Last Tuesday I presented ‘Unexpected things to do in San Mateo County’ in the Menlo Park library. I forgot to mention there that one unexpected things to do in San Mateo County is to go to your local library and attend an event.
There were about 16 attendees. I was very grateful for the knowledgeable audience. We had a wonderful exchange about all the interesting things to do in San Mateo County. From the notetaking I gathered that I also gave great suggestions. As soon as I have 50 things to do in San Mateo County I will publish this on my 50 things to do page and update this post.
Last month was all about storytelling at the library. The December event list includes ‘A Visit with Rosa Parks’ and ‘The American Advertising Calendar Plate’. They also offer regular scheduled programs like knitting and board game meetups.
Event coordinator John Weaver does an excellent job keeping the events diverse and engaging. Thank you John for inviting me!
Another ‘Thank you’ goes out to my husband for helping me with great suggestions and taking the photos. And to Sharon, who by the way, reads and edits every post, and has always great advice. Both coached me through this presentation.
Last weekend we tried to escape the smoke by going to Pacifica. Of course everywhere in the Bay Area the air was considered unhealthy to hazardous. My heart goes out to the people in Paradise and the neighboring cities who have lost everything! For us the ocean was a relief. Some salty air, waves crashing.
I also was glad that we took the steep road to the Shelldance Orchid Gardens. Only open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm. When you enter you will be transported into a different world. I was reminded of the Botanical Garden in Berlin where the tropical plants are. I started my wandering about in the Northwing and was greeted by Spanish Moss. I found a lot of air plants. Immediately calmed, it was quite a magical moment.
I followed the house cat to her claimed water dish, which also was a ikebana arrangement from last week’s class. They have a beautiful reception room for weddings and other parties and of course there are orchids. I was told people even board their orchids here. In the Conservatory you can admire all different kinds of orchids, but if you find a price tag it means it could be yours.
The owners, Nancy Victoria Davis and Michael Rothenberg are both artists. Committed in helping local artists, they offer an exhibit space in the art gallery room. Davis and Rothenberg have created a lovely place for the community to get together.
Sterling Haidt a Los Altos resident is the artist of the current exhibit ‘Abstraction & Connection’ at the Los Altos Hills City Hall. During opening hours you can discover Sterling’s unique view and histechniques used in capturing images. His goal is to evoke a feeling fromthe imagery and the materials used.
I liked his piece called Swirl, a “macrophotograph of transmitted light through marbleized glass”, which has interesting colors and invoked in me a feeling of playful chaos. In Haidt’s words: ”My art is about connection, not cognition.” As a retired eye surgeon turned digital artist, his artwork often include medical images, fonts, or mathematical patterns.
Most of the images are near the common area. Thisfelt odd to me for the smell of food didn’t align with the artwork of flowers. The view on the other hand, a window looking out on some redwoods, re-connects the visitor with nature.
On November 30th, 2018, from 10 am – 12 pm, you can glimpse behind the scene into Sterling Haidt’s inspiration. This event is free and open to the public.
If you are interested in digital modern art, you should consider this event.
I don’t usually recommend that you go shopping. Unless it’s something with a cause. Doing good while shopping helps everyone. In this case you can snatch a deal on plants in Central Park in San Mateo. The San Mateo Arboretum Society open their doors on Tuesdays, Thursdays 10 am – 2 pm and Sundays 10 am – noon. Starting December 4th, 2018 their winter hours are 10 am – 12 pm.
They have scrubs and flowers and a whole lot of succulents. Most succulents come in an interesting pot.
The real beauties are the orchids. They are in the back conservatory. All of the plants are fair priced and help the Arboretum Society to protect and maintain the horticultural heritage of San Mateo.
Thanks to these gardeners the Central Park is in splendid shape. They made it their mission to educate the community about sustainable gardening, while creating and maintaining demonstration gardens in Central Park. At their opening hours, between 11:30 am and 1 pm, you can talk to a Master Gardener for advice on your plants.
You can also improve your gardening skills by taking a class. The next classes are a wreath making workshop (December 2, 2018) and a rose pruning symposium (January 6, 2019). Please check the SMAS website for more information.
As an extra bonus I enjoyed their fairy garden. A bonsai, some succulents and other plants arranged with whimsical creatures.
I don’t know if you are called Palo Altonien if you live in Palo Alto. So forgive my word creation and listen to the laudation.
I have been hinted at multiple times that, especially in the Bay Area, water is life. Some nicely decorated water towers, Libby ‘s in Sunnyvale and Campbell’s come to mind, proof that people around here worship water.
I’d like to add the historic Palo Alto water tower and well to this reign. The foresight the early inhabitants showed for the preciousness of this element makes them admirable. In 1896 Palo Alto was one of the first cities in the nation to operate its own water utilities. In fact, Palo Alto is the only city in California to own and operate its own utility services.
Erected in 1910, it took $2000 to purchase the land the tower is built on, and almost $10,000 to build. This well-insured the citizens of North Palo Alto a reliable source of water and was also used for fire protection for the many wooden structures around.
Not only the tower but the garden surrounding it is a tribute to water. The drought-tolerant plants are arranged in a flowing water theme.
These days it looks abandoned. The only article I found was from the Palo Alto Online in 1995 which states that Tom Taylor was proposing to buy and convert the tower as a living space for him and his family. This obviously didn’t happen.
Do you know of any plans for the Palo Alto water tower?