It’s staggering how our somewhat small city is a brand name across the globe. You travel anywhere and you are likely to see the words Santa Cruz on shirts, guitars, mountain bikes, a pickup, cookies…and the most famous skateboard company in the world.
I mean, you don’t see branding like this for way bigger cities like Des Moines, Fresno, San Jose…run down the list. How did our little county (25th in the state with 264,000 people) and city (61,000) get such notoriety?
One answer is in Mat Weir’s cover story tracing the history of the 50-year-old Santa Cruz Skateboards, which has created art and logos so popular that even non-skaters wear them. They are virtually everywhere.
But it wasn’t always always an easy haul. Mat traces the company from its high, to almost going broke and then, like a boarder flying over the lip, back to the top again.
That company says everything great about our community. They make great products, they support the community in so many ways (including building local skate parks), they put us on the map with color and art and a vibe that screams SANTA CRUZ.
You have to read Mat’s story whether you care about skating or not. This is quality business writing and reporting on the level of Rolling Stone or the New York Times. I’m so proud to be publishing a piece like this and it’s given me the kind of joy that skaters have with their incredibly cool boards. I hope you share the joy. (There is a longer version at Goodtimes.sc)
There is so much great stuff in this issue, with features on cool things for students, profiles of important musicians and restaurants and our phenomenal street talk column where you get to hear from your neighbors, this week about UFOs. We’ve also got serious news about a new speech learning center and what is in the future for our beloved, if rough around the edges, downtown.
Enjoy and figure out where you want to go for your good times.
TAKE A HIKE Walking the trails in Scotts Valley. Photograph by Jo Gliddon.
October is museum month for Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Museum Partnership is making it easy to visit Santa Cruz Area Museums. In October, the partnership will be offering free and reduced admission to our local museums. Just pick up a Museum Month Pass at Wonderland Toys in Aptos, or at other locations sponsored by First5. Find the full list of locations at: museummonth.santacruzcountymuseums.org
Last Friday, Santa Cruz METRO Board of Directors approved the purchase of 57 hydrogen-powered, fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs)— the largest acquisition of FCEBs in North American history. The new buses will start taking passengers in late 2024, mostly servicing the Watsonville area. The new vehicles will replace aging gas and diesel buses, converting 59% of METRO’s fleet to zero-emissions—all in support of one day transitioning to a 100% zero-emission technology fleet.
Quote of the Week
“Aging is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been.”