Storefront of a gift shop in Los Altos

Shop for some gifts

Every town and city in the Bay Area has its distinct feel. It’s hard to describe, but that’s what I love about it, too. Los Altos, for example, is all about gift shops. There are candy stores, toys and book stores, and several shops for giving presents.

Gallery 9 storefront, Los Altos

If you like to give some local art work, gallery 9 might be a good place to shop. Originally founded by 9 artists in Menlo Park, it relocated in 1973 and is now the oldest art gallery in Los Altos with over thirty artists.

Current exhibit at gallery 9 features Mam-Weber's paintings and ceramics by Shigemi Sanders

Every month they feature different artists in the front of the gallery. This month you can admire paintings from Mami Weber and ceramics by Shigemi Sanders. Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 11 am –  5 pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 4 pm. Since it is an artist collective you will meet one of the artists on your visit.

Ceramic figures by Shigemi Sanders at gallery 9, Los Altos

Gallery 9 also participates in the Los Altos’ First Friday with an artists’ reception.

Do you love to give gifts?


Rebekah Bowman's photography at KCI gallery, Los Altos Hills

Get a glimpse of the Cuban School of Ballet

Did you know that the Cubans are as serious about ballet as they are about baseball? In fact the school is so successful that kids come from all over Latin America.

Rebekah Bowman, a Mexican-American photographer from Berkeley, went on and off to Cuba the last six years and captured the intensity of the young dancers.  You can see her work at the KCI Gallery at Foothill College. Until March 21st, 2019, nineteen images are shown in the gallery. Ballet images are perfect for the round space with the handrails on both sides. If you want you could probably re-enact the poses.

Rebekah Bowman's photography at KCI gallery, Los Altos Hills
Rebekah Bowman's photography at KCI gallery, Los Altos Hills

I found the choice of the black and brown photos printed on bamboo paper represented the fragility of the Cuban surroundings and helped the objects to shine. And shine they do, in strikingly perfect poses, all muscles. Bowman also managed to capture the playful sides of her objects. I imagined joyful, dancing teenagers. Hard working, but also developing into adulthood.

You can own the prints, prices are $500 for the small prints  and $800 for the larger ones.

Rebekah Bowman's photography at KCI gallery, Los Altos Hills

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 the Foothill College will show Horizontes (2 pm – 3 pm, Room 4006 KCI), a documentary about two dancers of the National Cuban Ballet.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 there will be a Gallery Talk with professor Ron Herman (12 pm – 1 pm, KCI Gallery).

KCI Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday 8 am – 7 pm, Friday 8 am – 5:30 pm and Saturday 8:30 am – 4 pm. To get to the KCI Gallery you should use the parking lot #4, parking is $3.

Have you heard about the Cuban School of Ballet?


Call me Ishmael phone, Los Gatos library

Call me Ishmael

Call me Ishmael phone, Los Gatos library

“Press any button to hear a story from an anonymous bibliophile about a story they loved.”  This is the sentence you hear when you pick up the receiver of the old pay phone in the Los Gatos library.

Reviews are read from different book lovers. Unfortunately there was no volume button. Some recordings are hard to listen to from the recording quality and the speed of the reader. But the personal account is priceless. Some are short and sweet but most of them are true personal recollections.  

Press 0 and you’ll hear a pitch for ‘Call me Ishmael’ or if you are at home in front of your computer you can watch their YouTube video for their earlier kickstarter project.

Current book selection from Call me Ishmael, Los Gatos library

Currently the book selections are from Sarah Boynton’s Pyjama Time! , a picture book, to classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to the Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

If you like to record your own review you can do this by calling 774.325.0503. On the CMI website you can also listen to featured calls.

Los Gatos library (front entrance)

A fun way of learning about new books! The personal touch of the stories makes it feel like a friend is telling you about a book they loved, and the Los Gatos library is a great place to hang and discover new books.

What book would you review?

Front view of the Eichler X-100

Marvel at the Eichler X-100

X-100 indoor garden and fireplace

Usually I wouldn’t tell you about this house, if I myself hadn’t been inside. For the inside is really the interesting part. But in this case I make an exception. Thanks to the American Institute of Architects San Mateo who generously provided me with images from the inside of the Eichler X-100.

You, who know Eichlers, are aware of the private facade Eichlers display towards the street. So, to be able to look inside this marvel, even just seeing the pictures, is a treat. You can imagine the design ideas of Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons the main architects of a lot of Eichler homes.

Double oven in the X-100

The San Mateo Highlands are the largest Eichler community with over 700 of the “Modern California” homes. The X-100 is an experimental home with steel instead of wood beams. It shows off its modernity with two interior gardens, but also the kitchen equipment was prototyped and came in 1956 with a black dishwasher, a garbage disposal (“pulverator”), a double oven and a radio and intercom to name a few features.

Heated inlay in the table at the X-100

One of my favorite upgrades is the heated inlay in the kitchen table to keep the food warm.

Since it is occupied, tours are rare, and are by appointment for groups only. Please respect their privacy.

Are you an Eichler fan?

Resources:

https://www.eichlernetwork.com/article/eichler-x-100-house-steel

https://www.realtor.com/news/unique-homes/eichler-x-100-house-steel-available-rent-5500k/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-100_(house)

http://www.eichlermidcentury.com/index.html

https://www.bungalowjournal.com/eichler-experimental-the-x-100/