Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bay Area Summer Evening Series

Reading Time < 4 minutes
Evening entertainment is sponsored in summer by some cities in local parks, streets and squares.  It is one way to celebrate the winding down of summer.  The mood is one of conviviality even as almost everyone feels a twinge remembering that the warm summer evenings are numbered.

Downtown Sunnyvale has a music series on Wednesday evenings.  It runs through August.  Take a chair with you if you go early or a claim a spot in the standing area close to the stage (if you like to dance) or find a table in the patio of any of the wonderful restaurants that line the street if you are in the mood for wining& dining.  Thai, Mediterranean, Italian are some that await.
A well used table

Cupertino Memorial Park has movies in a public amphitheater in July and hosts  Shakespeare in the Park plays on August weekends.  Bring a blanket to sit on and a picnic dinner if you wish to make it special.  If you care for more comfort you can lug some lawn chairs.  We take a blanket and some popcorn.  Our stay-put time is very dependent on popcorn.  The son usually starts to lose interest after it is finished...
The sky at dusk, the silent geese trying sleep in the park pond, the floodlights of tennis courts yonder reflecting off the water and the silhouettes of the witnessing trees make an interesting contrast to the action-packed moves of Mr. Robert Downey Jr. or a certain Mr. Nicolas Cage or the theatrics of  the English.  I usually switch my attention between the two equally entertaining views.
Can't see the geese
The stage on water

University Avenue, Palo Alto has had a makeover in the boom of the late 90's and  early 2000's.  The hitherto sleepy downturn transformed into a yuppie paradise.  Saturday evenings bring a music band and a great crowd from many walks: Couples- old and new, the rich and the not, families and singles, summer students from Stanford and dogs of all breeds. Last year I saw pedicabs run by able-bodied students.
The Stanford theater is having a Hitchcock festival- if you haven't been to a movie there, it is something to try.  Go early so you won't miss the live piano rendition. 
University Avenue, Palo Alto
On one of the side streets are vintage B&W photographs of the avenue.  One is from circa 1905.  Another is from circa 1940 and shows a parade-  lively girls with batons and cheering onlookers.  A stray thought occurred and stayed with me- how many of them, so dazzling in their moment here, are alive now?
Not likely to be, unless one was less than 10 years of age when the picture was taken.  It serves as a pointed and unnecessary reminder that we all have robust exit strategies whether we concur with them or not.  Which makes a summer evening a good time to drive out and listen to music.

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