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Welcome back, folks —

Hope everyone’s enjoying the beautiful almost-summer weather we’ve been getting. Though it’d be pretty odd if you weren’t. Can’t wait to get out in the summer sun more in the coming months!

In other news, I turned 26 on Monday. For me, that was one of the strangest ages to say out loud, probably because of its relative proximity to 30. But I hear that’s a great decade for most people, so here’s to another trip around the sun with many more to come! (At least I hope so.)

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Deals Download

Check out these student discounts:

  • Students (and teachers) get 10% off at Well Within on Thursdays.
  • HoM Korean Kitchen offers 15% off for students.
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers free admission to UC Santa Cruz students and 25% off for all student tickets.

BEST DEAL OF THE MONTH: Student tickets at Kuumbwa Jazz

Located in downtown Santa Cruz, Kuumbwa Jazz is a nonprofit providing Santa Cruz the full spectrum of jazz music through live performance and education. Check out an upcoming show and take advantage of discounted student tickets.

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Good Eats

Adorable French Bakery ($$)

Adorable French Bakery pastries at farmers market
Credit: Adorable French Bakery via Instagram

I was at the Westside farmers market with my dad this past weekend, and while I opted for a Laundromat bagel (as I have hyped up here), he went with a quiche ratatouille — just what it sounds like. Much love to Laundromat Bagels, as usual, but I couldn’t help but think that colorful veggie pastry from Adorable French Bakery looked delicious. Anyways, this little bakery stand has pretty much everything you could imagine, from sweet to savory to vegan and gluten-free. And it’s all delicious. Check out its menu here.

This week, Jessica M. Pasko — one of the local food writers filling in for Lily Belli while she’s on maternity leave — talked about California state officials’ effort to replenish what has been a dwindling salmon population. That’s a welcome endeavor given the cancellation of salmon season this year.

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INSIDE SANTA CRUZ: Drag Story Time organizers react to transphobic letter

On May 17, local weekly Good Times published an anonymous transphobic letter attacking a drag story time event in Watsonville. The author claimed to be a mother of five and suggested that these kinds of events are harmful to children.

The publication of the letter comes during a time when attacks against LGBTQIA+ people are on the rise.

Good Times published an apology on Instagram and on Facebook, saying that it would speak and listen to representatives of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as develop stricter review processes. However, two of the performers, Zak Keith and Jorge Guillen, were understandably upset, and say they feared for their safety.

“But as the morning [of the story time event] progressed, people in our community, in Watsonville and Santa Cruz, started rallying,” said Guillen. “It just made me feel really grateful for how united this community is.”

Further, Keith said they are looking forward to more drag story time events in the future — and to continue teaching acceptance and understanding. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda covered the story earlier this week, and you can read the whole thing here.

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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.
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Here are a few events you should check out:

Del Mar Midnight Movie – “The Mummy,” Friday and Saturday, 11:55 p.m. – 2 a.m.

In honor of the “Brenassaince,” check out a midnight screening of “The Mummy” this weekend at the Del Mar. The fun, campy adventure movie’s over-the-top premise, young Brendan Fraser, and incredibly late-1990s CGI makes it an endearing reminder of our childhoods — at least I hope so. If not, then I’m going to feel extremely old. This film has a place in the hearts of millennials and Gen Zers across the globe.

Watsonville Community Ride, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Bike Month is winding down, so take this opportunity to get out with fellow cyclists for a ride in Watsonville. The two-hour ride will finish off with a free lunch outside of the Watsonville Cyclery bike shop. Connect with your community and finish off Bike Month strong.

Fae Masquerade Ball, Saturday, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Head up to the mountains this weekend for a Fae Masquerade Ball. This sounds like a ton of fun — especially since you’ll be surrounded by fellow mermaids, werewolves, wizards, witches and much more as you party into the early morning hours. Ball out in your costume to win the contest, and even better, explore the Brookdale Lodge, which is supposedly haunted.

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

This week, I watched: “Missing” (2023), directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick

Still from
Still from “Missing” (2023). Credit: Via MovieWeb

Gimmicks can be a huge risk. Take found footage, for example. You have some that remain beloved and effective like “The Blair Witch Project,” “[REC],” and “Cloverfield,” and then a whole slew of others that use the found-footage style in an attempt to mask the poor writing, acting or direction.

“Missing” goes to show that gimmicks can be entertaining if the filmmakers put real effort into the rest of the movie.

Told entirely on screens like FaceTime, security cameras and news broadcasts, “Missing” follows protagonist June Allen, played by Storm Reid — best known for depicting Gia Bennett, Rue’s sister in the HBO series “Euphoria” — as she searches for her mother after she goes missing during a trip to Colombia with her new partner. If anyone has seen the 2018 film “Searching,” this is about 90-95% the same. Even so, the twists and turns keep coming, and to my surprise, I did not expect the plot to unfold the way it did, even though I smugly told myself I knew exactly what was going on about halfway through. Reid really sells her concern and desperation throughout, raising the stakes and bringing the situation to life even in this detached, “screenlife” format.

Is the plot kind of outlandish? Sure. The reveal is something that will almost certainly not happen in real life (but I don’t want to give anything away, so you’ll have to take my word for it). Do you have to suspend disbelief? Of course. But if you’re able to do that, you’re in for a good thrill. I was fully prepared to give this a mediocre score and say something snarky like, “We have ‘Searching’ at home,” but this was just pretty good. Go in blind and strap in.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Dude, it’s a holiday weekend! I literally forgot entirely until midweek this week. What a great thing to remember.

Enjoy your long weekend!

— Max

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Max Chun is the general-assignment correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Max’s position has pulled him in many different directions, seeing him cover development, COVID, the opioid crisis, labor, courts...