To find a windy day in South San Francisco might not be too tough. The real obstacle, if you want to see the Wind Harp, is finding parking. Surrounded by Genentech buildings during the weekdays this area is busy. For Wind Harp visitors Sunday might be the day to go.
Erected in 1967 by Lucia and Aristides Demetrios the 92 foot metal sculpture stands on top of a hill. If it weren’t for the office buildings surrounding it, one would have a great view of the Bay. Three metal benches invite you to sit and listen to the fog horn like arie.
If you interact with it by let’s say hitting a metal column in a fast pace with a small object, maybe a stone, the sound coming back might remind you of laser guns in Star Wars. This is, of course, information only, not encouragement for you to do this!
My love for large sculptures brings me to the most interesting places.
Have you ever driven by Tripp Road in Woodside and wondered what the general store was all about?
The old general store, post office, and community center constructed in 1854 by Robert Orville Tripp and Mathias Parkhurst is now a California Historical Landmark.
Tripp also was a dentist and winemaker. The store flourished; it was the only general store and stagecoach stop between San Francisco and Santa Clara.
Today, school groups can explore what it was like in a general store. The Woodside store is also open for the general public, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm. I really enjoyed the fact that you can go behind the counters and take a closer look at the packages on display.
The little gift shop in the corner is appropriate – with books from that period and arrowheads. But the best offering are the candy sticks. I have been told that bubble gum is one of the favorite flavors. At 25 cents each they are a true bargain and a welcome souvenir to take away.
The back rooms are a tribute to the lumber industry with large saws on the wall, but also skunk and racoon fur to touch.
As a monument to the engineering of the Hetch Hetchy Project, that brought water 160 miles from the Sierra Nevada to the Bay Area, the Pulgas water temple is a tribute to the ancient architecture of Greece and Romans. The 20 year project finished in October of 1934.
The inscription “I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people.” underlines the importance of drinking water after the 1906 earthquake and the raging wildfires that followed the quake.
I was surprised at how many people were exploring the monument. Some relaxing on the lawn, some horsing around the pool. The reflecting pool, a great backdrop for wedding photography and other photo opportunities was widely used as such.
The water temple is open seven days a week, from 9 am – 4 pm, but on the weekends the parking lot is only available for permitted events.
If you missed the Silicon Valley Open Studios this year, but you are still on the hunt to purchase local art, one place to consider is the Community Art show at PJCC. The Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City currently shows art to purchase by 83 local artists until August 26th, 2018.
On a variety of mediums from metal to paper, jewelry, and sculptures you get a great overview of the local art scene.
Of course you are encouraged to find your own winner of the show.
I enjoyed a light lunch at the cafe and ate outside at the Mark Hamlin Garden. The Grow Justice Mural at the garden facilitated by Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen, has an eerie current relevance, one of the five panels is showing a mother with a child andthe words ‘Human’, ‘Rights’, ‘Stop Profiling’, ‘Immigration Rights’ and ‘Freedom’ on tiles below. Grow Justice is a Jewish commandment to make the world a better place; a goal we should all strive for – no matter what we believe.
If you are Inspired to paint yourself, the PJCC offers classes for young and old.
Just touch with your eyes – as our new favorite saying goes. The creatures living in the tide pools of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, one of the most diverse marine lives areas, are not to be touched. In fact, you should make sure you are not stepping on anything either.
Before you go, check the tides schedule, low tides, one foot or less, are best for viewing.
You can pick up a brochure at the park center guiding you in what you might find. At the same place, they also show a video with examples, have information on Abalone, the geology at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and talk about whale migration.
I was hoping to see an octopus, but these masters of disguise require more patience and a bit of luck I suppose. We did see a hermit crab (no snail can walk that fast!), and a few tiny fish. A group ahead of us spotted a CRAB! I felt happy to watch their sea critter treasure hunt.
For the not so stable walkers, there is a bench overlooking the Cove.
A tip for people coming from the inland – bring a sweater! Temperatures dropped 20 degrees Fahrenheit. We enjoyed a clam chowder at Sam’s Chowder House afterward to warm up again.
I was expecting a lot of beach images and was pleasantly surprised at the broad palette of summer. I will have the water by Michael Granger won us over – a depiction of colorful drinks in a refrigerator.
My son found the multimedia installation Into Being – The River by Diana Hobson and Susan Alexjander quite relaxing. At the time of our visit, we were the sole visitors and could enjoy the relaxing telegenic water images without any distractions.
The third current exhibit is by Richard Gayton: Strangers on the train, a watercolor study of BART riders on his daily commute. Gayton is an excellent observer of moods and this is reflected in his drawings of BART riders.
Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art is a great day trip. Visitor parking can be found adjacent to the museum and admission is free, donations are accepted. I also recommend the little sculpture garden in the museum’s courtyard, a relaxing place.
Touch a shark and get a sticker to proudly proof it. The Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz is one of my favorite places in the Bay Area. Besides petting a shark – a real swell shark that is! – you are also invited by the great volunteers to get your finger wrapped up by sea creatures like anemones, spot a hermit crab or hold a sea star. The aquarium tanks hold shark babies and jellyfish. Did you know that jellyfish needed a round tank to generate the circular flow keeping them suspended in the tank?
If you talk about the wildlife of the Bay you also need to see the exhibit on the sea otter. There is otter fur to touch, which is the softest fur ever.
Shark Science Week is July 22 – 28. 2018 – to get a deeper understanding of sharks.
Sea Otter Awareness Week is September 22 – 30. 2018 – this is an annual event all around the Bay recognizing the importance of the sea otter for the nearshore ecosystem.
The tour that is included in the entrance fee takes you outside the center. It starts off with the history of the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. An important stop is Ms. Blue, the 87 feet long blue whale skeleton that greets every visitor. You are invited to go into her belly, touch some baleen plate, that is used to filter out food and a glass jar of krill to understand how much food is needed for these giants. The tour might end behind the scene of the Joseph M. Long Laboratory. Here our group got to see two dolphins and a seal that are being studied.
In July and August the Seymour Marine Discovery Center is open every day 10 am – 5 pm. Adults admission is $9, senior, children and students are $7. For the free days you need to check the web site. They also participate in the Discover and Go program.
I am always open for free art museums. Burlingame has the Peninsula Museum of Art. Turning right instead of taking the museum entrance you can also check out the artist studios. In some of the studios you can see creativity working, but I did not want to interrupt.
The hallways are used as exhibit space. On two floors you can see everythingfrom paintings to jewelry, over furnishing, millinery and sculptures. These hallways are already a glimpse in the artistic world of the Peninsula.
The museum currently hosts “Art Between the Lines” an exhibit from the San Francisco Chapter of the California Art Club. Until July 8th, 2018, 65 artists show a wide range of mediums: oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel and sculptures.
Another exhibit shows “Seeking Story” by Deborah Rumer, until July 29, 2018. These pieces really touched me. Recycled books that through paint and found objects tell a new story. Each unique piece draws you in and in a snap of a moment your imagination creates a story around the artwork.
The museum is free but has a donation box. Also if you purchase something from the gift shop it helps the museum and the artist.
It’s round, it’s new, it’s a spaceship – well because of its roundness it’s call spaceship – it’s actually a large office building. But you can’t go in, unless you are working for Apple.
To get a peek, of the roof line, drop by the nearby visitor center. Yes, a visitor center to get you closer to the Apple headquarters. And while you’re there it’s also an Apple Store, with a few gift shop items, and a cafe.
From the underground parking lot, steps take you to the cafe entrance. Two large glass doors open perpendicular to let in the breeze and the customers. The cafe only seemed to offer espresso drinks and chocolate. In the next room is the Apple Store. I was surprised to see bags and t-shirts, this merchandize can only be bought at the visitor center.
The last room in the complex hosts the augmented reality model. Geniuses hand out iPads which augment the 3D model and you can swipeoff the roof of the buildings to look inside. The staff also is very cheerful and answers any questions.
The rooftop is the highlight of the center. A serene space that has a view of Apple Park.
If you are looking for nerdy fun, this place should be on the tour. It is open 7 days a week.
Gardening is always the top tip of every happiness blog. If you don’t have the opportunity to work in your own garden you can volunteer at the Forge Garden, which is part of the Santa Clara University. Volunteer hours are Wednesdays 1 pm – 4:30 pm or Fridays 9 am – 11 am, just drop in. You should be prepared to get your cloth dirty, wear sturdy shoes and bring water and sunscreen. The monthly Forge Fridays Cooking in the Garden is designed to bring the community together by harvesting, cooking and eating together. Check out their website on all upcoming events.
They also let you wander around the grounds Monday – Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Check out what’s growing, say ‘hi’ to the chickens, admire the beehives and the aquaponic system. The farm stand is open on Fridays between 11:30 and 1:30.
If you like to learn more about gardening you can attend one of their workshops. Up front you can find a book and seed exchange.