Archive for January 12th, 2015
Police And Painters Amid The Santa Cruz Bargain Hunters

Just when you think people’s wallets are empty from the festive period along come the sales and they squeeze a little more to pick up a good offer. Santa Cruz always has big reductions in the January sales and it was buzzing for my latest visit.

Street entertainers were drafted in to ease the open purse surgery but the marching bands and jugglers were second fiddle to the search for a bargain. I had sussed out my target, a little pocket camera, early on and was free to roam. Half way down Calle Castillo I was drawn away from the shopping frenzy by the new look Circulo de Bellas Artes exhibition hall. I had been to various presentations there before and found it a little tired and run down but a gleaming welcome awaited me for the Mercadillo del Arte with local artists displaying and hoping to sell their paintings and sculptures. The building has been opened up into a brightly lit two floor display area and was packed with good works. I enjoyed a look around and recognized a few artists names from other exhibitions, the stone handbag seemed very appropriate during the sales season.

The port was calling me, the Santa Cruz Policia Local are celebrating their 175th anniversary and had an open day on the large promenade above the ferry station. There were so many police around I couldn’t help thinking the men with masks and stripey pullovers might be helping themselves all across the capital. I don’t think turning on the charm comes naturally to our police but they were doing a grand job helping youngsters on and off the motorbikes and putting some through their road safety paces on cycles over a short circuit – the spirit of Tufty lives on.

Although the BMW bikes were the main attraction for most blokes visiting, the dogs of the Unipol team were getting plenty of patting and petting. On the day of the exhibition the Policia Local announced plans to add around 20 more recruits to their strength this year. I saw a few people wince when they saw the traffic cameras displayed in all their glory, I’m sure a few were frantically trying to locate the off switch for future use. There will be other events popping up all over Santa Cruz to continue the years celebration, it was a good way to temporarily break down a few barriers and the female officers ensured my interest never wavered.