Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2015

Santa Cruz Downtown Guide.

No pictures of the beach or surfing today – instead I will take you with me to downtown Santa Cruz! 

It is a lot of fun, since most of the pretty stores and coffee shops are situated along the main thoroughfare – so do you want to join Noelle and me on a stroll up and down Pacific Avenue? 
We’ll go thrift shopping; we’ll have ice cream and then go to the movies! 

I will sum up all tips and addresses at the bottom of the text so that you have an overview just in case you will one day spend a day or two here. 

Are you ready?

1. Vintage shopping.

Noelle and I love thrift stores and there are a bunch of them all over Santa Cruz. 
We like looking around Crossroads Trading Co. and Moon Zoom the best; both stores couldn’t be more different from each other. 

Crossroads Trading Co. has a great selection of current fashion at affordable prices.  
Noelle and I buy jeans by J. Crew and Adriano Goldschmied (the Godfather of Denim), loafers by Minnetonka, and cute tops and dresses. 

Moon Zoom, on the other hand, resembles more a costume rental place than a classic thrift store. 
By no means let the crammed interior discourage you, for once you dare to enter you will discover a true treasure trove full to the rafters with the most beautiful pieces from decades past. 
There is really nothing you couldn’t discover here: college jackets, coats from the 60s, cute airhostess caps and short retro tennis skirts. 
Noelle and I are a little bit intoxicated and take turns in trying on the craziest things while having lots of fun. 
Finally we leave the store with a 70s vintage dress (for me) and a wonderful yellow summer dress (for Noelle), which, as we find out afterwards, is a design by Jean Paul Gaultier.  
Definitively our Deal of the Day!

2. Lunch.

Just a few steps further along the way you’ll find “Assembly”: 
Wonderfully stylish yet simple interior and a great lunch menu, mostly sandwiches and salads. 
Noelle orders a bulgur salad with duck breast; I try the burger on a homemade bread roll. 
Everything is freshly prepared in-house and comes in exactly the right sized portion that allows us to also have ice cream after the espresso – we’ll get the ice cream right away across the street. 

3. Ice cream.

In my opinion Mission Hill Creamery is the best ice cream shop in town; every kind of ice cream is prepared with the best and freshest local ingredients and tastes delicious. 
You’ll be instantly hooked. 

My personal highlight, however, is the "awesome" guy.
He is one of the young ice cream sellers and whichever kind or combination you end up ordering he replies "aaaaawesoooome" every time with such enthusiasm and fervor that you are absolutely convinced to have chosen the best thing in your life. 

Everything well done.
Everything, not only the kind of ice cream, but EVERYTHING.
Fantastic, great, awesome.
Any insecurity vanishes on the spot only because you ordered a scoop of "local strawberries with whipped cream and fudge sauce".


4. Cool shops.

Past the Gap store (don’t miss the active wear!), in a little side street, is my absolute favorite of all stores in town:
The concept store Stripe’s design is wonderfully inspiring and full of “I want to have everything at once” things. 
Noelle and I buy some delicate lace bras and small enamel cups. 

Best of all: one door down is "Stripe Man" – which is the world’s loveliest shop for all male hipsters that have ever walked the earth. 
The interior is beautifully created down to the smallest detail and the selection of products only adds to it – and YES, the staff visually fits into the picture to perfection. 
A must-see!

5. Books.

I regularly lose myself in bookshops and have to be found again with the help of a large-scale search operation – this is how it feels when I enter a bookshop. 
And entering American bookstores is even worse. 
I like one of them in particular:  
Logos Books & Records has a great selection of new and used books, vinyls and CDs. 

6. Coffee shop.

Finally we’ll have an iced coffee at the hipster coffee shop Verve (the one where poor bloggers who don’t have WiFi at home work on their laptops and thus occupy every table for hours) and above all: 
The world’s biggest, softest and unbelievably delicious Mary's Cookies, which I have written about before HERE.

7. Movie Theater.

There are some pretty movie theaters in Santa Cruz, all of which I have already been to with the kids (in the course of improving language skills, of course). 
Our favorite, however, remains the Del Mar, which sets you back to the 50s simply upon entering: featuring a retro interior it doesn’t usually show blockbusters, but independent, unusual movies.
Recently Noelle, Pauline and I watched "Iris", a documentary about the 93-year-old style icon who loves accessories and color! 
(I hope it will be shown in German movie theaters, too, or at least be available somewhere sometime later). 

My personal Santa Cruz highlights at a glance:

- Thrift stores:
Moon Zoom: 813 Pacific Ave
Crossroads Trading Co.: 811 Pacific Ave
The Closet Shopper504 Front St

- Ice cream:
Mission Hill Creamery: 1101 Pacific Avenue
The Penny Ice Creamery Pleasure Point: 820 41st Ave

- Cool shops:
Stripe: 107 Walnut Ave
Patine: 1001 41st Ave

- Books:
Logos Books & Records1117 Pacific Ave
Bookshop Santa Cruz1520 Pacific Avenue

- Coffee shops:
Verve: 1540 Pacific Ave 
Windmill Cafe (not necessarily stylish, but the best smoothies in town and great breakfast, also vegan): 21231 E Cliff Dr

- Lunch and dinner:
Assembly: 1108 Pacific Ave
Kelly's French Bakery: 402 Ingalls St
Burger: 1520 Mission Street
Pleasure Pizza: 800 41st Ave
Bantam1010 Fair Ave

- Movie theaters:
Del Mar Theater: 1124 Pacific Ave
Regal Cinemas (huge reclining seats): 1405 N Pacific Ave

- Flea market, every Friday from about 8 am (apart from the usual flea market stuff often longboards and surfboards at affordable prices): 
2260 Soquel Dr

Uncomplicated, relaxed, summery and a little stylish for the city: shirt dresses! 

1. Noa Noa

I would love to take the ice cream seller home with me to Germany: 
Someone who seriously reassures you, with every decision you make, with absolute conviction and passion:   
Everything in life well done! 



Translated by Ginnell Studio.

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