Normally I wouldn't choose to drive over Highway 17 on a Friday night; braving traffic and returning in the dark, but my good friend had invited me to the opening night of her first art show and I wanted to support her. So the kids and I (my husband was on a business trip) drove to downtown Santa Cruz and explored a bit of the First Friday Art Tour. It was totally worth it.
|Pacific Avenue - Lit Up And Happening!|
|Artist And Friend Tish Bertino With Some Of Her Oil Paintings - At The True Olive Connection|
I must mention, the True Olive Connection has another location in Aptos where they offer olive oil tasting parties for adults - now that's unique!
|We Enjoyed The Yummy Samples Of Bread, Cheese And Flavored Olive Oils|
Seated nearby was a man dressed in a funky hat, scarf and vest(?). He definitely looked unique. My son overheard a bit of his conversation - “Mom, I think he was talking quantum physics!”
Only in Santa Cruz . . :-)
After dinner we went to what turned out to be my daughter's favorite store - the OM Gallery at 1201 Pacific Ave. This was definitely a fun store, full of colorful lights, mobiles, fountains and more.
|My Daughter Said She Could Have Stayed Here All Night|
They were hosting the artist Yeshe Jackson. We loved his acrylic seascapes, landscapes and ocean waves. They were fun, colorful, and imaginative. I couldn't resist ordering two prints for my kids. Yeshe didn't have the prints on hand, but told me he could make and send them to me. He was true to his word - I received them a few days later.
|I Can Imagine A Whole Wall Of These In My Dream House By The Beach|
Then we had an ice cream and walked down Pacific Avenue looking in some of the shop windows and watching the scene on the street. My kids got an education seeing a drugged out panhandler, a couple of delusional extroverts, and two absolutely filthy, barefooted young children playing on the sidewalk with their parent God knows where. Unfortunately, I believe you can see this kind of thing in any big city in America.
|The Pacific Cookie Company Has Delicious Ice Cream And "Home-made" Cookies!|
But we ended our night on a positive note - we met a street performing poet! For two or three dollars, Kevin Devaney will write a short poem on his 1920s typewriter, based on any subject you give him. We read one of his poems, something about a cantaloupe - then it went off in several creative directions - ending in a bowl of cream. We liked it!
|Kevin Devaney Leads Monday Evening Poetry Workshops At The Tannery Arts Center|
If you go: First Friday is every month, rain or shine. It's free to enjoy. For more information, please visit their website.
If you are driving from the Peninsula, try to leave early. Friday night traffic is pretty bad, although it did clear out for us once we passed the Summit.
Parking: there are parking garages and street parking around downtown but you may have to drive a while before you find a free space. We lucked out and got a space right across from the True Olive Connection.
Hope you can check out the action sometime! Have fun and remember to keep an open mind. ;-)