Marianne’s Ice Cream: Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz is a special little place. It’s not San Francisco, nor is it San Jose, but it’s somewhere in the vicinity of both and begins with the same three letters. Which really isn’t a big deal in California, but that’s beside the point. My friend who showed me around Santa Cruz perhaps abruptly, awkwardly, and maybe not so politically correctly, told me that Santa Cruz is San Francisco’s lesbian little sister. Of course he was being quite literal, with the lesbian population in Santa Cruz a bit more dense than most cities (according to him), but on a not-so-literal note, Santa Cruz does share in many of San Francisco’s attractive features: coffee shops galore, book shops, hippie shops, hippies, homeless people, homeless hippies, flower-headband-wearing college girls, and so on and so forth.

(Side note: if anyone can tell me why the homeless people in Santa Cruz and San Francisco are so much ruder than the homeless people in New York City, I’d like to know. I mean, it’s freaking freezing in New York City half of the year and everything costs you double what it should AND a limb, and yet I’ve found the New York City homeless to be much more appreciative and less abrasive. Thoughts anyone?)

The above side note, and things of the like, are what I contemplated while looking over Santa Cruz from Top of The World–a spot you must visit; particularly on gray Harry Potter-ish days. But I tucked my contemplations away and suspended all cerebral ailments in order to fairly taste-test the ice cream at Marianne’s Ice Cream shop. Literally. They let you taste the ice cream on a stick here and if you want to be green (and decadent) about it, they’ll put a different sample on each end of the stick for you. (Please. Hold all ‘that’s what she said’ jokes for personal conversations. This is a professional piece of writing, people).

The friendly lady working at Marianne’s encouraged me to try their 10-20 flavor. Probably because it was a little bit of everything, including Oreos, in one. Which is exactly what I needed to eat the night before a music video shoot, by the way. But oh my god, was it ever worth it. I’m a bit of an ice cream connoisseur, and let me just say: this ice cream melting in my mouth just beyond wallpaper depicting dancing dairy cows was one of the most ironic, delicious moments of my recent California trip. With that said, go to Marianne’s. And if the homeless people tell YOU they don’t want your food, only your money, tell them prohibition is back and crackers are the new Jack Daniels. Ok. I’m bitter.

By: Elizabeth Seward

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6 thoughts on “Marianne’s Ice Cream: Santa Cruz, California

  1. Which ten-to-twenty flavors?

    Also, I’ve met a few rude homeless in NYC too. But they were funny-rude. Like the guy with a shopping cart, ramming it into everything & everybody screaming “all democrats are the devil.” I was a bit humored.

  2. PS.. there’s a hole-in-the-wall out by Old Man’s Cave that has 40 soft serve flavors. Just thought you should know. But the bastards won’t let you get a smorgasbord of flavors.

  3. I was born in SC and raised here. The reason why the homeless people are so rude is because they’re not really hungry, they just want your money, and they’re not locals. Often times they ride their bikes in from other places and beg for change because they think they ‘fit in’ in SC cause they’re hippies. The truth is, the actual locals aren’t hippies at all, it’s the weirdos from other places that make downtown the way it is. As far as lesbians go…. they’re not locals either. It’s just that SC is so weird they feel accepted there. Finally, Marianne’s ice cream rocks! It’s the most nostalgic place there besides the Giant Dipper at the BW….. and the Cooper House that fell down in the ’89 earthquake. The new owners better not change a thing about Marianne’s! Oh ya and don’t let the youth downtown fool you. They’re usually from a rich yuppy family faking that they have it rough, cause everyone wants a piece of the weirdness of SC. Keep Santa Cruz weird!!

  4. Thanks for the input, Elle. I’ve heard the homeless on that part of the coast are mostly travelers. I have no problems with the homeless–just the bad attitudes toward receiving help in the form of food…

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