I apologize if you ask a question or just make some wonderful remarks and I am not able to respond. I am working on this, because it is very frustrating, but apparently it involves rewriting some of the code of the template! So do not hold your breath...

Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for reading my blog - Alexander

Popular posts from this blog

The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye

Photograph by Dwayne Moser. This beautiful apartment complex in Los Angeles is called the Hightower or High Tower Complex (the High Tower name refers to the central elevator, I believe), and was designed in 1935-1936 by architect  Carl Kay - and made famous in 1973 by my favorite film, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (see Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye ). Although Altman used the building as Philip Marlowe's apartment in his somewhat post-modern Long Goodbye (the film plays with references to Old Hollywood and opens and closes with the song, Hooray For Hollywood ), the building has another direct connection to Raymond Chandler. It was apparently the inspiration for Chandler in his book, The High Window (the first Chandler novel I ever read), in which Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower. (Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians Southern

Andrew Hale and Sade

Sade in concert in San Jose. All concert photos  Copyright  © 2011  Alexander Chow-Stuart. On Thursday evening, we saw our longtime friend Andrew Hale perform with Sade at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, in one of the most beautifully conceived and produced concert performances I have ever seen. Sade is a rare musician, in that she and the band only write, record and tour every eight to ten years, so that in a very real sense you can measure your life by her. The band's music is always fresh and always newly conceived - for their previous album, Lovers Rock , they stripped everything down musically to a minimalist sound and banished the saxophone that had been so much a part of Sade's heavily soul- and jazz-influenced style. The latest album, Soldier of Love , released in 2010, is one of the most tender, moving collections of songs yet, from the astonishingly beautiful Morning Bird , which features exquisite keyboards from Andrew, to the soulful, retro, return-

A favorite place for peace and reflection

Lyons Lake dam a couple of days back. One of our family's favorite places. (Photo: Alexander Chow-Stuart)