Local coach Bob Kittle is both a fixture and good omen in Santa Cruz baseball. He nabbed the position of head coach at Cabrillo College after a 13-year stint at Santa Cruz High School, where he passed 47 players—12 of whom carried Division I scholarships—on to four-year schools. After seven Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title wins and a community effort that saw Bill Dodge Field built, he now guides college players toward burgeoning baseball careers. He prefers to focus on the willpower behind the sport, telling the Santa Cruz Sentinel that "winning and success will take care of itself" when his students are devoted.
Bob runs the Santa Cruz Baseball School as a year-round venue for players to hone their on-the-field skills. Through the nonprofit organization, he coaches kids with private lessons, high-school leagues, and recruiting tips to impress colleges, such as how to tell the difference between a diamond and a parallelogram. The school's summer camps engage 7- to 14-year-olds with game-play drills and speed-boosting techniques. Past instructors include Neil Walton of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Lauren Gagnier of the Detroit Tigers.
"The Nick" showcases alternative, foreign, and art-house films in a theater steeped in the stylings of Hollywood. Beyond the elegant marquee lights, in a smoothly styled lobby, the walls are accented with stained-glass detailing comedy and tragedy masks. The retro chic movie house boasts two intimate and two large screens, which will soon play host to a bevy of upcoming shows. Current features include Academy Award nominees Black Swan, Another Year, The Illusionist, and Biutiful, the story of a crime boss who is diagnosed with a serious illness which forces him to reconcile his good intentions with his lawless lifestyle.
When Forest Roberts was 9 years old, he built a boat in his backyard with money saved from his paper route. Since 1989, Roberts has participated more officially in the maritime industry, working water-related jobs from commercial diving to boat building—and often living aboard boats—before opening his sailing-charter company in 2006. Today, California Classic Sail operates from Santa Cruz on the shores of Monterey Bay, earning praises from previous passengers and a Santa Cruz Sentinel feature story.
Roberts’s background in the building industry helped him recognize the superb craftsmanship in his current yacht, Sarah. The builder, William Garvie—who named the vessel after his granddaughter—constructed the 52-foot-long boat based on a line drawing published in an early 20th-century yachting-magazine spread. Made of wood instead of the fiberglass many modern boats are made of, its vintage style and wood hull set it apart from other Santa Cruz charter vessels. Dubbed a “Sharpie” for its long, narrow shape, rather than an ability to leave permanent wakes, the graceful yacht zips through the bay waters on chartered trips for groups of up to six. Passengers can relax onboard as Roberts steers, or choose to learn basic sailing maneuvers through hands-on instruction. Roberts can also tailor trips to special occasions such as engagements and birthdays, and can sail during many times of day, including more-scenic mornings and sunsets.
A member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, Rick Kepler imparts hard-won racket tactics to help players of all abilities improve their game. Receive Kepler’s sage serve, volley, and groundstroke wisdom in a one-person private lesson, or opt to learn alongside a fellow athlete in a two-person tutorial. Beginners can learn the basic low-to-high groundstroke mechanics, and more advanced acers may dedicate a constructive hour to topspin lobs, pinpoint passing shots, serve-and-volley strategy, or how to hypnotize ball boys. Situated south of Santa Cruz, Seascape Sports Club’s tennis complex boasts 12 regulation tennis courts, including a clay court, seven lighted courts, and a stadium center court.
Guided by the wand of maestro John Larry Granger, the Santa Cruz County Symphony tickles concert connoisseurs’ eardrums with classical performances at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Before each of five distinct Classic Evenings performances, audiences get to witness the symphony’s customary warm-ups, wherein musicians tweak instrument tones while taking windsprints through auditorium aisles. This season’s offerings include an evening of classic pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky as well as a concert dedicated to the poetic songs of Nielsen, Mendelssohn, and Vaughan Williams. Season tickets situate guests in the premium dress-circle seating area, allowing for both optimal views of masterful musicians and just enough distance in case a percussionist accidentally smashes a melon. Groupon customers who would like to receive tickets by mail should call by Friday, September 23, and those who want to pick up tickets at will-call should call by Thursday, September 29. The 2011–12 season marks the end of a 20-year career for maestro Granger, though he will advise the orchestra in picking his successor through a cutthroat Connect Four battle. Since 1958, the Santa Cruz County Symphony has delighted audiences with elegant arrangements, and it has worked to broaden the horizons of local elementary students with regular outreach programs.
Jump on a treadmill, tune out, go home. Repeat. This is exactly the type of workout rut the founders of CrossFit Watsonville were hoping to break free of when they opened this results-focused gym––the first CrossFit facility of its kind in Watsonville. Here, intensity is the key to a successful workout, and the encouraging trainers motivate guests to push past their personal limits each day, whether that means lifting five pounds or carrying five tired classmates to the water fountain. Using a workout system originally developed for military training drills, the trainers lead ever-changing routines that are scalable to any fitness level and can include tasks such as burpees, push-ups, squats, and sled pulls. Best of all, the gym offers more than 25 classes per week so members can drop by for a plateau-blasting workout whenever their schedule allows.
In the main room of Surf City Billiards & Cafe, sun pours through skylights in the 22-foot vaulted ceilings, illuminated 15 Brunswick Gold Crown tables covered in pro-standard Simonis cloth. Darts and a shuffleboard table provide additional opportunities for competition, whereas eight big-screen TVs let fans cheer for their favorite commercials between interruptions by men throwing balls. The hall's full bar keeps spirits high with local wine and beer, and a bustling kitchen turns out gourmet takes on traditional bar food. Applewood-smoked bacon gives third-pound Angus-beef patties a porcine kick, and the Surf City dog adorns a quarter-pound 100% beef frank with zesty chipotle mayo.
The billiards hall was named one of the Top 10 New Pool Halls in America in 2008.
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