Student Lookout: Hang out at the Watsonville Hangar and the return of the Santa Cruz County Fair

What’s happening, folks,

I hope the second half of the summer has treated you well, and that the looming start dates — Aug. 29 for Cabrillo College and Sept. 22 for UC Santa Cruz — aren’t giving you the summer equivalent of the Sunday scaries. If you’ve been in Santa Cruz or back home with few friends to keep you company, though, you might just be ready to get back into the swing of things.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided that I’ll finally be going to Pinnacles National Park for a day or two on my trip next week, and following it up with a day in San Francisco for my girlfriend’s 24th birthday.

It’s been forever (a whole pandemic’s worth of time) since I’ve gone to a national park, so I can’t wait! I’ll take pictures just for you, friends.

Well then, let’s get started …

If you are a student and haven’t signed up for your FREE Lookout Membership yet, enter your phone number below to register. Not only will you get unlimited access to all of Lookout, but you’ll also receive Student Lookout text alerts every Friday with exclusive deals, local recommendations, puzzles and more. So what are you waiting for?

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Check out some Santa Cruz student discounts.

Don’t forget to have your student ID to get the discount.

Note: Many places — especially downtown — offer student discounts; try asking at any store and you just might get 10% off!

What’s the best student deal you’ve found? Shoot us an email to let us know at [email protected].

➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.

Eats on a Budget roundup

Here we go again with a recap of some of my previously recommended cheap(er) eats. I’m sure I’ve missed some good spots, and that’s where you come in! Always feel free to shoot me any of your own recommendations.

Tacos El Chuy: If you’re in Santa Cruz and, more specifically, are enjoying a beer at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, you have probably seen the striking magenta hues of Tacos El Chuy parked just a few feet away. If not, keep an eye out and get some food there the next time you come across it. Featuring everything from tortas to street tacos to quesabirria, Tacos El Chuy will satisfy your Mexican street food needs.

Poke House: Poke House on Pacific Avenue near the clock tower has customizable bowls with several fish, veggie, sauce and topping options, all for around $10. Keep in mind that the small size is quite filling and should be enough for a full meal. You’ll probably have enough left over to stick in your fridge for a later time. But hey, if you’re up for a second meal, try to tackle those larger sizes and save yourself a bowl of leftovers. Remember: Students get 10% off!

Zachary’s: Craving a tasty, savory breakfast for a low price? Head to Zachary’s on lower Pacific Avenue, right next to Subway and among a few smoke shops. This breakfast staple has been serving up substantial portions in Santa Cruz since 1985. The basic breakfast with eggs, home fries, toast and your choice of meat is a classic, as is the corned beef hash — and to top it off, they’re great hangover remedies. There are veggie options and sweet options, too, for those looking for something different. Many of the menu items have smaller sizes as well, meaning you can get those for cheaper and still get a lot of food. Bring your friends and split the bill to pay in the neighborhood of $10-$15 each.

Check out all my eats-on-a-budget recs here.

Your must-do Santa Cruz summer adventure: Watsonville Hangar

Recommended by Lookout intern and local student Maren Detlefs

Watsonville residents Ashley Malone and Travis Nelson opened Honeylux in the Watsonville Hangar in October 2021.

Watsonville residents Ashley Malone and Travis Nelson opened Honeylux in the Watsonville Hangar in October 2021.

(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Once an auxiliary U.S. Navy air station, the Hangar in Watsonville is now a growing hub of businesses. With restaurants, coffee, the Beer Mule taproom and Mr. Z’s Crepes and Teas — for boba and more — the Hangar is the up-and-coming place to be, with new businesses arriving all the time. One of the coolest parts of the Hangar experience is that a lot of the old architecture is still in place. There are several old shipping containers that have been incorporated into the design of the center, and plenty of picnic tables and fire pits to relax at while you’re there.

The complex is located across the street from the Watsonville airport, giving you a view of the planes taking off and landing. Given the small size of the airport, you don’t have to worry about it being loud or distracting, though. The Hangar is a fun place to go with a group of friends as you explore the new businesses and take in the ambiance.

The berry tea latte at Honeylux in Watsonville is a strawberries-and-cream cooler that's worth seeking out.

The berry tea latte at Honeylux in Watsonville is a strawberries-and-cream cooler that’s worth seeking out.

(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

***Make sure to try the berry tea latte at Honeylux Coffee — at $6.25, it’s a bit pricey, but so delicious, unique and worth it!

Puzzle Center

Learn about the ocean in this mini crossword puzzle.

Puzzle created Maren Detlefs

Around Town – Events

Did you know that we have an events calendar? BOLO, which stands for Be On the Lookout, is our hub for the best events in the county. See all the listings here.

click to go to our events calendar

Here are events this week and beyond we think students need to know about:

Friday, 5-8:30 p.m.
Midtown Friday
If you haven’t been to an installment of Midtown Friday yet, it’s kind of similar to one of the makers markets except a little more festive. Join this recurring summer block party to enjoy local food vendors, artists and live music every Friday through Sept. 30. You might even see some Lookout folks tabling there, so say hi if you do!

Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 p.m.
Decent Criminal and Agent Orange at Moe’s Alley
Punk rock fans, take note! Head over to Moe’s Alley for the Santa Cruz stop on Decent Criminal and Agent Orange’s latest tour. Agent Orange, one of the first West Coast punk bands to blend surf rock melodies with classic punk chaos, has been at it for decades and shows no sign of slowing down. The band doesn’t release much new music anymore, but that doesn’t mean it can’t put on a wild show. Go check this out and enjoy the pit!

Sunday, Aug. 21, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market
It’s about that time for another monthly makers market. As a reminder, these take place every third Sunday and provide a great opportunity to support local, independently owned businesses. The stands that make up the market display a wide range of locally crafted goods from art and jewelry to local ingredients. Check out the full list of participating vendors here.

Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 14 – 18, noon – 10 p.m.
Santa Cruz County Fair
The county fair is back once again and, as usual, there is plenty to do. Taking place over five days in mid-September, there will be a carnival, circus acts, livestock, magic and comedy, camel rides, horse racing and much more. There’s something for everyone at the fair, even if you only spend a little bit of time there. Head down to this South County classic.

➤ Want more? If you’re still looking for great things to do, check out Wallace Baine’s Weekender here.

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More local jobs: Browse more open positions on the Lookout Job Board.

What to listen to this summer

Spill Tab

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It’s been only about a year since Spill Tab’s music caught my attention, but she has since become one of my favorite current artists. With tunes that range from drifting indie jams to traditional alternative rock and even some lo-fi, hip-hop-influenced songs, Spill Tab exhibits an impressive range of styles and a soothing, distinctive voice. She came to The Catalyst back in March, so naturally, I went. She sounds great live, and performed a slow, brooding cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” accompanied only by an electric guitar. What more could you want?
Favorite album/EP: “Oatmilk”
Favorite songs: “Calvaire,” “Pistolwhip,” “Splinter,” “Velcro,” “Uneasy”



A Bay Area rapper with some serious Southern influence, Ramirez deftly blends a chill West Coast flow with hard-hitting, bass-heavy Southern rap beats reminiscent of Three 6 Mafia and frequent collaborators $uicideboy$. His studio music is great, but you should absolutely take the opportunity to see him live, if at all possible. The times that I’ve seen him left me more than satisfied, as he comes to the stage and raps for an hour plus without stopping. No gimmicks, no time wasted, just music.
Favorite album/EP: “Son Of Serpentine”
Favorite songs: “The Finer Things,” “Horns and Halos,” “P.O.P,” “Never Switched,” “The Fo Five”

Tom the Mail Man


Equal parts rap, indie and R&B, Tom the Mail Man can just about do it all. Though he has only a few full-length albums in his discography, he’s already garnered quite a lot of attention and over 1 million monthly Spotify listeners. His albums can feel a little disjointed at times, with styles changing drastically from one song to the next, but that one “flaw” pales in comparison to the musical talent on display. This is a guy who has at least a few songs that you’ll like, no matter what your usual favorite genre is.
Favorite album/EP: “Sunset Visionary, Vol. 1”
Favorite songs: “Come Over,” “My Storm,” “Traveling Alone”

What to stream to this summer

“Drive My Car,” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (HBO Max)

drive my car

This year’s Academy Award winner for Best International Feature Film, the Japanese existential drama struck a chord with me — and just about everyone else I know who saw it. The film follows a well-known theater director struggling with the unexpected death of his wife while trying to direct a multilingual production of the play “Uncle Vanya.”

There is a lot more going on here than just that, but trying to describe anything more would be a disservice to the storytelling. The meditation on grief, guilt and acceptance will likely hit home for all viewers, which is exactly what the movie strives for. It tells us that these experiences — no matter how painful — are universal, and we must face our past to truly move forward.

Don’t let its three-hour runtime fool you: I saw this in theaters and probably could have watched another hour of it.

“Raw,” directed by Julia Ducournau (Netflix)


Now this is one nasty film. Directed by the immensely talented Julia Ducournau, “Raw” is New French Extremity at its finest. The movie follows a young vegetarian’s first year at veterinary school, where she is hazed and forced to eat meat, which results in her actually liking it. A little too much, actually.

I cannot stress enough how cautious you should be with this if you’re even the slightest bit squeamish. The copious gore and otherwise shockingly graphic content involving animals, internal organs, and sexual acts are enough to make the biggest body horror fanatic to wince in discomfort. Still, it’s quite a ride if you can stick with it, and features a very memorable final act. Not to mention the themes of human sexuality and coming of age make the film a much more thought-provoking watch than the shock factor might suggest.

Ducournau is one of my favorite up-and-coming directors. Having released a similarly disturbing and surprisingly poignant film titled “Titane” less than a year ago, she has already established herself as one of the most original and provocative voices in global cinema.

“Titane” isn’t on any streaming service without tons of ads just yet, but once it comes out on video, I’ll be buying a Blu-ray right away. That should tell you the whole story.

“After,” directed by Jenny Gage (Netflix)


This is actually a three-film recommendation, as its sequels “After We Collided” and “After We Fell” are on Netflix as well.

Now that that’s out of the way, I wish I could tell you how absolutely godawful all three of these movies are, but nothing I say can fully relay the garbage on display here. In fact, they might be my favorite “bad” movies ever.

Remember those “50 Shades of Grey” movies with Dakota Johnson? Take those, make them even worse, and make 15-year-olds the target audience. If that sounds bad, it’s because it really, really is. The first film is basically just a poorly edited hour-and-40-minute montage of a TikTok e-boy manipulator doing his best to corrupt a girl whose only real personality trait is “books.” And it works! Unbelievable.

Still, “After We Collided” is undoubtedly the worst. It’s hard to get through even though you’re totally hate-watching. That said, I’ve endured all three thus far, and will be seeing this series through to the end. Pray for me.

One last thing …

Did you know that banana slugs have no natural predators? This is due to the anesthetic in their slime which numbs the tongue or nose of any hopeful and hungry predators. Their slime can also cause the mouths of animals to stick shut while the banana slug slips away. Banana slugs are mainly killed by bike tires and feet. … Be careful where you step!

For the last 121 years, Sempervirens Fund has worked to establish and expand public parks so that all people have access

Well, next time I talk to all of you, school will be back in action. That means you’ll be hearing from me every week once again. Yay, more work for me!

Just kidding, we’re gonna have fun with this all throughout the year. Enjoy the last days of summer, and I’ll talk to y’all down the road.

— Max

If you have recommendations on places we should feature next week, send them over and we’ll send you a free Lookout T-shirt. Email your ideas to [email protected].

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