Inside Michael Leeds' Squid Row home.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Inside a downtown masterpiece, planting drought smart and Eaters Digest

Top of the morning to you, Lookout fam! It’s Friday, July 29, and it’s a copy-and-paste situation with the Santa Cruz County weather forecast: mostly sunny once the marine layer burns off in your neck of the woods, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to around 90. Looks like the weekend will hold much of the same, so get out there and enjoy it.

We’re still monitoring the corpse flower at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, with director Martin Quigley telling Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda that it now might bloom Saturday or Sunday — and we’ll be on corpsewatch until that happens, so stay tuned!

Elsewhere, Wallace Baine got a tour of one of Santa Cruz’s most intriguing homes — a former iron foundry that multitalented artist Michael Leeds has transformed a masterpiece in itself downtown.

If you’re looking to get some gardening in this weekend but want to make sure you’re doing it in a drought-savvy way, we’ve got a handy guide for you, with Hillary getting expert advice from Martin Quigley and folks at Dig Gardens and elsewhere.

And it’s Friday, so that means another helping of Eaters Digest — with Lily Belli updating us this week on Faultline Brewing’s Scotts Valley outpost and musing on the challenges of wine-pairing dinners and similar one-off events.

If that sounds like a lot, it is! So let’s get to it:

The home as artistic masterpiece: A visit to the uniquely enchanting residence of Santa Cruz artist Michael Leeds

Michael Leeds inside his downtown Santa Cruz home.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In his 75 years, he’s excelled as an airbrush artist, a sculptor, a graphic designer, in interior design and architecture. But this story is about what might be Michael Leeds’ greatest work of art: his home in a historic space called the Enterprise Iron Works building in downtown Santa Cruz, overlooking Squid Row near the Santa Cruz Art Center. Get the tour from Wallace Baine, with photos from Kevin Painchaud.

INSIDE ANOTHER LOCAL LANDMARK: ‘We did what we came to do — we saved it’: Court of Mysteries owners at peace with moving on (Lookout)

Salvias, sages and succulents: A Santa Cruz gardener’s guide to dealing with drought

An example of drought-tolerant landscaping full of cacti and succulents at the UCSC Arboretum.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Lawns are so 20th century, and they’re disappearing from the local landscape. But what to plant as water supply gets increasingly problematic? We talked to the experts and have tips to get you started or keep you going. Here’s what they told Hillary Ojeda.

MORE DROUGHT ADVICE: You dress for our weather — buy plants for our climate, too (Martin Quigley via Community Voices


Santa Cruz County Job Board

And would you look at that? The weekend is just hours away ... which reminds me that I almost forgot to pass along Wallace Baine’s latest romp through Santa Cruz’s arts and entertainment, a little production we like to call Weekender. There’s more in the Lookout pipeline, too, so keep tabs throughout the day and all weekend long by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

That said, if you’re looking to stockpile the good karma heading into this last weekend of July, what better way than by supporting local journalism? Our content isn’t possible without the Santa Cruz community, so please consider becoming a Lookout member if you’re not already.

May your Friday be a smooth one and your weekend a safe, relaxing and refreshing one! See you all back here Monday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz