Student Lookout: Swanton Berry Farm, more streaming recs, and the secret of banana slugs’ slime
Oh, hey! Remember me?
Maybe you’ve eagerly awaited this edition of Student Lookout for the last four weeks, or maybe you’ve forgotten about it entirely. Either way, I hope you’re all enjoying your summer break.
Not that anybody asked, but I still have not decided where to go for my vacation in August. I’ll update you next month though, as I will have no choice but to choose a destination prior to actually leaving for the trip. It’s coming up quick!
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?
Ok then, on with the July edition…
Summer Deals Download
- Buy some Groceries: Safeway: 5% student discount
- Get a Haircut: Kinship Hair Co & Thrifty Cuts: 10% off with valid ID
- Have a Drink (21+) : Kianti’s: BOGO signature cocktail with the purchase of any entree
➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.
What’s the best student deal you’ve found? Shoot us an email to let us know at email@example.com.
Eats on a budget roundup
Here we go again with a recap of some of my previously recommended cheap(er) eats. I’m sure that I’ve missed some good spots, and that’s where you come in! Always feel free to shoot me any of your own recommendations
Cafe Delmarette: It’s a tiny spot, but Cafe Delmarette— tucked away beside the historic Del Mar Theatre downtown — is a great place for coffee and cheap eats. The drink menu has all the coffee classics, plus some alternative options like matcha lattes and a variety of hot and iced teas for non-coffee drinkers. As for food, the Delmarette has several sandwiches on the menu, including breakfast and vegan options, all for around $10 depending on what you decide to add on. That said, its $4 homemade scones — with both sweet and savory — are truly outstanding. Trust me, I know. I get one on most mornings before heading into the office.
Pizza My Heart: Pizza my Heart’s brand recognition is among the strongest in the city, if not the strongest. The pies are a little on the pricey side, but going for a slice is a pretty good deal. Also, ask for a slice card so you can get free menu items with every third slice. Finally, a quick tip for those ordering full pies: Ask for your pizza “well done” to get a crispier crust and extra-melted cheese. It’ll taste like it just came out of the oven!
Guang Zho: 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.
Check out all my eats on a budget recs here.
Your must-do Santa Cruz summer adventure: Swanton Berry Farm
Recommended by local student and Lookout intern Aidan Warzecha-Watson
Swanton Berry Farm: Located off Highway 1 to the north of Santa Cruz, Swanton Berry Farm is an absolute must-visit for summery treats. First, venture off into the “U pick” strawberry fields. The rows of plants are almost always chock-full of delicious berries, and picking them yourself always makes them taste better for some reason.
Then, as you head inside to pay for the berries you’ve picked, be sure to check out all of the premade treats. They have amazing jams, truffles, shortcakes, and pretty hefty pie slices (though the smaller ones that they used to sell were far superior.)
They will also usually have a drink or two to choose from, hot or cold depending on the weather. Finally, enjoy the fresh ocean breeze and surrounding courtyard. They have tables and games to play inside, and picnic benches outside. Also, don’t hesitate to take your recently acquired strawberry goods and picnic in your car or another scenic spot along the coast. This farm is an all-around joy and the snacks are worth every penny.
Puzzle Center: Summer in Santa Cruz Word Search
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 this MONTH’s events that we think students need to know about:
July 17, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for more local markets — or simply find yourself downtown with time to kill — don’t hesitate to check out the Makers Market every third Sunday. The stands that make up the market display a wide range of locally crafted goods from art and jewelry to local ingredients. Check out the full list of participating vendors here.
July 22, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Looking for some under-the-radar local food? This is for you. Enjoy a variety of food trucks at Skypark in Scotts Valley along with a beer and wine garden and live music. Having been ongoing for seven years now, the food truck event is quite popular for people of all ages. There’s plenty of room to spread out with blankets, chairs, and anything else you want to bring for an evening outside.
July 23-24, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Make your way over to Soquel to join Bargetto’s Art & Wine Festival later this month. Admission is free and there will be live music from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. along with plenty of other art and wine, of course. Like any local festivals, there will be a robust number of vendors and artists showcasing their crafts and serving up food at the event. Also, you can unlock the wine tasting part of the festival with the purchase of a $20 festival glass.
July 24, 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Anyone looking for a fun afternoon should swing by Greater Purpose Brewing Company on East Cliff Drive for a Burlesque show and accompanying drag brunch. The local performers are switched up every show, so be sure to check the lineup prior to the show. As for food, Greater Purpose has you more than covered. LaurelBakes, Sweet Bean Bakery, and Funk’s Franks will all be there to satiate your hunger. Greater Purpose’s beverage menu will also be fully available, including non-alcoholic options. Get your $15 tickets in advance, as they go quick!
August 5-7, 5 p.m. - 9p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday
Those of you living in the city of Santa Cruz have a bit of a drive to get to this one, but I promise it’s worth it! The Strawberry Festival is a local staple, and has been for nearly 30 years. Along with celebrating one of the area’s most far-reaching exports (strawberries, obviously), the festival has tons of food, music, vendors, and a carnival to top it all off. Bring some friends to this tradition of local color.
Stream time: What to watch this summer
Another month, another installment of streaming recs. Whether or not you actually took it upon yourselves to watch any of the films I suggested last month is irrelevant, as this section is quite fun for me to put together, and neglecting these movies is your problem at the end of the day. Still, feel free to shoot me any recommendations to watch, evaluate, and maybe even suggest to other readers with a shoutout.
“Boogie Nights,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Netflix)
Paul Thomas Anderson is pretty notable in the arthouse world, to say the least. With flicks like “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” and “Phantom Thread” in his filmography, Anderson has all but solidified himself as one of the greatest auteur filmmakers of recent memory. All that said, “Boogie Nights” remains my favorite of his.
The pretty long (two-and-a-half hours) 1997 film is centered on a young nightclub dishwasher in the 1970s San Fernando valley, played by Mark Wahlberg, who finds huge success as a pornstar. The movie goes on to depict the career rollercoaster that follows in the subsequent two decades. Funny, provocative, and often sort of stressful, “Boogie Nights” may not be for everyone. However, if you can endure the length and constant degeneracy on display, Wahlberg and Anderson’s big break will prove to be an experience that you won’t forget anytime soon.
Not to mention, Anderson was only 26 (!) when he directed this film. Insane.
“The Lost Daughter,” directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (Netflix)
Having received Best Actress Oscar nominations in both leading and supporting roles for Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter’s” biggest strength is its acting. Colman plays a lone woman on a beach getaway, where she meets a young troubled mother played by an also solid Dakota Johnson, and begins to remember her past relationships with her two daughters. Jessie Buckley plays the younger version of Colman in flashbacks.
There’s very little to be happy about in this movie, and few people that you want to root for. That said, it’s a fascinating character study of a selfish person that delivers an uncomfortable and startlingly negative portrayal of motherhood. As one wise user on Letterboxd said: “Does for having kids what ‘Jaws’ did for sharks.” I get it, honestly.
“Atlantics,” directed by Mati Diop (Netflix)
I have a hard time explaining why I like this film as much as I do. Truthfully, I’m not quite sure. It emulates such an intimate sense of longing that really keys in on a specific mood I love in movies. The film is set in Senegal and revolves around Ada, who is in love with a construction worker named Souleiman, but is soon to be wed via arranged marriage.
Souleiman and his co-workers decide to leave the country in search of a better life after they are not paid for their work. When some of the bodies wash up on shore days later, she assumes that Souleiman is dead.
That’s all I want to tell you. It is such a beautiful movie that explores the exploitation of the poor and the refugee crisis, in addition to societal issues that cause us to feel trapped within ourselves, forced to play the card we were given. while putting a very fresh spin on the delivery.
It’s gorgeous. Watch this without reading anything else and you’re in for a mesmerizing, deeply emotional experience.
“Secret Obsession,” directed by Peter Sullivan (Netflix)
I want to be very clear here, this movie is NOT GOOD. As a matter of fact, it’s worse than that. It’s an unbelievable display of incompetence and atrocious writing, which is exactly why you should watch this with a group of friends. The main character, played by Brenda Song, wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of her past. Meanwhile, her husband takes her home and tries to begin getting their life back together. It soon becomes clear that the nightmare is just beginning.
I’m sure you know where this is going, but I don’t care. It’s hilarious and truly appalling to see unfold in real time. The movie seems to get worse with every passing minute to the point where you’ve almost convinced yourself that it’s all just an exercise in irony. Alas, it is not, and it doesn’t deserve that credit.
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” directed by Céline Sciamma (Hulu)
On the completely opposite side of the spectrum from the previous movie, this is undoubtedly one of the best movies that I’ve seen over the past five, and maybe even the last decade. Set in late-1700s France, the film revolves around a blossoming relationship between two women: one named Marianne, who has been commissioned to do the wedding portrait for the other, named Héloïse. They grow closer to each other in the days leading up to Héloïse’s marriage.
I cannot begin to describe the quality of craft at work here. The sets are beautiful, the acting is powerful, and the ending…come on, now. It’s hard to think of something that this film doesn’t execute to a near perfect level. All I can say is that the slow pacing might leave you a bit dissatisfied at first, but if you stick with it to the end, the deeply affecting period romance will leave you in tears.
“You Were Never Really Here,” directed by Lynne Ramsay (Prime Video)
TW: There is heavy mention and depiction of PTSD, suicide, and human trafficking throughout this movie. If any of this is the least bit triggering to you, I would advise you to skip it.
Lynne Ramsay is the filmmaker behind the now infamous “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” so if you know anything about that, you know what you’re getting into with this one.
A little bit like a modern day “Taxi Driver,” “You Were Never Really Here” is quite a challenging movie. There is a very bare-bones plot, a whole host of disturbed characters, and an almost oppressively dark atmosphere. Still, the surreal visuals and style are rather compelling. The film follows a man named Joe, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is a troubled ex-military/FBI mercenary and who has since become a hitman. He is hired by a politician to find his kidnapped daughter and destroy the human trafficking network responsible by any means necessary.
Only 90 minutes long, the film has very little dialogue, and really lets the visuals tell the story. Themes of trauma, redemption, and death are thrown around plenty, but its brutal and often shocking display of violence makes for an incredibly intense hour and a half. You’re bound to be squirming in your seat during this one. And confused, don’t forget confused. I’ve seen this film several times and still don’t fully understand it, I just know I like it.
“Mean Girls,” directed by Mark Waters (Netflix)
I’m sure that 99% of you have seen this at least a few times, but now that it’s on Netflix, what better time is there to revisit? Gather a group of friends and put it on for a fun, nostalgic night. I know that’s what I’m going to do.
Santa Cruz news you need to know about:
One last thing …
Did you know that a banana slug’s slime contains an anesthetic? The slime of a banana slug can numb the tongue of any hungry potential predators. This is why if you kiss a banana slug your lips will tingle or go numb! Be careful though. Banana slugs have incredibly porous skin and touching them easily transfers harmful bacteria to them, so it’s best to leave them alone.
Fun fact created by Maren Detlefs, Community & Commerce intern
Well, another month of summer is on its way out. Soon enough, you’ll all be back in school and there will be no escaping me then! But, for now, once a month will have to suffice.
Stay cool and enjoy the month ahead. Talk to you all again in August!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.