Touch a shark

Touch a shark

I touched a shark and it was swell!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. Jellyfish floating in a tankDid 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.

Inside Ms. BlueThe 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.

Have you ever touched a shark?

 

Off to the races

Off to the races

A beautiful racetrack right by the Bay, Dollar Day Sundays, and some (over 18) gambling excitement. The Golden Gate Fields racetrack Dollar Days, every Sunday until June 10th, 2018, include $1 parking, $1 entry fee, $1 program, $1 mimosas, $1 beer and $1 soda and water.

Betting starts at a minimum of $2.

They welcome newbies and have a booklet to teach you all the important aspects.

Spectator at Golden Gate Fields, BerkeleyThe audience is very eclectic, from college students to families to retired persons. The people-watching is part of the experience. Collections of interesting headwear, the groups gathered around TV screens to follow other races, and the owners and jockeys posing for pictures after the races.

The large amount of smokers surprised me. The place itself felt like a Casino without the one-armed bandits. One can almost smell lost hopes. Tickets on the floor  at Golden Gate Fields, Berkeley

 

But when the race starts and everyone either shouts out the name or the number of the horse they bid on, willing it to run faster, every sad thought is forgotten and you are, at least for these moments, excited in the experience.

Horse  at Golden Gate Fields, BerkeleyWhatever your strategy is for choosing a horse, statistics, names, numbers or looking at the horse prior to the race, there is a lot of luck involved.

Please drink and gamble responsibly.

 

 

Have you ever been to the races?

 

Commemorate black history

Commemorate black history

February is black history month. A good way to educate yourself on an aspect of black history is the current exhibit of the Oakland Museum of California: All power to the people: Black Panthers at 50.

Unity is the solution poster from the Black Panthers at 50 exhibit at the Oakland Museum of CaliforniaUntil February 26th this will show original documents of the panthers, never seen photos, and the cultural component of the movement. 

It was surprising to me that the movement was composed by 2/3 of woman, who also held leadership positions.  In an early draft of their program it showed that they thought about a basic income, which is a much discussed topic all around the world right now.

When I visited on Super Bowl Sunday I hoped to be there pretty much by myself. Due to this highly popular exhibit and the fact that on every first Sunday of the month the entry is free (they ask for donations), I had to wait for about half an hour in line.

Besides the Black Panther exhibit I also saw: Out of the box: The rise of sneaker culture. I never thought that sneakers could be so interesting! The story of Carl Lewis’s shoes or a sole making Obama prints is very cool.

Sign to warn drivers that immigrants might cross, at the Oakland Museum of CaliforniaTo complete my visit I went to see the Gallery of California history exhibit. Very well organized time periods of Californian history. What struck me was the timeliness of their showing of the Mexican border and the last piece of the exhibit some food for thought about the Dakota Native Americans.

There are also the art and science exhibits that I did not have time to visit.

Opening hours:

Mon – Tue: closed, Wed – Thur: 11am – 5pm, Fri: 11am – 9pm, Sat – Sun: 10am – 6pm

How do you celebrate black history?

welcome

Thank you for finding me. This is my first post and I hope there will be many more to come.

This blog is about what to do outside the big city: San Francisco. We live in Silicon Valley, and I find there is a lot of interesting things to do here that I’d love to share with you.

If you have ideas, please use the comment field for now. I want to hear about it!

 

until suburbia!

Silvia