A festive wonderland has returned to the Santa Cruz beach this winter, Boardwalk Holiday Ice is underway.
If winter ice skating by the beach seems bizarre to some, how about summer ice skating? Now there's a real contradiction in terms! But it happened twenty-three years ago and in a very big way.
On a recent Saturday morning, I lingered over some fresh-brewed coffee at Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz. The Cooper Street gathering spot was dedicated to Chuck and Esther Abbott in 1972 and revitalized as trendy Abbott Square Market in 2016. The Abbott name is well known in Santa Cruz historical circles but the Abbott’s connection with the Boardwalk is not as well known. Who were the Abbotts?
I grew up preparing Boardwalk cuisine. Over the decades I have consumed more than my fair share of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, corn dogs, ice cream and more. Today I'm amazed at the improved quality of old menu standbys and the trendy and innovative items guests enjoy at Boardwalk eateries today – healthier too! As I look back, there was one food item that stood out from the rest – and has not been replicated. Read on to find out what it is!
October is American Archives Month! On #AskAnArchivist Day we asked the public for questions about our history and archives. We’ve been answering your questions on social media and today Boardwalk Archivist Jessie Durant is guest blogging on Never a Dull Moment to answer a few more...
The Boardwalk has attracted Hollywood for decades. There's a long list of movies, music videos, TV shows and commercials that have used the Boardwalk as a backdrop in various ways.
One movie production stands out to me as the most unique by far. It included Academy Award and Tony Award winning actors, period set requirements, a unique collection of extras for background shots, and an admired original musical score. It was an NBC made-for-TV project, nominated for 5-primetime Emmy Awards, airing once on American television to decent critical reviews. As far as I know, there were theatrical releases in Britain and Australia, but none of consequence in the United States.
Read on to see what film I'm referring to...
On a warm day, the seat upholstery could be hot, too warm to initially sit comfortably. I would reach over the boat’s side and try to touch the tranquil cool water. Beach and Boardwalk noises were muffled by the distance. I began acclimating to a special realm of summertime beach fun. Then, with a big Italian grin on his weathered face, Stago piloted the vessel out to the mile buoy at full speed in a wide arc. Who else can remember the wind in their hair as they raced through the Bay on a speedboat ride?
Today, many Boardwalk guests venture inside the Neptune’s Kingdom Fun Center. But there's an older generation of Boardwalk visitors who, upon looking up at the eight blue ceiling girders, can recall fond memories of swimming at the beach - inside the Plunge.
Next time you visit the Boardwalk, stop below the west tower of the Sky Glider ride and facing the bumper cars picture a giant clown’s mouth. That’s where the portal into our iconic Fun House once stood. For many of us, the Fun House brings back happy memories of long hours of uninhibited play and frolic amid its attractions.
The Wild Mouse was a memorable Boardwalk ride experience from 1958 to 1975. It tickles me that whenever we host groups for a Boardwalk tour, memories of this ride abound. People still recall the emotional impact, usually after experiencing just one ride, many decades ago. It always amazes me that folks still have such vivid memories of riding "The Mouse" when it has been gone for more than 40 years!