Picks and Pans – South Bay


Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Just for kicks, Sean and I rode along with our friend Dan to his meeting at Stanford, and while Dan was busy with work, we explored the campus. Along the way, and with a little help from the campus map, we found the Cantor Arts Center. We entered at the rotunda containing the university’s Rodin collection which, in my initial naivete concerning Stanford’s endowment, I thought was the entirety of the museum. I was, however, soon given a quick education in just how wrong I was as we wandered through the contemporary wing of the center and discovered that it, too, was only a part of a much larger collection, which includes art from ancient Greece and Rome, Africa, Oceania, the ancient Americas and 1500-1900 Europe. Oh, and one more thing…it’s free.

Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University

I love cacti. They’re really ingenious, resilient plants and they look like creatures from outer space. So, imagine my delight when Dan told us about the entire garden filled with cacti on the Stanford campus. It was marvelous. Cactus in every shape, color and size you can imagine, and probably even some you can’t. I mean, what more can you ask of a plant than for it to defy your imagination?

Tied House Brewery in Mountain View, CA

For some reason, our friend Dan tends to know obscure, but useful information. Take, for example, the fact that Dan figured out that if you bring a growler into the Tied House Brewery and ask them to fill it up with any of their draft beers, they will. And you don’t even need a secret password. It almost felt a little criminal to walk out with a half gallon of oatmeal stout for about $6.

Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

From far away, the hills of Russian Ridge didn’t look like much, but, once we were in them, I realized that these hills have a magical relationship with the sunlight and the ocean air that make them seem like they’re lit from within.

Milk Pail Market in Mountain View, CA

Where can you get a bunch of dates and enough veggies to make a huge bowl of salsa for under $5? Nowhere, you say? Well, then I refer you to the wonders of Milk Pail Market. It seems too good to be true, but it’s not.

Dan’s Anime Crash Course

We learned lots of things while staying with Dan, like how to get cheap beer, that laptops out in a sunny backyard are way more fun than laptops at a boring inside table and that anime is weird and complicated and awesome. We got a very quick tutorial and then were thrown in to the deep end with InuYasha and Naruto. There were ninjas with mad skills and 7 tailed fox demons and talking swords and even a three eyed cow. It was great.

People who light their apartment on fire

Don’t let this pan fool you, we had a very relaxing and pleasant time while we were in Fremont, at our friend Litty’s apartment. But, something we did not expect was that we would spend part of that time in the parking lot of her apartment complex waiting for the fire truck to arrive. Yes, that’s right, waiting for a fire truck. Apparently, the large Indian population in the building leads to lots of shrines. And what are shrines made out of? Why, candles near lots of flammable material. Now, I’m sure the majority of shrine worshipers are quite diligent about their fire hazards, but, if they are not, the sprinklers in the ceiling will flood their apartment as punishment (or maybe it’s a safety precaution…hard to say). In any case, it added a bit of excitement to our otherwise very lazy day.

2 comments to Picks and Pans – South Bay

  • Abigail St. Lawrence

    How did an apartment fire not get mentioned over the phone, via email, or any time before now?! I know you are seeing and doing all sorts of cool things, but fire is definitely newsworthy.

    • Well…since the fire was actually 2 floors below us and was quickly extinguished by the ceiling sprinklers, the only reason we were compelled to get out of the apartment was the relentlessly screeching fire alarms. The sole danger was possible hearing loss.

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