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

 

Get in shape for free

Get in shape for free

Well, you only have to invest your time, of course. I found there are many adult fitness playgrounds  in public parks around where I live. Rengstorff Park in Mountain View has some gym type equipment, for example a chest press or an exercise bike. If you are feeling young and spirited you might even consider the skate park near the pool. Or the tennis and racquetball courts. In fact, the park is so large that a pick up soccer or basketball game would be possible, even on crowded days.

 The exercise options of Sylvan Park, also in Mountain View, and of the Hillview Community Center (Los Altos) are more old school.

Exercise area near the  Hillview Community Center (Los Altos)Exercise area in Sylvan Park, Mountain ViewWith places in both to do sit-ups and pull-ups, here your choice would be which location you prefer and which material. While in Los Altos the bars are blue and steel, in Sylvan Park they went with wood.

 

 
Do you have a favorite outdoor gym?

Green Planet Yarn store

Knit it!

When the days get shorter and colder I like to either knit or crochet. It makes me feel warm and busy at the same time. If you like to do your craft in a group there are a few places around.

The Los Altos Library as a Knit & Crocket circle that meets every first and third Tuesday. In Saratoga the Knitspiration of Silicon Valley holds regular meetings and has guest speaker.

November is also a month of giving  back and be thankful. If you are looking for places to donate your handiwork look into Halos of Hope. They distribute caps and hats to cancer patients. I learned about it while I discovered Purlescence Yarns a wool store in Sunnyvale. They also do classes  at the store if you are not sure of your skills or want to learn something new, like spinning or weaving.

Stitching up Spirits is a charity knitting group that meets every Wednesday at Red Rock Café in Mountain View. This group knits for HomeFirst a project to end homelessness. The Green Planet Yarn in San Jose has an impressive list of projects they support. I think I will get the bear pattern for the Mother Bear Project as my christmas gift for someone in need.

What about you, do you like to knit or crochet? Would you consider to support one of these projects?

Downtown

Downtown

2014-10-23 16.28.53

Actually, to call Silicon Valley suburbia does most cities here injustice.

A lot of towns in the Bay Area have nice, revived downtown areas, with interesting shops and restaurants.

Mountain View’s Castro Street, Sunnyvale’s Murphy’s Street and Palo Alto’s University are great examples.. They all have their own vibe and I invite you to stroll and explore all of them. Los Altos has a few streets where you sure find something for the holidays for everyone, from the Lego store to upscale gift stores. To make a festive entrance Los Altos celebrates the Festival of Lights on 11/29 at 6 p.m.

Downtown Redwood City advertises itself as the Anti Mall. A good place to discover treats and gifts.

What is your favorite downtown in the Bay Area?