Monday, June 2, 2008

Keep Santa Cruz Weird?

Um, with more than 16 percent of the population living below the poverty line in one of the least affordable places to live in the entire USA, how weird exactly is Santa Cruz? Pretty weird, I think. I had to go and look up the origin of the "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" slogan seen on many t-shirts and bumper stickers. I never did get what that meant, it's not really obvious. Apparently it had to do with a proposed law to keep street performers 40 feet away from businesses downtown-- there was a protest to that kind of thinking and the law never passed. Personally, I don't think street performance is weird at all. It's one of the highlights of tourism in San Francisco. I don't see many street performers in Santa Cruz anyway, and that's too bad. I see a lot of pan-handlers, drug dealers, a 2 bedroom house for rent for $2200 a month and other weirdness. I'd love to see Santa Cruz as a mecca for artists, musicians, free thinkers where we could actually afford to live and thrive. But I'd also like to see my way to walking down Pacific without being accosted several times within a few short blocks. Our local weekly took a poll: "do you feel safe walking downtown?" Now, if you have to ask that question, things have already gotten too weird.

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