Sunset at Pleasure Point
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Student Lookout: Garden of Eden, eats on a budget and what to watch this summer

Hello once again, and happy summer break to all of you!

We’ll be doing things a little bit differently over the next few months so as to accommodate everyone’s situation during the summer.

We asked you how often you would like to receive Student Lookout this summer, and the majority asked for Monthly, so we listened. Enjoy your break, and take a look at our first summer monthly edition here.

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?

Now for the June edition …

Summer Deals Download

Hungry for some downtown student discounts?

Check out our full list of student deals and discounts here

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

deal of the week banner

Kuumbwa Jazz: Students with valid ID can get $10 off all Kuumbwa Jazz shows. The downtown Santa Cruz venue hosts a full spectrum of live jazz performances as musicians travel between large venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Click here to view Kuumbwa’s upcoming show calendar.

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

Eats on a budget roundup

I’ve given you numerous spots to grab a cheap — or at least less expensive — bite to eat, but it’s never a bad time for a refresher! Here are some of the first few I recommended, all of which are very affordable and give plenty of food, too.

Jack’s Hamburgers: If you’re in the mood for a classic burger-and-fries combo, Jack’s Hamburgers downtown on Lincoln Street has you covered. The locally owned joint with a big hamburger sculpture jutting out of the corner of its roof has been serving up a variety of burgers and other sandwiches for years, and never disappoints. Psst, vegans: Jack’s Beyond Burger is among the most affordable that you can find — yes, even cheaper than an Impossible Whopper and likely better, too (I have never eaten an Impossible Whopper, FWIW).

The Point Market & Cafe: If you’re in the mood for a breakfast burrito, look no further. The Point Market & Cafe has an extensive menu at its locations on East Cliff Drive and near the roundabout by Depot Park just down the street from the Santa Cruz Wharf. The unassuming mini-marts boast many variations of breakfast burritos, regular burritos and breakfast plates, with much more to offer including simple snacks, grab-and-go food and, most notably, an impressive hot sauce selection. You can opt for the large burritos for an extra few bucks, but believe me, the small will suffice.

Taqueria Los Pericos: This downtown favorite boasts some of the best Mexican homestyle cooking in town. Its delicious tacos and burritos are relatively cheap — especially for the quality — and are crafted with care and love.

Check out all my eats on a budget recs here.

Your must-do Santa Cruz summer adventure: Garden of Eden

Recommended by local student and Lookout intern Aidan Warzecha-Watson

Strawberries in a green basket
(Via Molly Lautamo / Hilltromper Santa Cruz)

Garden of Eden: This spot on the San Lorenzo River can be a little tricky to find. Once a true representation of the beauty of nature and a great place to enjoy a hot summer day, the Garden of Eden is now a crowded pond, being consistently mucked up by those who deem carrying their trash out beneath them. At this point, you’re honestly more likely to find a beer can than space of water big enough to dunk your head. That said, those who are willing to brave it might just catch a glimpse of the beauty that used to be. I recommend going in the morning if you can, to establish a good spot for yourself before the hordes of tourists arrive.

Your best bet for parking is somewhere along Highway 9 in Felton. There are multiple spots that will lead you there, though be warned: They fill up fast. From there, follow the train tracks and the path down to the river. And really, it’s not quite as abysmal as I’ve let on. Even if there is more people and more trash than five years ago, the spot is still stunning. There’s a rope swing, places to jump in and a pleasant beach to relax on. Be sure to bring a swimsuit, towel and sunscreen, and pack out any trash you bring in.

This puzzle was created by Maren Detlefs, 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 upcoming events we think students need to know about:

Midtown Friday, Friday, 5-8:30 p.m
If you haven’t checked one out yet, be sure to head to Midtown this Friday and hang out at the Midtown Friday summer block party. Happening every Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the event will have artists, food and different live music performances each week.

Santa Cruz Antique Faire, Sunday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Antique Faire returns once again, with over 40 vendors showcasing a huge blend of vintage clothing, crafts and other artwork from a number of different cultures and time periods. This fair is held the second Sunday of each month, weather permitting, so you’ll have plenty of future opportunities to reap the benefits of the event. Stock up on collectibles and hidden gems here.

Del Mar Midnight Movie: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” June 17 and 18, 11:55 p.m. - 2:15 a.m.
I’ve heard people call this a guilty pleasure, but I wholeheartedly disagree. There should be no shame in liking this film. The quintessential Arnold Schwarzenegger movie sees him assume the role of a menacing, unstoppable cyborg who is surprisingly fighting for a good cause. Visually amazing for its time, the movie is also an action-packed story of perseverance. Check this out on the big screen.

Santa Cruz Juneteenth, June 18, noon - 4 p.m.
Head to Laurel Park behind the downtown London Nelson Community Center to celebrate Juneteenth, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. There will be music, soul food, crafts, kid’s activities and a basketball skills contest. Come out to celebrate freedom and equality.

Juneteenth Afrobeats Afterparty with DJ Monk Earl, June 19, 7 p.m.
Join the Juneteenth high-fashion dance party supporting the African Roots Social Club at the Tannery Arts Center. There will be lively music including gospel house and funk by DJ Monk Earl, along with plenty of dancing and even the opportunity to practice runway walking with model Da’John DeWitt. Tickets are $30 to sliding-scale, and proof of vaccination is required. Close out this Juneteenth with this evening party.

West Cliff Outdoor Market, July 9, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The middle of summer is about the perfect time for an outdoor market, especially one that takes place right beside iconic Steamer Lane. There will be food trucks along with local artists and artisans, all of which make for a nice afternoon or evening by the coast. Come out to the lighthouse parking lot for some food and art with a view.

    ➤ 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.

    Stream time: What to watch this summer

    I love movies. In fact, a very large portion of my time outside of work is spent watching movies. Now that y’all have some more free time, I figured this is the perfect time to hand out some recommendations. Feel free to text me with recommendations as well. If I haven’t seen it, I might just watch it and recommend it in next month’s edition.

    “The Power of the Dog,” directed by Jane Campion (Netflix)
    One of last year’s best films is a quiet period piece that explores themes of loneliness, jealousy, and inner torment. Set against the harsh, dry backdrop of 1920s Montana, two ranch-owning brothers find themselves at odds when one of them marries a woman, who moves into the ranch with her son. Things change when the son appears to form a bond with the intimidating brother, played incredibly by Benedict Cumberbatch. Without giving anything else away, all I have to say is that if you decide to watch this a second time after knowing what unfolds — it’s basically a completely different movie.

    “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle,” directed by Danny Leiner (Netflix)
    Doing a complete 180 from the previous rec, this film has little to no meaning or thematic layering to be found. It’s just two stoned guys doing their best to satiate their ravenous craving for White Castle’s sliders. Pretty stupid — in fact, very stupid — but turn-brain-off comedies can be just what the doctor ordered, if done right. Not to mention, the two Asian lead characters are not tokenized at all. The fact that they are Asian is entirely inconsequential to the story, and while some of the ignorant characters around them might hurl stereotypical insults at them, their identities as Asians are not used as a plot device whatsoever. Now that’s what I call meaningful representation!

    “The House,” directed by Paloma Baeza, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Emma De Swaef, and Marc James Roels (Netflix)
    This one’s a stop-motion animation anthology movie made up of three different stories that all take place in the same house. The first story concerns a poor family moving into the house, the second story shows a nervous designer preparing for an open house, and the third shows a landlady who refuses to leave the house even though it is going to flood. The animation is unique and beautiful, and reminds me of something that would have been made by Wes Anderson’s evil twin. Creepy, weird, funny, and poignant in equal measure, “The House” is undoubtedly entertaining. However, the three stories’ themes of materialism, the search for happiness, and the bonds we form with each other make this one of my favorites of 2022, and as we approach the halfway point of the year, that appears unlikely to change.

    “Inside Llewyn Davis,” directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (Prime Video)
    Anyone familiar with the Coen brothers knows that they have a distinct sense of pitch-black humor that finds comedy in extraordinarily bleak situations (“Fargo,” “A Serious Man,” “The Big Lebowski,” etc.). This one, however, takes most of the humor out and substitutes it with a melancholic, contemplative mood. The film follows a few days in the life of the titular Llewyn Davis, played by Oscar Isaac in his breakout role, as he tries to make it in the 1960s New York folk music scene. Not much happens in this movie, as it’s quite a slice-of-life style film. That said, watching the exhausted Davis struggle to achieve success amid personal turmoil is profoundly affecting, and would make a perfect double feature with Pixar’s “Soul.” This one is bound to hurt your feelings for a while after viewing.

    “Possessor,” directed by Brandon Cronenberg (Hulu)
    It’s pretty clear Brandon Cronenberg is David Cronenberg’s son. The gross, gory body horror that made his father so famous is fully on display here with this futuristic, surreal sci-fi thriller about an assassin who completes her assignments by possessing the bodies of other individuals, but finds herself struggling to control the body of her current host. Though it sounds like a totally over the top premise — and admittedly kind of is — it is, at its core, a critique of capitalism that speaks to the loss of individualism in the modern digital age.

    “Happy Together,” directed by Wong Kar-Wai (HBO Max)
    No one makes a love story quite like Wong Kar-Wai. Dreamy visuals mixed with a loose, drifting narrative in each of his films make his work among the most distinctive of the 21st century, and “Happy Together” is no exception. The film follows a couple from Hong Kong who travel to Argentina in search of a new life and to rejuvenate their relationship, only to find themselves drifting farther apart. The two men deal with their separation in different ways, each uniquely heartbreaking. I highly enjoy Wong’s filmography as a whole, but this one remains my favorite, and probably always will.

    “Nope,” directed by Jordan Peele (in theaters)
    Not much has been made public about this film, but if it’s even close to as good as Peele’s delightfully twisty “Get Out” or the (perhaps even better) bizarre, metaphor-packed, Santa Cruz-set “Us,” then we’re in for yet another treat from the idiosyncratic auteur. Opening July 22 at a theater near you.

    Santa Cruz News to know about

    Santa Cruz News you need to know about

    One last thing …

    Did you know a lot of the public art in Santa Cruz was created by students? The mosaics along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk were created by Mission Hill Middle School students as part of the Ebb & Flow River Arts Project. This effort was led by teacher Kathleen Crocetti, who has done many other local art installations. Similar student work can be found on bridges over the San Lorenzo River on Water Street and Soquel Avenue.

    Banana slug in the woods
    (Via Kathleen Crocetti)

    Fun fact created by Maren Detlefs, Community & Commerce intern

    …Well, that’s gonna be it for a little while. Don’t know what you’ll do without me. Have a great June and stay tuned for the July 15 edition!

    — 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