Okay, I cheated. I don’t really know skate lingo. I googled it and trusted the Oxford Dictionaries on a cool phrase. An alley-oop is described by the Oxford Dictionaries as follows: “If the board spins in the same direction to the skateboarder’s body but in the opposite direction to that which they are facing, this is an alley-oop, from the French allez (the imperative form of the verb aller ‘to go’). Alley-oop has been used for around a century as an exclamation in the manner of ‘get up!’ or ‘go on!’, used to encourage or draw attention to the performance of an acrobatic or other physical feat, especially one involving a leap or lift upwards.”
I also never really stood on a skateboard. But this is not about me. My dear readers who might be interested in this helter-skelter activity you should check out the Phil Shao Memorial Skate Park in Redwood City.
The name uncovers a sad event – Phil Shao was a legend in the skating world. He grew up in Redwood City and studied English at UC Berkeley. He taught many young people the joy of skateboarding. Unfortunately his life was taken, in August 1998, by a drunk driver.
In 2003 Redwood City opened the 13,000 square foot skate park. Helmets are required and safety gear is encouraged. You can’t take your bike in (a $100 fine!). Opening hours are from dawn to dusk, except when the sports lights are on, then the park closes at 10pm.
There is plenty of history surrounding the site of the Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica. An important site for the Costanoan Indians, a supplemental mission farm for Mission Dolores, the home of Don Francisco Sanchez (former mayor of San Francisco), residence of General Kirkpatrick, a hotel, a speakeasy, an artichoke storage facility and finally a museum.
At the Adobe house kids can learn a great deal about the first inhabitant Don Francisco Sanchez and his living conditions around 1845. A school group will rope a ‘cow’, make adobe bricks, or grind some corn.
Remains of the agricultural outpost for the Mission Dolores can be seen next to the house. They are the only known remains of the many outpost that once thrived in the area.
Every third Saturday in September is Rancho Day Fiesta, a celebration of early California living.
General admission is free with an option to donate. Opening hours are Tuesday-Thursday 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm.
You know when you come across these hills at Shorebird Park in Foster City you are in a fun place. Finding them is quite simple, just take any dirt path off the main biking trail that heads towards the Bay. One Yelp reviewer warned to watch for snakes.
On a Google map image the path is marked as BMX trail and Bike BMX Jumps. If you look up dirt jumping on Wikipedia you find an image of the Foster City Shells Dirt Jumps.
So, it might not be such an unexpected destination after all. I enjoyed being there without any bikers around. But if you are a BMX biker or love to dirt jump you found heaven. I definitely want to go back and hopefully take some pictures of jumping bikers. The path is dirt mixed with oyster shells. It crushes under your shoes like tightly packed snow.
Do you have any good pictures of dirt jump bikers?
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.