Monday, January 2, 2012

Elephant seals: Santa Cruz, on New Year's Day


Santa Cruz, on New Year's Day

People on the street,
with backpacks
and long hair,
colorful clothes,
a little down & out, -
that western, freedom thing, -
and sunny, comfortable weather,
I'm heading for
Dance Church of Santa Cruz, ~
first time ever.

The trip is fast
from the S.F. Bay,
on Sunday morning,
on a Spare the Air Day,
per the radio,
to this still alternative city.

The winding road,
17 South,
begins, and
the world changes
into Santa Cruz,
northern California.

Getting to the dance late,
exploring a little,
I may head to see the
elephant seals
at Año Nuevo,
later today.
It's breeding season.

The front door
is getting locked,
and the man wearing a Fez, says
'Want in?'
And I say 'Is this Dance Church?'
'Yea, it's just over,' he says.
'Can I just see the space?' I ask.
'Yea,' he says,
'but another class is just coming in.'
I walk in the front door
of 418 Front Street,
passing among the dancers, -
all relaxed, chatting, happy,
alternative types,
in colorful, loose clothing, -
and out the main, side door.
I may try to camp
the night before,
and come
another time.

I walk into downtown Santa Cruz,
from Front, along Cathcart Street,
to Pacific Ave., with all its businesses, -
Latino ones, especially.
There are a lot of
alternative types here, too.
The revolution is happening,
in a low-key way,
and, from the 1960s,
both business- ... ,
and California-wise,
in this beach city.
I imagine business practices
in Santa Cruz are humane,
and compassionate,
and people-friendly, -
yet with still a lot of
street people on-the-ground.
The weather is great today.

I hear
nice guitar, with slide,
by that old long-hair,
sitting on a bench on Pacific Ave.,
on such a beautiful, sunny day.

I walk
down to the Town Clock,
which looks like a bell tower,
at the end of Pacific, -
it seems like the nicest part
of this avenue,
but few people are here.
Sunday motorcyclists
roll in, dressed in black,
two by two,
revving their engines, -
on a New Year's ride.

I head into the
great bookstore,
Bookshop Santa Cruz,
and am transported,
into the world of words,
and exploration.
O, the relaxation response, ~
with books!

I head on, exploring,
via the Quaker Meeting House,
which I've never visited before,
with a large peace sign
under its eaves,
toward Año Nuevo.
Stopping at Whale City Bakery,
north of Santa Cruz, -
it's crowded, ...
"Crazy," the waitress says
about this.
The warmth in the air
feels like Global Warming.
Will this coastline
diminish 20 feet in my life time,
as the oceans rise?

Año Nuevo,
with its breeding,
elephant seals,
costs $10 to park,
and all the tours,
with rangers,
are booked for the day,
so I continue northward,
detouring to
Pigeon Point Light House,
with its Youth Hostel,
with hot tub.
A lot of people are visiting today.

A frowsy group of motorcyclists,
their black leather all asunder,
are waddling back to their hogs,
from their tourist stop;
don't know if they're the same
folks as above.
First time it hasn't rained
in eight years
on New Year's Day,
per the cashier in the gift shop,
(who enjoys the Half Moon Bay sailing club
with Cal 20s and Lasers :)
some motorcyclists told her, earlier.

I walk in toward the coast,
past the Youth Hostel.
A great docent,
in the hall
with the restored, Fresnel light,
a radiant jewel -
picture all those lenses,
beaming beehive-like
in your mind -
is giving a talk.
With a slight, English accent,
and possibly the training of an actor,
he engages his listeners,
as raconteur,
talking of this gem
of a beacon light,
to help with ocean navigation.

Back to Canyon,
and a call from
a dear, old friend ...

a birthday exploration,
the day after,
in beautiful California ...
yea to travel ... :)

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