“I can now expand my arts writing free from the insistent pace of the weekly column,” Christina Waters says of what’s ahead after some 35 years at local alt-weeklies.
This story was originally featured in this week’s Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Be first the first to hear about food and drink news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Lily’s email newsletter here and text alerts here.
Longtime Santa Cruz County food and drink columnist Christina Waters announced in the Dec. 20 issue of Good Times that she will step back from covering restaurants and food events in 2023 to focus more on arts coverage. Waters has published a weekly column on the local food and drink scene for the past 35 years for Metro-owned alternative weeklies Good Times, Santa Cruz Weekly and Metro Santa Cruz. In her column, she clarifies that she will still offer dining reviews “at least” monthly, “but not [at] the relentless weekly pace of foraging for food-column material.” “I can now expand my arts writing free from the insistent pace of the weekly column,” Waters adds. She also offers a charming retrospective on the drivers of Santa Cruz County dining over the past three decades, from La Posta’s Patrice Boyle and Companion Bakeshop’s Erin Lampel to India Joze’s Jozseph Schultz and Venus Spirits’ Sean Venus.
While Waters technically isn’t going anywhere, the reshuffling of her focus at Good Times comes at a changing time for the weekly and local news in general, as my colleague Wallace Baine recently reported; in December, Good Times news editor Tony Nuñez left to become the communications manager at local nonprofit Community Bridges. While ebb and flow within the news industry is natural, it’s unclear if someone else will step up at Good Times to take her place.
As a local food and drink reporter, I can’t help but walk in Waters’ footsteps. I also got my start in local food writing at Good Times, with a biweekly column called Love At First Bite. I’ve read Waters’ column for more than 15 years and was inspired by her coverage of Santa Cruz County’s food and drink industry. In my early 20s, I aspired to do as she did — just with my own voice and focus. I’m lucky to be able to do just that, and I’m grateful to her work to pave the way for young writers like me.