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[whitespace] Covello Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

Saloon at the Beach, Circa 1888: According to Charles McCaleb's book 'Surf, Sand & Streetcars,' that's the Sea Beach Hotel behind the saloon. It opened in 1888 and burned in 1912. That's the Pacific Avenue horse car Number 7 on the tracks going toward the beach. The freight car on the wharf is a narrow-gauge South Pacific Coast railroad car. I don't know the name of the saloon, which is the two-story building with four windows facing us.

Bruce Bratton

TREES AND THE DEL MAR. OK, let's not "cut down" those three trees in front of the Del Mar Theater; let's move them. Let's face it, the success of the Del Mar (or any new business) is far more endangered than those three new trees that almost completely block anyone from enjoying or even seeing the historic Del Mar marquee. The city and the Nickelodeon are investing a lot in this project. It's locally owned and not a big theater chain. Look what the Cinema 9 did for business on its end of Pacific Avenue. Crowds going to and from the Del Mar will greatly add to south Pacific's energy. Seeing the brilliantly restored marquee will help business, and the showbiz glow from the lights will add to the festive atmosphere. If the trees were historic, significant, rare or unusually beautiful, it would be a different story. Let's just move them somewhere and put something nice in front of the theater.

DARK PLEASURES. For obvious reasons, all of us go to movies "just to be entertained," and that's more true now than ever before. Problem is, what's entertaining? For me, it's a well-made movie. Even Disney and disaster films can be well made, or not. Liam is an excellently made film (it opens Friday at the Nick). It's sort of Angela's Ashes Part II and is set in Liverpool in the late 1930s. I liked Hearts in Atlantis, the Anthony Hopkins/Stephen King film. It's a bit contrived and manipulative, but diverting. Greenfingers is another Full Monty-type film: convicts grow plants and enter a gardening contest and who cares? Our Lady of the Assassins is dark, violent and set in Colombia's drug capital, Medellin. You could get serious about it and say it's like Orpheus visiting Hades, or Bladerunner II. It's well made and extra violent. Training Day is also a violent film. It's Denzel meets Bad Lieutenant. Hollywood plot writers won out over good filmmakers on this one, but it's still well worth seeing. The World Trade Center isn't in it, because it's set in L.A., but you still keep thinking about it. I also saw Jackpot, but you shouldn't.

THOSE BILL BROOKS AD ZINGERS. Bill Brooks of Brooks Properties is the guy who took out two ads in the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Sept 26-27) urging advertisers not to do business with the Metro Santa Cruz. More than that, he urged readers to not read the paper and also urged drivers to "blast their horns" when driving by the Metro Santa Cruz office. All of this because I called Bush the dumbest president in the history of the United States. I found his office at the Gateway Business Center right there at Highway 9 by the new River Street Sign. He wasn't in, but he called me. His first words were "No hard feelings; we're just having fun." As if that wasn't wussy enough, he went on to say that he and Jim Pepper and Paul Niebanck were all former bursars up at UCSC. Brooks is a "small in-fill developer," he says. He's working on putting up 55 rental units on Soquel where the Outback Restaurant tried to develop. Brooks is also working with New Leaf Market to build something up at Scotts Valley Skypark after "George Ow and Swenson sort of bailed out." Brooks did those townhouses behind the Casablanca Restaurant. I asked him if he could name a dumber president than Bush; he thought a while and said Bush may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but finally named Nixon. We disagreed on that, too. Another odd thing is that Brooks Properties did advertise in last week's Metro Santa Cruz, not that it matters much.

SECRET NEWS. As you must know by now Molly Ivins is coming here on Nov. 9, and you should get tickets right away by calling 420.5260 or stopping by the Santa Cruz Civic Box Office or going online as www.santacruzcivic.com. But the really big news is that Ivins was born in Monterey, and I didn't know that. Also, Ivins and Keanu Reeves have the same birthday!! That's probably why they're so much alike (just kidding). I got those rattling bits of news from an astrology website that sends me updates every day. It didn't reveal much about Sept. 11 (and where were the psychics on that day anyway?). But look up www.yourastrologysite.com. The site even gives you hourly advice. If you meet Molly when she's here, don't say anything about Keanu; just pretend you don't know anything about it.

FLAG ON THE CIVIC. From what I can tell, it was the fire department that put the flag on the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Many folks are quite annoyed that it appears to be a pro-war/pro-Bush message from our city. They mention that the fire department has their own building to put a flag on. There have been no statements from our city that I've heard.

TODAY'S CUBA. Karen Lee Wald is a journalist, teacher and researcher who lived in Cuba most of her life. She'll be at the Live Oak Grange at 1900 17th Ave., near Capitola Road, Saturday (Oct. 13) at 7pm to talk about Cuba's issues. You can ask her about Cuba's educational system and its environmental problems--and how Elian's doing. And she'll probably have opinions on Castro's recent statements on international terrorism. They'll be showing a short film about how community cooperation helped a small rural town deal with problems. The evening is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the Cuba Study Group of Santa Cruz. Call 425.5231 for information. Donations at the door.

WORTHWHILE EVENTS. Vikram Seth, poet and author, will be at UCSC's Music Recital Hall on Friday (Oct. 12) at 7:30pm; admission is free, so don't miss him. ... Musician, historian, folksinger Mike Seeger is also coming to the Music Recital Hall on Wednesday (Oct. 17) at 8pm. This is a rare opportunity to hear Mike, and you can get tickets at the door; but get there early and save me a seat. ... Karnak, Brazil's wild and inventive band that combines everything from Russian chorus, Tuvan throat-singing and Baroque instruments, will be at the Rio Theatre on Oct. 18 at 8pm. Advance tickets are available at the Book Loft next to the Rio. Of course, you could wait until the next night and pay nearly twice as much to hear them in Berkeley. Call 423.8209 or www.riotheatre.com. ... The Takács Quartet (pronounced sort of "tah kash") will be at that very same Music Recital Hall on Oct. 20 at 8pm. The quartet is from Budapest and has been together for 26 years. The program features Beethoven's String Quartet no. 10, Opus 74, some Benjamin Britten and some Brahms. Call the UCSC ticket office at 459.2159 or try tickets@cats.ucsc.edu.

ATTENTION ARCHITECTS AND CONTRACTORS. The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union is going to renovate the old Movie I & II on Front Street and move in. They are inviting local architects and contractors to help complete the preliminary design and manage the construction and build-out of the 14,000-square-foot space. They want to keep the project local and want to involve as much of the community as possible to complete the project. Contact Donna Zavada, VP of operations, at 425.7708, ext. 222.

IN CLOSING. Well, our babbling Bush has launched the attack, and we and the rest of the world will have to live (or try to survive) after that decision. Thank goodness, there are places we can get some semblance of sense about what's happening in the world. If you have digital cable, go to channel 22 C-SPAN, 23 CBC, or C-SPAN2, 56 CNN or 162 BBC. Those are the only television channels broadcasting anything but Bush propaganda. On the Internet, there are dozens of sources: tompaine.com, alternet.org, stopworldwar3. com, interactivist.net; and for local peace news, there's the Santa Cruz progressive email list at scpel@topica.com. When you've had enough late-breaking world news, it would be a good idea to go to the Santa Cruz Town Clock and sit and take a long look at the Collateral Damage statue. Maybe we should put a new title on it: September 11th , 2001.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9) Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or at 457.5814, ext. 400.

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From the October 10-17, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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