.Letter to the Editor: Oh No, Not the Midtown Debate

I just read a review of Akira in the 9/8/21 edition, written by Andrew Steingrube. In it, he referred to one of Akira’s locations as “Midtown.” The apparent movement to change what I (and all of my long standing “Eastside” friends, some born and raised in “Eastside” Santa Cruz) have always known as “Eastside Santa Cruz.” I have lived in the Seabright neighborhood for 45 years. I live in/on the Eastside, and it’s maddening to me that some force is trying to change the name of our community! Why is there a determined effort to change this neighborhood to “Midtown?”  What is behind this, what is the reason, and who benefits? I have never known any reference to “Midtown” in this area until the past few years, only “Eastside.”  What is up with this, and show me the evidence that supports this change?

Ron Locey

Santa Cruz

Oh Ron, you are so two-thousand-late to this debate. The best thing I’ve ever seen written about it was by Jacob Pierce in GT’s 2017 “Best of Santa Cruz” issue (find it in the archives at goodtimes.sc, it’s the first editor’s pick), entitled “Best Argument We’re Dying to See Settled: Where’s the Eastside?” In it, he points to the Midtown debate first popping up in about 2012. In my mind, it really started raging after the Midtown Café opened on Soquel Avenue in 2014, more or less planting a flag for the movement. A lot of longtime locals still hate it, but that ship has pretty much sailed. Midtown Café is long gone, but on that same stretch that is home to Akira you can now find Midtown Surf Shop, Midtown Hair, Midtown Optometry, Lulus Midtown and Midtown Guitar Company. You might try taking it up with them? By the way, city leaders, we’re still waiting for the task force that will settle this debate once and for all. — Editor

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