The nice thing about the Bay Area is there are a myriad of options for hiking in relatively short distances from where you live. If you are a dog owner and want to bring your pooch with you on these hiking excursion, you might find that a lot of open spaces don’t allow dogs.To find a place that has an off leash policy is even rarer.
While the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space allows dogs in 11 of it’s 24 parks, only one – the Pulgas Ridge Preserve – has an off leash dog area. The 17.5 acre area where you can let your dog roam free in is located in the middle of the Preserve and is surrounded by the Hassler Loop trail. Your dog needs to be voice controlled and you should have a leash with you. And of course, you are always asked to pick up after your dog (only leave paw prints behind).
For discoverers, the park is the former home of the Hassler Health Home, a tuberculosis sanitarium, some remnants of the building and stairs still remain.
Usually I try to tell you about things that you can do after reading this. For this post you have to make a note and make sure you will check this out next year.
The Dia de los Muertos Festival in Redwood City is an annual celebration of the Mexican holiday, also known in English as the Day of the Dead. For the ninth time last Sunday, the Casa Circulo Cultural, a Redwood City Hispanic cultural organization, in collaboration with the San Mateo History Museum, the Friends of the Library, and Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation organize one of the largest festivals of Hispanic culture in the Bay Area.
The Dia de los Muertos was made popular outside of Mexico by the Pixar/Disney movie Coco. One of the performances at the festival sang a Coco song.
Largely celebrated in Mexico, and by Mexicans in the US, the festivities span for three days. It is a lively event that remembers the dead and believes that in this window of time you can spend time with lost ones.
On altars they put a picture of the ones who have passed and their favorite things and food items. The marigold seems to be the predominant flower of this day. People also wear ‘skulls’ as face paint and traditional clothing.
The Dia de los Muertos Festival has altar displays, traditional music and dances. There were food stands and lots of gift items for sale. Each year the event seems to grow in popularity. We waited in line almost 45 minutes to see the altars in the Courthouse building!
Sometimes by wandering around I discover the most wonderful things. The other day, while I looked around at the Red Morton Community Park in Redwood City I was surprised by the blooming roses. A fountain in the middle with some ram heads spilling out the water. Rose petals decorating some of the water’s surface.
It is a small garden with a large variety of fragrant roses. The Catherine Brennan Memorial Rose Garden was established in 1968. It is named after the woman who proposed developing a municipal rose garden but sadly died two years before the opening.
I love the quote I found embedded in a mosaic art work:” A single rose can be my garden…A single friend my world.” by Leo Buscagila.
Have you been to the Catherine Brennan Memorial Rose Garden?
More information about Redwood City’s fascinating history of their parks can be found in the PDF:
On entering The Record Man store in Redwood City I got greeted by Gary the owner. “What brings you in today?” I replied: “I heard it is an institution.” And I was right. Not only is this a magnificent place to shop for records – they have over a million vinyls – there are ten (!) rooms to wander. Some rooms haverecord players to listen to your finds.
There is also a store in the back for DVD’s, video games and even comic books. If you like a deal they have their annual parking lot sale in October where each record is $1. To be up-to-date on the parking lot sale you should join the mailing list email@example.com.
Twothings that arenot for sale are the two paper machedogs of Nipper, the HMV (His Master’s Voice) logo of the British record label.
Gary told me after 30 years ofreinventing himself as The Record Man, the store has two more years in the current location.
This is indeedan institution! I hope it will survive somehow somewhere in the Bay Area.
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.
Most of the time walking in a city I feel like people should look up more. I mean really up. The old storefronts, birds that huddle together in the same directions on a lamp post, and murals are treats only to be discovered by a slight change of perspective.
All over downtown you can be greeted by dragons, scared by monsters seemingly coming out of the mailbox, or meet a dog casting it’s shadow out of a bench. You will find a lot of whimsical creatures and robots too.
The city provides a map with all 20 stations of the shadow artwork. I walked around to find most of them and soon I was looking down and chasing shadows. The trick is to find the non moving objects in the city scape, like benches, water hydrants and lamp posts. Then Belanger’s art casts a shadow of these objects that transform the original and make us wonder, sometimes giggle, about the unique creatures. With a lot of humor and knowledge of the city Belanger made a valuable contribution to the public art scene.
It’s a great frugal adventure for little kids, too.
Redwood City used to be know in 1926 as the ‘Chrysanthemum Center of the World’. When Jane Kim was asked to paint six murals the original idea was to have local dogs in funny poses. Now there is only one dog in the series called Flora from Fauna, the rest are local animals like squirrels and foxes all with chrysanthemums.
I love the whimsical idea of the flowers engaging with the animals. Kim brought attention to the historical importance of the flower industry by Japanese immigrants and is also an advocate for wildlife. When I walked around Redwood City I saw 3 of the murals, all impressive in their attention to detail.
This is a great addition to the public art works in Redwood City.
Check out the murals here:
Arthur Murray Dance Studio at 2065 Broadway,
Cafe La Tartine at 830 Middlefield Road,
Polam Federal Credit Union at 770 Marshall St.,
Marshall Street Parking Garage at 750 Marshall St.,
We made it out of the drought and one of the perks after a rainy season is the abundance of wildflowers. While the ‘super-bloom’ refers more to fields in Southern California, here in the Northern part are also fast amounts of wildflowers.
Edgewood park in Redwood City is offering afree docent led tour every Saturday and Sunday at 10 am. This popular event draws so many people that they offer a free shuttle from East Palo Alto over to San Mateo.
I visited on Tuesday morning and walked by myself. It was a stunning hike, which starts out uphill but shady, and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the Bay. Plus, I found more than 20 different wildflowers along the way. Some of these flowers are tiny, which makes me wonder if our store bought flowers are on steroids.
For your convenience, the Edgewood Park also has a web page dedicated to what’s blooming this month, so you can look up the names of the flowers you saw. Happy hunting! What is your favorite place to see wildflowers?
Used books make me feel great – less trash produced and less money spent. Now I have another reason: money raised for the San Mateo Historical Association.
The Encore Books on the Square store below the history museum in Redwood City is one of the largest used bookstores on the Peninsula.
On April 8th and 9th from 10 am – 3 pm they hold their semi annual book sale; all 50% off.
I just found my book club book for this month there for $1.50. The German section has about 50 books and I loved their extensive cookbooks. The volunteers are very helpful and knowledgeable. I will be back soon. What is your go-to used bookstore?