the colleges into discreet parts, John Carl Warnecke and landscape architect Thomas Church has incorporated the beautiful setting into the architecture. Antoine Predock is the architect for the university’s new Music Center. Critics complain that UCSC’s campus is not pedestrian-friendly. For those who hate to walk, it is downright pedestrian unfriendly, since the colleges are so separated it takes a long time to travel around the campus on foot. Bicycles and automobiles are the dominant form of transportation.

through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Highway 17 is the town’s major connection to the Bay Area. The city’s isolation costs it in financial strength, but has maintained its small town feeling. The residents of Santa Cruz fight any hint at improving the extremely dangerous road link between them and the local metropolis for precisely that reason. The earthquake of 1989 still leaves its scars on the town, but most of the empty lots have been filled, and the downtown is quite a happening place (even if you are asked for change every turn of your head). The surf and sun scene is a separate part of the city. Many people spend hours out on the ocean, waiting for waves, or catching them. This is California as the rest of the world sees it. Down by the boardwalk, tourists enjoy the sun and amusement park rides, blithely not noticing the poor, graffiti’d, and crime ridden conditions of the residents around there. There is almost always a volleyball game happening on the beaches.

    Highway 9 (Empire Grade) winds into the mountains through a few small, tourist-supported, almost forgotten towns (and many beautiful redwood trees) between Santa Cruz and Los Gatos. Immediately north of the site on 9 is Felton, a small town, financed by tourists, those who do not mind long commutes, and I don’t know who else (the independently wealthy?).

    Surrounding the site are redwood, oak and madrone forests, some of which are in commercial lumber production, other areas are agricultural. [more...]

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    The City of Santa Cruz five miles to the south east has, over many years, developed a reputation for being quite liberal. It is on the northern tip of the Monterey Bay, approximately 90 miles south of San Francisco. Recently, many citizens complain that it has become pro-business, as ordinances are passed to prevent people from sitting on the sidewalks, or playing drums after 6pm! It is true that it has a diverse population, many of whom are quite ‘free-spirited’. Depending on where one goes in the town, on might think the 60s had never ended. On the other hand, the city has many very conservative citizens, who are vocal in the city government.

    Major roads into the city are Highway 1 from the south and north, mostly used by tourists and RVs, and Highway 17 [more...]