Santa Cruz Music’s Americana Roots

Marty O'Reilly Santa Cruz Americana musician

“Americana” isn’t an easy genre to define. It can be folk, country, rock, bluegrass, blues or jazz—and usually involves a mixture of those genres. At heart, though, it’s simply American roots music, and over the last few years, it’s risen to the top of the Santa Cruz music scene. These days, several of the most…

Continue Reading →

Top 10 Jewelers in Downtown Santa Cruz

Artisans Gallery, Jewelers in Downtown Santa Cruz

Long associated with power, spirit, and protection, the intimate aesthetic of jewelry speaks a language all its own. Lovers of ornamentation will find much to admire in downtown Santa Cruz. Whether your taste runs to refined bling, organic materials, jewelry as artwork, or eco-conscious creations, there’s a gem here for everyone. Here’s where to start…

Continue Reading →

Botanical Reflexology Blends Relaxation and Healing

Botanical Reflexology foot massage

From digital-free teahouses, massage rooms and spas to serene redwood forests and beaches, opportunities for relaxation and pampering are plentiful in Santa Cruz. But spending a blissful hour in the reclining leather chair of Christine Nickell of Botanical Reflexology is an experience in total-body relaxation like no other. A certified essential oil therapist and certified…

Continue Reading →

Can You Escape from Exit Santa Cruz?

Exit Santa Cruz

I am part of an “elite 20 percent,” Steven Cleek tells me. Unfortunately, he’s being ironic. About 80 percent of the people who play the games at Santa Cruz’s new escape room Exit Santa Cruz solve all the puzzles and unlock the door at the end to make their escape, he says. My group was…

Continue Reading →

When Will Canned Beer Explode?

beer cans

Four years ago, the writing was on the wall for beer bottles. Everyone from NPR to Business Insider was covering the environmental benefits and convenience of beer in cans. And that, as opposed to glass bottles, aluminum prevents any light whatsoever from getting through and damaging delicious libations. Local breweries like Discretion and Santa Cruz…

Continue Reading →

Spice of Life: Cooking with Spices

spices

If Jozseph Schultz had to choose a favorite spice, it would probably be sumac. At least on this particular Tuesday evening, just before the dinner rush at India Joze. The metallic chime of kitchen gadgets follows the chef as he jumps up and disappears into the kitchen, returning with a tiny white dish. At its…

Continue Reading →

Mexican Fusion Takes Off in Santa Cruz

Mexican Food in Santa Cruz at Gabriella Cafe

There was a time—baby boomers might remember it—when the introduction of a Mexican TV dinner revolutionized North American food choices. Well, maybe not revolutionized, but certainly expanded. And it wasn’t long after, in 1962, that an L.A. entrepreneur named Glen Bell started up a fast food idea called Taco Bell. Neutered of full salsa sexuality,…

Continue Reading →

Renee Shepherd Explains How To Grow Vegetables and Herbs From Seed

Renee Shepherd of Renee's Garden Circus, Circus carrots

The seed packets from Renee’s Garden—marked with their characteristic watercolor illustrations and descriptive, owner-tested growing instructions—can be found in independent nurseries and garden centers across the country. But it all began here, in the mid-’80s, on Renee Shepherd’s sandy-soiled Felton property. “A thousand years ago, in the mid-’80s, this used to be just a big…

Continue Reading →