Monday, June 16, 2008

A local's perspective: Palo Alto

This morning, my blurb about Palo Alto was published on the UpTake blog. I enjoyed reminiscing about my hometown, and sharing my favorites. Since I had fun writing it, I thought I would repost it here and create a little meme. If you are reading this and I don't know you, please consider yourself tagged. I would also love to see responses from Erica from Plain Jane Mom, May-Ling, and Naomi from Superdumb Supervillain. And onto the post...

Give 5 adjectives that you would use to describe the “feel” of Palo Alto and its residents:

Educated, mindful, adventurous, youthful, eclectic.

What is your favorite neighborhood of Palo Alto:

I am partial to the College Terrace area of Palo Alto, located just south of Stanford University. All the streets are named after famous colleges and universities, the homes are a mix of sweet bungalows and artfully designed family homes, and the proximity to Stanford ensures a good mix of college types, young professionals and families.

Which cuisine do you think Palo Alto does best? What is the runner-up?

Palo Alto is chock-a-block of restaurants for every taste - On California Ave, don’t miss La Bodeguita del Medio for Cuban-inspired cuisine, Bistro Elan for classic French, and the Counter, for classic American burgers, your way. On University Ave, Three Seasons for Vietnamese, Mediterranean at Evvia, Junoon for Indo-fusion, La Strada for Italian, and scads of hip places such as Pluto’s, Pasta?, and Miyake’s. Why limit ourselves to one cuisine, let’s embrace them all!

What is the best free thing to do?

I love the 10-week evening jazz series at Stanford Shopping Center on Thursdays during the summer. Bring a picnic dinner, a beach chair and enjoy the lovely music.

What is your favorite type of entertainment?

Anything outdoors. Window shopping on California Avenue, walking “The Dish” in the Stanford Foothills, roller blading through the neighborhoods.

List the best family friendly activity:

The myriad of parks in Palo Alto are enough to keep the average family busy for weeks. Our favorite is Johnson Park on Everett, between Kipling and Cowper, with a mini-rock wall, cement slide (bring your cardboard box) and slide and sand for everyone. The community garden in the back corner gives it a comfortable, neighborly feel.

What spot would you send a couple, looking for a romantic weekend?

Ok, romance for us means eating lots of great food, exploring places on foot and finding the hidden gems of a city. I recommend booking a room at the centrally-located Garden Court Hotel and heading to Vino Locale for Friday night dinner, with local wines and slow food, before the Friday-night Art Walk. Quick Saturday breakfast at Coupa Cafe (spicy hot chocolate and pastries), before heading out to explore the Farmer’s Market behind the post office. Take a break in the afternoon with a couple’s massage and soaking tub at Watercourse Way Bathhouse Spa. Dinner at Tamarine (sit in the bar and people watch), a movie at the Stanford Theater, end with dessert at Gelato Classico. Go back to hotel, collapse. Order breakfast in….

Describe a perfect day…one that captures what your area/city is all about. In 3 sentences or less.

I would start with a family bike ride over to Stanford University, stopping for a free visit to Cantor Museum and a picnic lunch on the Oval, with the required frisbee-throwing and people watching. My kids might throw in a visit to Hoover Tower or a splash in the Claw Fountain at White Plaza. And finish with a casual dinner at the Palo Alto Creamery before heading back home.

Tell us about a place that you love to go, whether it is in the guidebooks or not.

I love to take our kids to the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, where I used to go as a youngster. Wonderful hands on activities and a small zoo with a bobcat!

P.S. Don't forget to tag some of your friends!

1 comment:

Erika Jurney said...

Just reading the questions wore me out! ;0