People eating in Abbott Square
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)
Latest News

Student Lookout: Top thrift shops, First Friday art tour and where to get good Chinese food

Good morning, people,

I hope the week has treated you well. I’ve been enjoying the warm weather as we head into the summer season. Seeing as how this is poised to be the first true summer in, like, three years, I’m looking forward to planning an actual trip.

So, we’re gonna switch roles here for a minute. Shoot me a text and give me a state or national park I should head to and camp in for a few days. I’ve been to Big Sur, Joshua Tree and Yosemite fairly recently, so no need to suggest those!

If you are a student and haven’t signed up for your FREE Lookout Membership yet, enter your phone number below to register. Not only will you get unlimited access to all of Lookout, but you’ll also receive Student Lookout text alerts every Friday with exclusive deals, local recommendations, puzzles and more. So what are you waiting for?

Anyways, enough about me, let’s get going here …

Deals Download

Check out some Santa Cruz student discounts.

  • Spokesman Bicycles: 10% discount for bike parts.
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center: free admission for UC Santa Cruz students.
  • Poke House: 10% discount on food items.

Don’t forget to have your student ID to get the discount.

Note: Many places — especially downtown — offer student discounts, just try asking at any store and you just might get 10% off!

What’s the best student deal you’ve found? Shoot us an email to let us know at

deal of the week banner

Redemption: Shop the Downtown Santa Cruz store for a huge selection of California crafted goods, apparel, jewelry, home decor and more. Student Lookout subscribers receive $10 off if you spend $80 or more. Offer is available Friday, May 6 - Thursday, May 12, 2022. Simply show that you’re subscribed to Student Lookout text alerts at the register to redeem.

➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.

Eats on a budget

If y’all are ever in the mood for Chinese food, you might have found that there are not many options in the area. That said,
Guang Zho
on Portola Drive in Pleasure Point is by far the best around town. Featuring a huge menu with delicious appetizers (potstickers, egg rolls, wontons, etc.) and tons of entree options, it’s got something for everyone. My go-to is the beef chow fun, a garlicky rice noodle dish with green onions, bean sprouts and flank steak. I should order some right now, honestly.

If you love eating, cooking, and reading about food, be sure to check out the work from our local food expert, Lily Belli. This week, she put the spotlight on Deven Wek, creator of the Santa Cruz-based vodka brand Luna Sea. In April, Luna Sea’s classic vodka won the platinum medal at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Wek hopes to open his Westside distillery for tasting by this summer.

Inside Santa Cruz: Top Santa Cruz thrift shops

Recommended by local student and Lookout intern Aidan Warzecha-Watson

clothes at the goodwill
(Via Shutterstock)

Each thrift store is a little different, but they all encompass and integrate the Santa Cruz uniqueness into their shops, giving you amazing finds for amazing prices.

Grey Bears Thrift Store, 9 a.m - 3:30 p.m. every day: Although it’s a little overwhelming when you first arrive, this Live Oak thrift store offers a treasure trove of items, including clothing, accessories, home goods, plants, appliances and books. When there, make sure you check out the on-site bookstore with really great prices.

The Abbot’s Thrift, Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday noon - 5 p.m.: The Abbot’s Thrift is a nonprofit in Felton that holds many great antiques, collectables and accessories as well as clothing. The staff is extremely friendly, and if you’re lucky you can find and pet the store cat!

Thrift Center, Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.: A quintessential thrift store option in town. If you’re looking for some fun items at a cheap price and have the time to search through the racks, you are in for a treat. I’d also like to note that this Midtown spot has a discount colored system, so check what colors are on sale that day.

Stop & Shop Family Bargain Center, Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Watsonville’s Stop & Shop Family Bargain Center has a great selection of goods, including a vast collection of boots. The owner, Carl, is extremely nice and very helpful when you’re shopping there, also playing good tunes to set a fun tone in the store.

Goodwill Central Coast, hours vary by location: One of the best things about Goodwill in Santa Cruz County is the many locations — most likely you will be able to find one close to you. If you are feeling adventurous, check out the Salinas Outlet, where you get a brown bag and pay for your items by the pound.

Did we miss your favorite thrift store? Shoot me a text and let me know.

Puzzle Center

Test out your local knowledge with this Santa Cruz Attractions crossword puzzle.

This puzzle was created by Aidan Warzecha-Watson, Community & Commerce intern

Around Town - Events

Did you know that we have an events calendar? BOLO, which stands for Be On the Lookout, is our hub for the best events in the county. See all the listings here.

Here are this week’s events we think students need to know about:

SATURDAY, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tannery Arts Center Spring Art Market: Hidden away just off of the intersection of River Street and Highway 1, the Tannery Arts Center flies a bit under the radar when looking around for stuff to do. This weekend, the center has a market just in time to get some extra (or last-minute) Mother’s Day gifts. It’ll have local art, flowers, food vendors and live music. Whether you want to shop for presents or you’re just looking to pick up some original artwork for your living space, it’s worth checking out.

FRIDAY, noon - 9 p.m.
First Friday at the MAH: Take a trip downtown and check out the MAH’s current displays this Friday. There are a number of exhibitions open to the public including “Strange Weather,” “Atmosphere,” “Out of the Ashes,” and a new section in the history gallery titled “Queer Santa Cruz.” Admission is $10, and free for members. There will be live music, as usual, at Abbott Square, so come with friends and enjoy a night out afterward.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 11:55 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Del Mar Theatre Midnight Movie – “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”: Perhaps the quintessential midnight movie — and maybe even the best-known midnight movie event the Del Mar hosts each year — the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” needs no introduction. Get a group of friends, recite your lines, and don the expected flamboyant attire.

➤ Want more? If you’re still looking for great things to do, check out Wallace Baine’s Weekender here.

More local jobs: Browse more open positions on the Lookout Job Board.

Game Time - College Athletics

UC Santa Cruz: The Slugs’ men and women’s tennis teams received their seeding for the upcoming Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference championship. The men’s team is seeded second and the women’s team is seeded third. Both teams will be taking on Christopher Newport University on Saturday to kick things off in their quest for the upset.

Cabrillo College: Exciting news for the softball team as Lluvia Alvarez was named first-team all-conference in the California Community College Athletic Association, and Renee Parker, Sunshyne Brechler and Brooke Campbell were named second-team all-conference. The women’s beach volleyball team, meanwhile, is headed to the CCCAA state championships in Irvine next weekend after sweeping past San Mateo College on Tuesday.

One last thing …

Did you know? The pitching machine was invented here in Santa Cruz. Lorenzo “Larry” Ponza graduated from Santa Cruz High School, becoming a local machinist’s apprentice and inventor. He was heavily involved in starting the Santa Cruz Little League program, and to help players get more practice, he invented the “Power Pitcher.” Ponza then continued to patent and refine his machine, and was named an honorary member of the Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.

Santa Cruz pitching machine
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

… That’s all from me for this week. Until next week, take care of yourselves and enjoy your weekend!

— Max

If you have recommendations on places we should feature next week, send them over and we’ll send you a free Lookout T-shirt. Email your ideas to