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More or Less $$$

kim kuhry
Robert Scheer

A Cut Above: Kim Kuhry of Kim's Salon on Bay Street in Santa Cruz provides new cuts with exceptional style at affordable prices.

A phenomenological road map to the best of local bargain bin-there-done-that deals

By Karen Reardanz

THE LIFE OF A student entails more than just studying, paper writing and pints of beer. It's also about part-time jobs with paltry pay and racking up a monstrous debt from student loans. These factors create a serious need to limit the outgoing funds, not to mention the fact that, as a species, students tend to be inherently cheap.

The UCSC Club Card, baby. Now that's where it's at. It's offered to students at the beginning of the year, for free, at the Baytree Bookstore and offers deals galore. It features 2-for-1 deals, 10 percent to 25 percent off discounts and other specials from places like Cafe Brasil, Manila Turo-Turo, Falafel of Santa Cruz, Mailboxes Etc. and Bay Photo Lab, plus a whole host of others. The businesses on it won't honor the discounts without the card, so if you want to be the true bargain hunter I know you are, you won't leave home without it.

So for those students always on the hunt for the best deal, here's a selection of local businesses that understand your plight, sympathize and offer you ways to save ducats, man, on food, drink and a plethora of other little goodies that'll make your college life complete.

Diamond Cutter: Baseline, a gem tucked away on Pearl Alley downtown, provides an impressive selection of music, including goth, proto punk and industrial classics.

Photo by Robert Scheer

Land of the Discount

Baseline 114 Pearl Alley, SC (458-2725). Here's the situation: Baseline's got one of the best selections of music in town. It has new and used CDs, tapes and a vinyl selection that'll make you goo, including some '80s goth, industrial and "alternative" classics on which you'll want to spend all the money you saved to evoke memories of long ago, if nothing else. You can try it before you buy it, giving 'em a spin on their listening turntables. And the best darn part of it all, the place knocks a whopping 10 percent off your purchases on Mondays if you show them your student ID. Isn't that nice?

Breakroom 325 Soquel Ave., SC (425-7665). The one and only billiards club in town catering to the college crowd. It's open to those 18 and over, and designated Wednesday as "College Night." Two players can shoot a game of pool for the price of one, and those over the legal drinking age can sauce themselves silly on $7.50 microbrew pitchers all night long with that student ID card.

China Station 2301 Mission St., SC (458-9097). The staff of the Station has been a UCSC staple for years. You'll see that little old wagon with the yellow sign tooling on up to campus at all hours. The food may be a bit on the greasy side, but do they ever pile those take-out boxes high with all the chow-mein, sweet and sour and mushu your little tummy could ever hope for. They take 10 percent off your total bill when you flash them that ID, and do not forget that they'll bring the food straight to you, even if you call a humble dorm room home.

Dreamsweet 1014 Cedar St., SC (425-5640). If you've finally escaped from the cramped quarters of dorm life and are ready to expand into the world of living off campus, then it's time to say see ya to the extra long twin, hello big grown-up beds. A futon is a great way to go, usually a bit cheaper, really comfy and it conveniently converts into a handy couch you can keep using years from now. Dreamsweet offers up tons of futons for you, from small ones to the nice big styles you can roll around and get lost in. And, knowing that students are a big market, the store offers 10 percent off futons all year long with a student ID. So there's no excuse not to sleep in comfort.

Gold's Gym 620 Water S., SC (425-4653). Are you looking for something to do instead of studying? Or a place to burn off the stress of too much reading and not enough time? Or do you just want to lift a few weights, maybe take a couple step classes without having to take out another loan? Well, the nice, buff staff at Gold's are offering you a deal. For just $99 you can become a full-fledged member for a whopping three months. I guess they even realize you're not that wild about commitment.

Kim's 1244 Bay St., SC (458-9449). You don't have to trust your tresses to Supercuts in order to get an inexpensive 'do. This little salon tucked in on the corner of Mission and Bay offers dry cuts for only $12 with a validated student ID card. So you'll be spit-shined and beautiful for the new school year, plus you'll have some extra dough in those pockets to spend on, say, some chi chi shampoo.

Literary Guillotine 204 Locust St., SC (457-1195). Buying the overload of a class's required reading can set you back about as much as the reg fees do, and it seems like the campus bookstore has a monopoly on 'em. Well, look no further, there is an alternative. The Literary Guillotine offers many of the coursebooks you need at 10 percent to 25 percent less than the bookstore. Get to know the name, some professors only offer their books through the store.

Michael's Westside Cafe 2238 Mission St., SC (429-6441). Michael is a very nice man. Not only does he make tons of yummy food--like omelets, burgers, sandwiches and even complete dinners--but he serves it up to you complete with a price that won't annihilate your budget. The cafe, in a UCSC-friendly locale on the Westside (duh!), offers students a 10 percent discount with valid student ID. And if you give them a peek-a-boo at the UCSC club card, they knock off an additional 15 percent. How's that for gracious?

Museum of Art and History 705 Front St., SC (429-1964). So you say the last thing you want to do after studying your little heart out is spend an afternoon at a museum? Come on and get a little culture. The museum in your own back yard has new exhibits coming up in early October, including ones on Beat artists and skateboarding, so it's not simply straight intellectual fare. The nice museum folks even provide an extra incentive by waiving the $3 admission fee when you show them that student ID card.

Tony & Alba's 817 Soquel Ave., SC (425-8669); 1501 41st Ave., Capitola (475-4450). Wednesday night is "Student Night" in Tony & Alba's world. The pizza joint offers a medium specialty pizza and a pitcher of the soft drink of your choosing from 5pm to closing for a measly $11 with any validated student ID.

Zachary's 819 Pacific Ave., SC (427-0646). A staple in the student diet, you'll see droves of college types waiting endlessly Saturday and Sunday mornings. It's the perfect place to shake off the lingering remains of the night before or fuel up for whatever plans the day may hold. Zachary's made itself a part of the UCSC Club Card, offering a 2-for-1 deal on your first visit and 10 percent off thereafter for the entire year. But you need that card, and you'll probably have to flash the student ID one more time.

Robert Scheer

No Discounts But Permanent
Fixtures in Students' Lives

Blue Lagoon 923 Pacific Ave., SC (423-7117). Billed as the only place in the county to dance to house, '80s and disco, the Blue is also the place to get inexpensive beer on Sunday afternoon. When the clock strikes 2pm, the Red Hook gnomes come out and offer up bottles for a buck. Now that's about as good of a deal as you're going to find.

Silver Bullet 603 Front St., SC (426-5726). Those who do not understand call it a dive, but those in the know see it as the best place to knock back a few without going broke. Wednesday night is the aptly titled "Drink & Drown" around these here parts, and the beer is cheap--$1 and $2 pints, $3 and $6 pitchers, flowing from the taps of Budweiser and Coors to the delicate beauty of Red Hook and Full Sail. The joint's a mix of hard-core regulars and nubile young things, and you're almost guaranteed to see someone you know.

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From the September 26-October 2, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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