Farewell Manny

Manny Santana

Manuel Santana passed away last week. He was a vibrant Santa Cruz renaissance man that was a voracious painter, helped create the Cabrillo Music Festival a political activist and founded Manuel’s restaurant in Seacliff. I only met him a couple times. Sometimes I saw him during lunch time at his Manuel’s restaurant. The waitress would tell me that Manny is serving up some special soup he just concocted and if I would like some – like an oversized amuse bouche as only the big guy could make it. Over the years I came to realize that Manuel’s was not only my all time favorite restaurant, but the one I’ve dined at more than often any other in my lifetime.

My early remembrances are going there in the early Seventies. Then, the tab for my family of four with a couple of beers for mom and dad, came under twenty bucks. Through out time, they eventually came about to accepting credit cards and were open to midnight on most nights!

The Food? Still, in my opinion probably still the best Mexican American style food I can find. The refried beans are still the bar that all others are measured. The Chile Relleno is sublime, fluffy batter surrounding a large chile liberally stuffed with cheese. The chips? Still the best served with a zippy salsa that I can’t stop eating!

A toast to Manny and his everlasting imprint on Santa Cruz life!

Copperplate, oh how stylish…

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Yep time to update a little bit of the crusty blog. So I started playing around with Movable Type stylesheets and slapped in my new masthead. Feeling nostalgic, I thought I’d use Copperplate which I actually liked back in 1992. Now my blog looks like a Steakhouse. Care for some cream spinach with that?

Happy Birthday ISSUES!

Mix some of my favorite things – magazines, fun people, snacks and beer and you got the ISSUES One Year Anniversary Party! ISSUES is my favorite shop for many reasons. They have an awesome magazine selection, great music playing in the stereo, interesting books and ephemera. I always leave with one of their bright green plastic bags full of readable delights.

The place was packed by the time of the afternoon drawing and I got to win a prize! I selected the Peet’s gift box of coffee beans. Next time your over on Piedmont Avenue, check them out!

Only in South Park

LOLCAT

Like a bourbon soaked butterfly, I fluttered between Web parties the other night. I started at Webmonkey’s Relaunch event at Gallery Lounge and ended up over at 21st Amendment where the Laughingsquid crew was have a meet’n greet with some of their out of town friends.

During my adventure, I strolled through quaint South Park and saw this funny flyer. I also swung by Vima Dance Studio. The people there are friendly and tear it up on the ballroom floor. My girlfriend wants us to take some lessons soon. I think we’ll start here!

Macworld Saved by David J

davidj

With too much going on at work I had little time this year to indulge in Macworld Expo. On Friday afternoon I was running around trying to find the most interesting booths and displays. Near the end of my trip, in the furtherest corner of the South Hall, I heard some interesting music coming from the shadows. My view was obscured by the hall’s large support beams but when I went to check it out, it was a Best Buy mini-store. Standing behind a mixing desk with some video monitors behind him was Bauhaus‘ David J Djing some soundscape mixes! Now if Best Buy always had members of Bauhaus playing music I’d visit more often!

The Humans!

Human 'Play' EP

Going to high school in late seventies Santa Cruz, my favorite local band was The Humans. They were a mix of the then emerging New Wave scene with a mix of surf, punk and avant garde theatrics. The first time I saw them was after Devo played a show at the Santa Cruz Civic in 1979. I hung out after the show and got to meetup with Devo so I could show them some pics from their previous Santa Cruz show earlier that year. While talking to them they got an invite note from a local band called The Humans that said they were inspired by Devo and that they should come check out their show later that night at JJ’s Pizza over in the East Cliff neighborhood. The guys from Devo and their brother/manager said come on let’s all go!.

So me and my younger brother booked out to JJ’s in my Datsun 510 to go hang with Devo and finally get see The Humans which were getting some considerable buzz at the time. Half hour later, I’m sitting at a little table with a couple guys from Devo, their manager and a pitcher of beer! I guess those times were a little different.

The Humans came on stage and did a blistering set of punk/new wave music with great surfy guitar licks. I became a big fan of them that night and went to almost every performance they did around the Monterey Bay area. The band was always so cool and friendly to this dorky teenager with his ever present camera around his neck.

Recently I’ve been going through and digitizing some of my favorite old cassette tapes and I found this aircheck tape of Eric Gies and Sterling Storm of The Humans being interviewed on KLRB – the ‘alternative’ progressive FM rock station that broadcast from the Barnyard in Carmel Valley. Because of this station I was exposed to the Punk revolution, New Wave as well as artists like Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and anything else weird the DJs felt like playing.

Here’s the cassette tape from November 1980.

WWDC!

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OSX Leopard
After a fun afternoon driving up to Vallejo to visit my good friend John Zorko, we took the ferry to SF to pickup his WWDC credentials. What’s in store this week? Can’t wait to find out! Probably some cool GUI interface tricks with Core Animation. John is hoping that Apple opens up the iPhone platform to developers to justify an iPhone purchase. I’ll probably look into getting one when my two year contract is up with my Sony/Ericsson W600.

Another fun part of the day was trying out my new Canon SD750. I got it to replace my little Nikon that I squished a bit in NYC last month. This camera is pretty cool. It’s super small but the quality is great. There’s a slow sync mode reminiscent of the rear-curtain sync settings I liked using in the film days. Another surprise is the quality of the video this thing shoots. 30fps – very smooth! My first digital camera, the Canon G2 couldn’t come close to this.

SF Ferry Building

Bye-bye City! Um until Monday morning…