Used to be Santa Cruz County was just an off-the-beaten-path sleepy beach town.
A funky gulag located somewhere along the archipelago of other, way-more respectable destinations stretching south from San Francisco towards the hallowed fairways and classy clambakes of Pebble Beach and Carmel (where the grass on the fairways seemed so much greener – as in $$$).
Million dollar properties in Santa Cruz? Not in the old days. We didn’t start getting our first real million dollar-plus market until the very late 1990’s when huge ripples and resonant waves of the internet boom washed up and over the summit in our direction from San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley.
In the mid 60’s before the advent of UCSC – Santa Cruz was over-the-hill in a different way. It had one of the oldest demographics in the state. A rapidly-aging population. Lots of blue collar retirees. Acres of single-wide mobile home parks nestled near spectacular surf spots and vast stretches of the second most prevalent natural element on the face of the planet (next to the oxygen we breath) – silicon.
Of course that was when silicon was still just sand. Something warm and pleasant to crunch between your toes and build imaginary castles with. Before some mysterious auspicious alchemy transformed it into the living embodiment of both poetic-inspiration and the foundation of an entire global economy at the same time.
Think of poet William Blake’s words: “ To see the world in a grain of sand….Hold infinity in the palm of your hand…” and then channel surf in your head to the Apple Computer commercial that was airing frequently last February – the one featuring a young couple in snowbound New England asking the all-knowing voice of their hand-held I Phone Oracle: “ What’s the best way to Santa Cruz California.”
Notice they weren’t echoing the refrain of any old Burt Bacharach song…like… “Do you know the way to San Jose?” Nope. They were singing a very different tune. And to make a short commercial even shorter, the happy couple embarked on a cross-country-montage-odyssey in search of the promised land of the left coast here in sunny Santa Cruz (is there a left-er coast anywhere else?).
Somehow, in the grand scheme of things, all that silicon has come full circle. It washed up on shore. Migrated over to fill up Silicon Valley. Made it big there. And now it is slowly starting to move back this way riding an inexorable, changing tide.
Now that Clint and so many others down Carmel-way (Que Sera Sera Doris) have clearly gone a little bit further around the bend, younger and hipper Santa Cruz is becoming a big league destination. Our little corner of the global village is officially registering on the world’s GPS system. I Phones. I Pads. Macs. Even – PCs – which seem so unPC these days in a Santa Cruz-y/App-y kind of way.
Yep. We are wired into the planet’s brain. Plenty of neural pathways heading in our direction via all those internet homing devices. Entire universes within universes waiting to be discovered in our bountiful grains of sand via those microscopic silicon chips.
Just as an aside – Don’t worry too much about our Keep Santa Cruz Weird lifestyles. People move here precisely because they want both a latitude adjustment and an attitude adjustment. That’s the whole idea – they aren’t in Kansas anymore when they come here. Or in San Jose. This is the home of the Mystery Spot. It’s supposed to be weird.
Or….as we Realtors like to say when we get the opportunity for a perfect seque – Life’s a Beach and then You Buy. It’s easy…all you gotta do is phone home.
So if the world is calling our name – how are we answering? Why don’t we start with a QR Code that can really help dial in the surf, turf and real estate that Santa Cruz is famous for: