SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Not even a monstrous earthquake could destroy this downtown, which I understand is making a remarkable comeback from the misery of nature’s wrath … as well as a worldwide pandemic.
Downtown Santa Cruz is “the place to be.” No kidding! It’s fantastic. My niece brought Toby and the Puppy and me to see the downtown district in this coastal city. Frankly — and this is no exaggeration — it blew my noggin!
A gentleman, about my age, was playing a musical saw. He saw my great-niece, Ayla, and asked if she wanted to see him perform a trick. He pulled out a banana and balanced it on his nose. Then he played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on his saw for Ayla.
She was impressed.
I understand that the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake devastated several businesses in the downtown district. They had to rebuild after Mother Earth opened that day. You remember, right: ABC TV was broadcasting the World Series from San Fransisco that evening when the picture went black. I managed to come this way later that year and we went to near Ground Zero of the quake. The devastation was horrendous.
So it was in Santa Cruz. Downtown is back. It is full of retail activity. There remain a few empty store fronts, made so by the COVID pandemic of 2019-2020. I have noted many times that cities’ well-being more often than not is traced to the health of their downtown. Santa Cruz is on target.
What just boggles my mind is how a city of about 65,000 can invest what it has done in ensuring it has a vibrant city center. I now will doff my proverbial hat to the Santa Cruz power brokers for keeping its municipal identity alive.