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[whitespace] Arboretum Man Safe Arbor: Art in the Arboretum is a fine way to celebrate Mother's Day, but watch out for this man.


Treat Mom in the Trees

Mother's Day, warm weather, outdoor food and art--it's spring in Santa Cruz and thank God it's not Baltimore

By Christina Waters

BETCHA DIDN'T know that the UCSC Arboretum (just up Empire Grade from the intersection of High and Bay) has the largest array of Australian plants outside the continent down under. Well it does. The Arboretum is always up there waiting for your visit. But next Sunday, May 19, from 10am to 4pm the university's fabled gardens make you an offer that even you Arboretum virgins would be silly to refuse. Art in the Arboretum is rapidly becoming the rite of spring in our neck of the woods. On this one-day alfresco fest, the visual arts, performing arts and culinary arts all collaborate at an uninhibited FREE event in a wildly botanical setting. Forget about your average, run-of-the-mill arts and crafts affair (with apologies, etc.)--Art in the Arb takes no prisoners. Consider this: Joseph Schultz--wild-man culinary genius behind the late, great India Joze restaurant--will be firing up his wok and whipping up some highly seasoned samples for the gastronomically adventurous. Schultz' wokmanship is part Salvador Dali, part Benihana, and just thinking about his spicy sautés makes me hungry. Enjoy a brisk, mini version of the ribald Merry Wives of Windsor, co-produced by Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the UCSC Theater Arts Department--Shakespeare made painless by sheer talent, chutzpah and a matchless outdoor setting. Ditto the dance performances created by acclaimed faculty dance artist Mel Wong and his company of UCSC dancers. But wait! There's more. Visual arts students under the direction of UCSC professor Frank Galuzska will display new works in the Horticulture Building. This gallery will be open to the public for a week, starting this Saturday, May 11. Sculptor Evan Holm and painter Julia Bell will collaborate on the installation of a kinetic piece. There will be readings in the Arboretum amphitheater by writing and lit profs Micah Perks, Charles Atkinson and Peter Orner. Throughout the event Kellsey Johannes and talented friends will provide atmospheric background music. Walk, take the bus, or park ($5) in the Eucalyptus Grove next Saturday, May 19. And bring some $$$ to use at Norrie's Gift Shop. To "preview" the gardens, visit the website at: www2.ucsc.edu/arboretum/gardens.html.

Berry Good Idea

It's that lush stretch of fields roughly halfway between Santa Cruz and Davenport where the photogenic Jim Cochran and company--Swanton Berry Farm--grow the positively tastiest organic strawberries in captivity. On the next four Sundays you and your friends and kids can stop by Swanton Berry Farm and pick your own fresh, ripe berries. Liberate those little red fruits from their earthy nurseries, take them home and turn them into jam, shortcake, smoothies, pies--or just stand in the fields and munch. Prices, as you'd expect, will run you a lot less than retail. So stop by May 19, May 26, June 2 and June 9, between 9am and 1pm, 3450 Highway 1 (4 miles north of Western Drive stoplight, if coming from SC, or 5 miles south of Davenport). Parking available in lower parking lot; either walk up or catch a ride with the shuttle up to the strawberry fields. For more info and map please call 831.469.8804; www.swantonberry.com.

... Speaking of strawberries, you might want to bring your family and a $5 donation over to the impossibly romantic UCSC Farm & Garden next Wednesday, May 15, for the Strawberry Shortcake Festival, 4-6pm: bluegrass music, hayrides, a chance to stroll an agroecology showcase and sample farm-made shortcake smothered with strawberries and whipped cream--do come. ... Treat Mom to the visual dazzle of the SC Museum of Natural History (1305 E. Cliff Drive) Mother's Day Garden Tour this Sunday, May 12, from 10am to 5pm. Your $16 ticket admits you to six elegant and diverse gardens of Santa Cruz and the San Lorenzo Valley--each in top spring bloom, lush with sculptures, waterways and clever use of planting space. For details call 831.420.6115.

... Yes, the former Pontiac Grill is reopened for business as Cruisers, the area's yummiest retro diner. Located at the corner of Front and Cathcart Streets in downtown Santa Cruz ... and next month the guys from Star Bene will unveil Cafe Mare where Hobee's once stood. Lotsa food action these days. Yum.

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From the May 8-15, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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