New Literary Online zine, Phren-Z, had their official launch event last First Friday at the Musuem of Modern Art. Talented, local Santa Cruz writers brought their best work to present to a packed crowd.
Unofficial downtown Halloween parade drew an estimated 15,000 to Pacific Avenue. Police report 50 arrests and 49 triple-fine municipal code violations. Fines for open alcohol containers and public urination exceeded $400.
Santa Cruz residents walk past them on Pacific Avenue everyday, but rarely do we see them for their talent. Street musicians. From guitar, to mandolin, to drums, to flutes, performers are doing what they love.
You’d hardly know him.
He wears a tan floppy hat, thin wire glasses, an ordinary grey sweatshirt with an Easter yellow collar peeking though, faded jeans, and dirty grey shoes. The pink plastic flowers adorning his feet are the only visible clues to his identity.
The hunt for Robert Steffen, one of Pacific Avenue’s unique and regular characters, was no simple task. It took three days and the entrusting of a personal phone number with a homeless man. But when Steffen finally returned the call, there was certain excitement and urgency in his voice.
More commonly known as “The Pink Umbrella Man” or simply “The Pink Man,” Steffen has abandoned his family life as a NASA electrical engineer only to wind up a homeless Santa Cruzan spending his days shuffling endlessly around, and left, ultimately, alone.