Visit a tiny museum

Visit a tiny museum

This probably doesn’t deserve the title museum, but it is an excuse to visit the Los Altos Town Crier, the weekly local paper for Los Altos.

Town Crier Bell Collection, Los Altos

The bell exponents can be viewed from the outside and show an expressive array of different bells from around the world. There is the cow bell and the prayer bell, a dinner bell, and a souvenir bell. Bells from Portugal, Switzerland, Mali, and Indonesia to pick a few of the countries.

Different bells, Los Altos

You may go inside Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and look at the curious displays of former glories. There are a few typewriters, or as the sign says: “This antique contraption was a popular typesetter in the last century. It was superseded by chips made from sand.” My favorite exhibit was the rock labeled: “A hunk of history”.

'Hunk of history' at the Los Altos Town Crier

The hallway up to the offices is walled with posters of the old Town Crier.

Hallway of the Los Altos Town Crier

If you are in Los Altos, please stop by this little ‘museum’. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and makes for some chuckles. Or if you have grandchildren you can show them some of the things from the good old days.  

What is your favorite item of former glory?




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?


Silicon Valley open studios directory

Chat with an artist

3 weekends

360+ artists

28 cities

150+ locations

These are the impressive statistics for the Silicon Valley Open Studios in the first three weekends in May 2018.

Silicon Valley open studios directoryEach weekend is dedicated to an area in Silicon Valley. Nonetheless, some artist’s work can be seen in multiple locations. The best place to start this adventure is by downloading the directory or checking out their website and consulting the map. You might also find the directory at a newspaper vending machine in the area.

Once you are on the road look for sandwich boards with arrows and “open studio”. This makes for a fun treasure hunt before you get to the treasure!

Chatting with the artist is encouraged. After all, the motto for the Open Studios is Connecting artists to the arts enthusiast. So, please ask questions, be enthusiastic, and buy a piece of art.

 

2018 Open Studio Dates – 11am to 5pm

WEEKEND 1: Northern Area – May 5th – 6th

Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Stanford, South San Francisco, and Woodside

WEEKEND 2: Central Area – May 12th – 13th

East Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Stanford, Sunnyvale.

WEEKEND 3: Southern Area/Pacific Coast – May 19th – 20th

Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, and Saratoga, El Granada, Half Moon Bay, Miramar, Montara, Moss Beach, and Pacifica

 

Have you in previous years explored the Silicon Valley Open Studios?

 

Women's History Month

Claim Women’s History month

I hope you all celebrated the International Women’s Day. Just one day? you thought. No, women get a whole month! [insert sarcastic comments here]

Nevertheless I think it is important to celebrate the diverse and beautiful females all around us. I have compiled some options for you.

 

Raging GranniesA Woman’s Fight – exhibit of 100+ years history of The Women’s International League For Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and its Palo Alto Chapter, and a tribute to the Raging Grannies. Ends March 24th.

The California History Center at De Anza College

Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1:00-4:00 p.m. and Friday by appointment.

Free

 

Sheroes! – A powerful poster exhibit focuses on female heroes.

Foothill College, Campus Center Dining Room (Room 2201)

Free

 

Women’s History Tour

March 25th, 10 a.m.

Free tour by the Mountain View Cemetery

5000 Piedmont Avenue

Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 658-2588

 

Edit-a-thon – edit, update and add articles on Wikipedia

Less than 10% of contributors of Wikipedia are females, here is when this changes.

 

March 11th, 10am – 4:30pm

Bowes Art & Architecture Library, Stanford University

 

March 13th, 11 am – 2 pm

MLK Library, San Jose, CA

 

March 21, 1pm – 6pm

UC Berkeley

 

Are you going to any Women’s History events in the Bay Area?

 

Spice cupboard at the J. Gilbert Smith House, Los Altos

Get some old recipes

The new exhibit at the Los Altos History Museum is called: Seaweed, Salmon and Manzanita Cider. Until April 16, 2017 you can learn how the Native Americans prepared their food and valued their relationship with nature.

Recipe collection from the exhibit 'Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider' at the Los Alto History Museum, Los AltosRight at the beginning they offer some recipes to take home. I came back with inspirations on  Rose Hip or Elderberry Syrup and how to cook Salmon on Redwood Sticks.

Thanks to a wonderful volunteer, I was also shown around the J. Gilbert Smith House.

The upstairs is currently home of the Raggedy Ann and Andy exhibit. Raggedy Ann and Andy collection at the J. Gilbert Smith House, Los AltosThe whole home has been outfitted with things from the early 1900s. The cupboards are stuffed with the packaging of this time. The sleeping quarters are upstairs, with toys and cloth to imagine the life of the former inhabitants.

You can find  the permanent exhibit: Crown of the Peninsula back in the museum on the second floor. This shows the usage of the land from the Ohlone Indians, to the Mexicans, to the early American settlers and orchard growers. What makes this collection most appealing for little children is the First St. model railroad or the signs that invite ‘Try us on’ or ‘Open me’.

Admission is free (donations are appreciated)

Opening hours are: Thursday – Sunday noon to 4

What is your favorite time period in history?

The Physics Show logo

Learn that physics is fun

It’s the time of the year again when most of us like to give gifts, not only for friends and family but also for a good cause.

One of these gift ideas that meet both criteria is The Physics Show at Foothill College.

We saw this show in September. Though my 7th grader said it was something he learned in 6th grade, we all enjoyed this spectacular display of physic experiments. Behind us was a family that had been to a previous show. They agreed that even though some of this had been in the earlier showing, it was still a lot of fun.

So, no matter if you are a returning visitor or a new spectator, this will be entertaining.

But let’s talk about the giving side of this event. The Physics Show also does weekday programs for title one schools. Not only do the children get to see the show, they provide transportation, a tour of the campus, and get a T-Shirt! Last year 3200 kids saw the show.

See the Mercury New article for further reading:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/15/physics-show-a-smashing-success-with-students/

Weekend shows are only $5 per person and this includes parking in lot 1. Tickets for the January events go on sale December 6th and you have to preorder them (only a few seats left at the door) at The Physics Show web site.

Saturday Jan 7, 2017

Sunday   Jan 8, 2017             

Saturday Jan 21, 2017

Sunday   Jan 22, 2017

Have you enjoyed physics before?

*official logo for The Physics Show courtesy of The Physics Show

Thiid St Green

Pop into a park

I have heard about pop-up stores before. Some fun way to test run your retail ideas.

When I came across a pop-up park I was naturally intrigued.

 

On Third Street between State Street and the North Parking Plaza in Los Altos you can experience a pop-up park for the month of August. They rolled out the turf, put up some comfy lawn chairs, lots of kids toys, and a ping pong table!

fun for all ages

They also offer teen nights, movies, and live music, and more. For a full schedule of events visit their calendar at thirdstreetgreen.com

 

Even when there is no program the park it is well received. Especially for the little ones, this is a great hangout spot.

 

Have you ever been to a pop-up park?

Voyageur du Temps pastries

Vive la france

France these days has plenty of reasons to celebrate.

They will on Sunday fight for the European soccer title against Portugal. Since they are the host country of this event their chances of winning are really high.

July 14th is Bastille day, the French independence day. If you want to read up on it on Wikipedia (Bastille Day) it reads like the final episode of Game of Thrones without the zombies and dragons.

If you are just looking for an excuse to eat French pastries you might want to go to Voyageur du Temps in Los Altos.

Now with plenty of time to plan ahead you can also bake your own croissants. Grab a bag from the Milk Pail and let them rise overnight. These are the real deal.

Or if you prefer a crepe with a bowl of cafe au lait I recommend Bistro Maxine in Palo Alto.

Vive!
Are you celebrating Bastille Day?

Art in the park

Art in the park

When you drive by Foothill Expressway in Los Altos I urge you to take a break and see the public art in Lincoln Park. This is a long strip of grass with multiple sculptures.

Three doors in Lincoln ParkMy favorite are the three doors. I am not sure what their official name is, I think it should be three doors. They open up, so I am sure if you have little kids this can entertain them for quite some time. 

 

Musical GambolI also liked the Musical Gambol, a vibrant display that unfortunately does not make any noise.

This weekend, May 14 & 15 Lincoln Park will be the location for Fine Arts in the Park, from 10 to 5:30. The Rotary Club will present over 170 artists. Proceedings go to various socially significant projects.

 

Do you have a favorite public art piece?

 

For a list of all public art in Los Alto you can visit this web page: http://www.losaltosca.gov/publicartscommission/page/public-sculpture

 

Redwoods in Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos

Where the secret giants are

 

giant redwoods at Muir Woods One of the must-sees for every visitor coming to the Bay Area are those “really big trees”. If you can, head over to Muir Woods and enjoy the short to medium hikes among the redwoods. If you like to park your car nearby you have to get there really early. Due to the micro climate it might even be a little damp.

Here in Silicon Valley there are a few patches of redwoods spread out. Notable is the walk at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos. This is only a short drive away, but it sure does transport you into the woods. Since this is a well kept secret you probably have the place to yourself. It is not much of a hike, just for show and tell. If you like you could have a picnic at next doors Shoup Park

Happy Earth Day! Now go hug a tree!

Lili hugging a redwood

Do you know a good spot to see redwoods?

 

The difference between a Redwood and a giant Sequoia

The trees you find around here are the redwoods. A redwood is the tallest of trees and can reach heights of more than 350 feet / 107 meters.  The giant sequoia is the world’s largest tree. It can grow to about 30 feet / 9 meters in diameter. To see the giant sequoia you have to go near the Sierra Nevada, as it grows only at elevations of 4,000 to 8,000 feet.

Read more at:

http://www.livescience.com/39461-sequoias-redwood-trees.html

https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/cook/sec2.htm