Exercise your auditory sense

Exercise your auditory sense

Now hear this! is the name of the new outdoor exhibit at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.

Subtitled: an exercise in listening, you might be able to guess that these artists composed an interesting experience for you consisting of 5 installations.

Seats at the Lilian Fountain Garden Theatre in Montalvo, SaratogaFor example Stephen Vitiello’s Taking Sound Cues From The Wind plays on the hour and on the half hour from 10 am – 4:30 pm at the Lilian Fountain Garden Theatre. A sonic response to the 1925 play Wings by Joseph S. Thompson. I could sometimes not tell if the rustling of the leaves came from the speakers or just that the wind was moving  the leaves next to me. For a while I watched a dragonfly dancing to the music, her abrupt turns fitting the rhythm. I did enjoy this piece and the surrounding distractions.

On the same note Soundings are two audio tours created by Detour, an audio tour guide app. Tours involve new artists and their music while exploring the grounds of the Arts Center.

I took the first audio tour and it starts with an introduction at the box office and guides you down the path through the blue garden. The first composer Theresa Wong shares her experience in Venice, Italy under a trellis. Beautiful and minimalistic: Venice is a Fish.

Next you walk up the path and stop on the next bench to listen to Wayne Horvitz sharing his composition: 55 music and dance in concrete, part 1.

Carmina Escobar’s music can be enjoyed on a bench under the ginkgo tree.

Nina Young ends this interactive walk at the Belvedere with Temenos – an arrangement about architecture and music.Belvedere at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga

It was a surreal experience listening to these unusual compositions outside in a park combining  the calming visuals of greenery with experimental sounds and with the chatter of summer campers.

How will you sharpen your hearing sense?

 

Now hear this! and Soundings

Monday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Ends October 22nd, 2017

 

Scream for ice cream

Scream for ice cream

Apparently last Sunday (7/16/17) was National Ice Cream Day. Did you celebrate?

I didn’t either, but there is nothing wrong with being late to the party. Except for the free scoops you might have scored at some ice cream chains. So keep the third Sunday of July marked for next year.

 

It's it ice cream merchandise at the factory store in BurlingameThe most traditional ice cream in the area is It’s-it. A special ice cream sandwich were the ice cream is between two oatmeal cookies and then dipped in chocolate. It was created in 1928 at Playland At The Beach, San Francisco’s now gone seaside amusement park.

 

 

For all die-hard fans of the treat I recommend going directly to the factory store:It's it ice cream sandwich at the factory store in Burlingame

865 Burlway Road, Burlingame, CA

It is open Monday – Friday from 10 am – 5:30 pm

Here you can pick all your favorite flavors (vanilla, chocolate, mint, strawberry and cappuccino) mix-and-match. You might even score some flavors that are not available in stores (pumpkin or green tea), plus some cool merchandise.

Do you have a favorite flavor?

If it is vanilla July 23rd is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day – Let’s celebrate!

Walk into space exploration

Walk into space exploration

Mountain View is not only a huge part of Silicon Valley, it also has the NASA Ames Research Center. To show off what they are doing to the public there is the free NASA Ames Visitor Center. It is at the main gate of the NASA Research Center and is open Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday noon – 4 pm. Currently they have construction going on and you can only park behind the center.

A replica of the International Space Station at the Ames Research Visitor Center in Mountain ViewIf you ever wanted to see a moonstone or wondered how the researchers work in space (think nerdy tiny house) this is the place for you! There was also a great photo opportunity to pose as a couple of astronauts.

The friendly guy at the counter offered to show any of the movies, e.g. several about Mars, or a tour of the International Space Station, for me since it was slow and no one else was around, but I had to decline because I was pressed for time. Maybe something to come back for?

Have you seen any of the movies at the NASA  Ames Visitor Center?

Garden for all senses

Garden for all senses

Charles Street Gardens SunnyvaleThe Charles Street Gardens in Sunnyvale opens its doors each Tuesday from 11 am – 1 pm. This is not only interesting for the curious gardener like me – always a pleasure to see what and how other people grow vegetables and more – but here the children’s garden is a special treat.

Kids are encouraged to feel, smell and touch the plants in a few raised garden beds.

The chickens that live in the coop next to it are a bonus.

Charles Street Gardens chicken, Sunnyvale
Do you garden with all your senses?
More than just facades

More than just facades

I am constantly surprised about the artwork you find along the bay. There is the wind walk in San Mateo, Bixbee Park with it’s posts in Palo Alto. But have you ever been to Alviso? Alviso, now part of San Jose, can be found at the southernmost point of the San Francisco Bay.

 

Alviso Marina County Park in San JoseThe Alviso Marina County Park stands out with it’s facade like structures framing the boardwalks that let you oversee the slough. Here you can take a breath of salty air, or look for some rare birds. Some boardwalks have benches, and it feels very peaceful. 

 

This park is also a gateway to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail.