Montalvo’s new exhibit “lone some” almost feels like a self fulfilling art and is on point during a pandemic where here in the Bay Area we have been under shelter-in-place order since early March. On 25 independent sites around the Bay, including San Jose’s Museum of Textile and Quilts and at Montalvo’s public park, artists have created talking points about isolation and loneliness.
Also on bus stations from Atherton to Redwood City there are messages to inspire the lonely viewer. Part of this series are posters from Modesto Covarrubias titled: Hear, There and Everywhere. These mantras, prayers, poems, and lyrics are supposed to summon the meaning of isolation and might help you to work through your predicaments. If you would like to connect with the artist and offer your thoughts, or favorite song about loneliness, you can call (408) 777-2103 and leave your input. You might also find billboards as part of the series around the Bay Area.
In the park at Montalvo there are messages etched in 4 x 4 mirrors by Alyson Provax. One for example reads: “You can’t deny that longing for the past.” The social distance signs at the park feel like part of the “lone some” exhibit with directives like: “No sitting, gathering, or picnicking.” Signs of times, food for thought.
Lone some will be on display until July 31st, 2020. A map of the widespread exhibit can be found on Montalvo’s website.
When you play NeMO-Net, a single player iPad or phone game, you will help NASA map out the ocean floor and assess the health of coral reefs around the world.
First I downloaded the app to my phone, got a username assigned, and then was greeted by Sylvia Earle, an Oceanographer from NASA’s NeMO-Net. NeMo-Net is a game created for us to learn about corals, how to identify them. NASA’s ultimate goal is to teach their supercomputer to learn with us and to create a global dataset to classify reefs.
The game begins with a tutorial on how to zoom, rotate, and paint corals and other shallow marine environments in 3D. While you paint you listen to some meditative music, headphones are highly recommended! If you finish painting a coral with 90% accuracy, you are invited to Guam. From there you can start learning about different corals and help NASA to map the ocean floor.
It is a very relaxing game, kind of like paint by numbers while you do some good. So, if you need to chill for a bit I challenge you to a game of NeMo-Net. The game play took a bit getting used to; the hand gestures are unfamiliar to me since I don’t play 3D games. Plus I had to get my reading glasses since the font is very tiny!
It wouldn’t be NASA if the implications of this game did not have anything to do with space. Indeed, the technology could be used to identify life on other planets or examine ancient Martian life.
A few years ago I wrote about The Pole Field at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto (Walk the trails between Bay and posts). Since my radius of wandering is limited right now, I recently went back there. Speaking of limited, parking is only allowed in the lots, no street parking. But this was no issue in the middle of the day on a weekday.
There were only a few people walking and running. The most interesting method of movement was presented by three motorized unicyclists in full gear on a hot day.
I did come for the art and the joy of exercise. Foraging Islands by Watershed Sculpture was installed in 2018 and is an ecological sculpture absolutely fitting for the Byxbee Park and its idea of intersecting nature and culture. With the help of a multitude of volunteers gathering nearby materials, they established a dam-like temporary public art installation, a perfect habitat for insects and rodents.
Did you know that there is a kite flying area at Shoreline Park in Mountain View? Since it is close to the Bay it always seems to have a nice breeze. Perfect for kites of all abilities.
I recently saw a traditional bird, a long cylinder with ruffles, and what looked like a miniature hang glider kite in rainbow colors. The more professional hang glider kite was doing constant loops and making some humming noises while cutting through the air. The other two were just pleased to be aloft.
While on a midweek afternoon this seemed to be an activity for middle-aged men, on a recent weekend trip I saw little kids flying kites with their parents.
Since the golf course is open again, you can drive into the park. The kite flying area is your first possible right turn with plenty of parking. (And there is a handicapped port-o-potty.)
May is National Bike month. If I could name one thing that shelter-in-place has a positive impact on is the streets are emptier and therefore easier to ride a bike.
A lot of first time riders, with their parents are confident enough to ride on the streets these days. There are also multiple levels of bike trails around.
To spice things up you could challenge someone, friends or family, to an interesting goal. How about: Burn 6 tacos in a week? Or: Ride 100 miles in May. Record your trips and register with https://www.lovetoride.net/usa/signups/new, you even will have a chance to win attractive prizes, e.g. a new bike!
Suggestions on bike trails:
The San Francisco Bay Trail is a 500 miles walking and cycling path that spans all nine Bay Area counties.
The Bay Bridge Trail is a 4.4 mile round trip from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island over the Bay Bridge.
It is vital these days to exercise. A lot of public parks and open space preserves have been closed off, due to the excessive use and therefore people not being able to keep the 6ft required distance.
We were lucky two weeks ago when my son and I decided to hike the Stanford Dish it was still open. As of April 3rd, they closed access to the Dish.
I have to confess I put the Stanford Dish hike in my 50 things to do in Stanford without ever being on the path. I am glad I did this hike before it got closed off. The path is concrete, which allows for wheelchairs and strollers, but keep in mind the alleviation changes dramatically – my health app said I climbed 22 floors that day!
I always wanted to do this 3.8 mile loop passing the old radio telescope visible from 280. I was surprised that there are actually two radio telescopes! We parked at the Stanford parking lot, which is free. Be sure not to park in the residential area, because they will ticket.
The Dish is (usually) open from sunrise to sunset. No dogs, accept service dogs, or bicycles are allowed.
Easter will be April 12th, this year. There is a confusing tradition that links bunnies to eggs, which I don’t understand or even feel qualified to explain. But for now let’s just focus on eggs.
Before the shelter-in-place order I went to Aptos to see the egg vending machine at the Glaum Egg Ranch. I believe it is still open, but in these days and times anything can change. Are we even allowed to drive that far? I think not.
Please take this as a virtual tour and when you have the chance of freely moving around again consider this as a fun activity for young kids. It is not the vending of the eggs that I refer to here, it is the show that is offered after you vend. You can see this demonstrated in this YouTube video (be my first subscriber to my new channel!):
To see the show you need four crisp dollar bills and you will be rewarded with 18 eggs and a show. The barn store will be happy to provide you with wrinkle free money. By the way the barn store is open Mon – Fri 8am – 4pm and Sat 8am – 2-pm. There you can get a lot of products around eggs. One was succulents in little egg shells, such a cute idea! They also have interesting gift ideas mostly food related.
Since Tuesday we are officially ordered to ‘shelter in place’. So I like to take this time to introduce you to my series: ‘50 things to do’. I try to find 50 things to do in a city nearby. It is an interesting challenge and I enjoy discovering every aspect of a city.
In my latest ‘50 things to do’ I discovered Cupertino. Most of you might know Cupertino as Apple’s headquarters, but this is not all this city has to offer. I was really surprised to see how many interesting options for sports they have. From disc golf to archery, hiking in the hills, and yoga in the park. This city also has two bowling alleys and an ice rink!
There are some cool outings for kids, too, like the 16 feet wide aquarium in the library or the Deer Hollow Farm at Rancho San Antonio. If you like to explore local history you’ll be able to enjoy a few fascinating finds.
If you have any suggestions of places that I might have missed I’d love to hear from you!
In our house we agree that Martinelli’s makes the best apple juice outside of Germany and the local farmers market. For special occasions we always have Martinelli’s sparkling cider as the non-alcoholic choice.
When I learned that Martinelli’s has a tasting room in Watsonville I had to go!
They are open Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm, and Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.
There is some information about the history of Martinelli’s and you should look around the pictures and bottles before you sit down for the tasting. This makes for excellent conversation, because you can quiz your attendant about all things related to cider and apple juice. The pours are free and you get deals on the cases.
We ended up with a few cases of our favorites. Did you know they have a blood orange cider? Well, it is only available in Watsonville!