The hardcourt ballet, dancing just outside "the kitchen" at Brommer Street Park.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Pickleball takeover, a very Santa Cruz podcast and Eaters Digest delights

We meet again! It’s Friday, Aug. 5, and it’s shaping up to be a partly cloudy day around Santa Cruz County, warming up into the 80s in the hills but staying in the 60s and 70s closer to the bay.

Not a second too soon, the weekend is knocking, and if you’re pondering what to do, boy, do we have you covered. Never to be missed is Wallace Baine’s Weekender, with recommendations, news and notes from our local arts and entertainment scene. New this morning, though, is Mark Conley’s deep dive into Santa Cruz’s pickleball scene, a must-read for longtime players, newcomers to the game and the merely pickleball-curious.

Wallace also catches up with Nativo Gonzalez, whose “Paid The Cost” podcast has been in my rotation for a while now as he interviews folks from all walks of life to paint a fuller picture about what makes this such a special place.

And it’s Friday, and that means another slice of Eaters Digest, with Lily Belli waxing poetic over tea at Vim, checking out a newcomer to the Westside tasting-room scene and updating us on the sudden closure of an Aptos standby.

Before we get to the headlines, though, let me fill you in on a great partnership between Lookout and Motion Pacific Dance (a personal favorite ever since my daughter’s first lessons there a few years back). We’re teaming up to bring awareness about and raise money for a special program called Dance for Parkinson’s, which Motion Pacific is aiming to revive after COVID cutbacks. Becoming a Lookout member now gives even more back to the community with this offer, so hit the links below to find out more.

OK, how about some headlines?

Will pickleball take over the planet? We investigate this ‘fastest-growing sport’; laughter, trash talk ensue

On the typical "club day" at Brommer Park, the ages and abilities of players run the gamut.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Everyone seems to be talking about this little brother of tennis, cousin of pingpong and distant relative of badminton, squash and something in the U.K. called padel (Google it). Like you, perhaps, we wondered what the big deal was. So we decided to do the heavy investigative journalism for you. Spoiler alert: Pickleball is easy and addictive. If you try it, you will like it and you will want more. Check out Mark Conley’s guide to discovering your inner pickleballer right here in beautiful, pickleball-weather-friendly Santa Cruz County.

MORE LOOKOUT GUIDES: From neighborhoods to parenting and food finds galore, get connected to Santa Cruz County

Paying it forward: Nativo Gonzalez searches for Santa Cruz’s soul with ‘Paid the Cost’ podcast

Podcaster Nativo Gonzalez in his Scotts Valley home studio
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Local-centric podcaster Nativo Gonzalez aims to tell the story of new projects and efforts in the Santa Cruz business world, the role of fathers, life-journey narratives, emerging subcultures and the unique joys and challenges of living in Santa Cruz County. For two years, his weekly shows have been doing just that. Wallace Baine makes the introduction.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Find all of his columns in one place


Santa Cruz County Job Board

Yowza, that’s about 15 pounds of excellent content in a 5-pound bag. There’s always more to come from Lookout, of course, so keep our site bookmarked and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss a beat.

And none of this is possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Make it a great Friday and have a safe, relaxing weekend! See you all back here bright and early Monday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz