Most of the time walking in a city I feel like people should look up more. I mean really up. The old storefronts, birds that huddle together in the same directions on a lamp post, and murals are treats only to be discovered by a slight change of perspective.
All over downtown you can be greeted by dragons, scared by monsters seemingly coming out of the mailbox, or meet a dog casting it’s shadow out of a bench. You will find a lot of whimsical creatures and robots too.
The city provides a map with all 20 stations of the shadow artwork. I walked around to find most of them and soon I was looking down and chasing shadows. The trick is to find the non moving objects in the city scape, like benches, water hydrants and lamp posts. Then Belanger’s art casts a shadow of these objects that transform the original and make us wonder, sometimes giggle, about the unique creatures. With a lot of humor and knowledge of the city Belanger made a valuable contribution to the public art scene.
It’s a great frugal adventure for little kids, too.
Even is you are not a catholic, you might be drawn toward the giant Madonna sculpture in Santa Clara off of the 101. The 32 foot tall shiny sculpture with her arms out and a peaceful look on her face has many admirer who bring her flowers or perch on the nearby bench. The sculpture is part of the Our Lady of Peace parish and was erected in 1982.
The small park that she oversees is a great place to contemplate.
The Stations of the Cross that frame the park I found surprisingly simple. Wooden structures that house white plastered scenes depicting Christ on the day of his crucifixion.
Across from Mary is a sculpture of Pope John Paul II in memory of his visit. He is lifting his arm and it seems like he is waving and smiling at Mary.
They also have a gift shop filled with religious paraphernalia.
Have you ever visited the ‘Birthplace of Silicon Valley”? The HP garage is a national landmark, at 367 Addison Ave, in Palo Alto. Unfortunately it does not offer a public tour.
If you really wonder what it was like to work in the garage you should go visit Stanford’s Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center. On what they call the terrace level, I would refer to as the basement, is a replica of the HP garage and workbench. This replication illustrates the size of the workplace and feels like a homage to the first tech-founders out of Stanford. The chairs and the table inside weren’t part of the garage, but they are a great way to collaborate with fellow students and let your creativity flow, like Hewlett and Packard did back in their days.
Other artifacts in the Engineering Center include Yahoo’s motherboard, the geometric engine chip (necessary to render 3D graphics), the Intel 4004 (the first microprocessor) and NVIDIA’s first GPU (the GeForce 256). All on the first floor.
My personal favorite is the first Google storage server (on the terrace level). The case is made out of Lego’s and it is said that Google’s affinity for primary colors came from the building blocks color scheme.
All these exhibits remind us that Stanford’s engineering department has a longstanding history of enabling successful companies.
You can pick up a copy of the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center self-guided tour at the computer kiosk located at the first floor lobby or in suite 135. One hour tours of the Engineering Quad are offered 3-4 times a week and require reservations (https://visit.stanford.edu/calendar/index.html)
Photographer Eadweard Muybridge got commissioned by Leland Stanford to prove that horses can fly.
To find an answer to the question if horses are, while galloping, have all four legs off the ground, Eadweard Muybridge performed a gait analysis. In 1878 he came up with a construction of 24 cameras that were along a track. He proved that on one instance the horses legs were all aflot.
Muybridge used these images in his zoopraxiscope, an early device for projecting rotating pictures and perfect for the sequential motions captured. The Horse in Motion, also known as Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, is sometimes credited as the first silent movie.
I went to see pictures of Muybridge at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, but to my astonishment, although they have a collection of almost 500 photos, they don’t have a regular display. The only clue for this extraordinary invention and proof is the statue of The Horse in Motion at the Red Barn.
Stanford Equestrian has a plaque to commemorate Muybridge’s role. The tribute acknowledges The horse in motion as the first academic study of Stanford. There is also an information board explaining the history in a bit more detail.