Hidden Menlo

Calling all geeks – and people who want to learn – to the triennial USGS Open House in Menlo Park

The triennial U.S. Geological Survey Open House — being held today and tomorrow (5/20) in Menlo Park — is a little shop of wonders, not horrors. While most of the exhibit booths are decidedly geeky, each is staffed by scientists eager to pass on their knowledge about earthquakes, water quality, volcanoes, coastal and marine geology, mineral and […]

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Perry Tree #2 continues to be center of a neighborhood

When the Valley Oak that had stood in the middle of Perry Lane (officially Avenue) for 200 years fell in January 2005, it took a lot of the once colorful neighborhood’s history with it. (Ah, if only a tree could talk!) In the early 60s, the rustic cottages on the short block in the University […]

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Royal Badminton Academy is training ground for elite and recreational players

We’re guessing that it’s a surprise to most Menlo residents that in their midst is a training center for young athletes on the way to becoming elite, international players. That center, Royal Badminton Academy, is holding an open house today (1/7), so we stopped by to learn more. Owned since July 2010 by the husband […]

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10 things to be thankful for in Menlo and Atherton

How can you walk, bike or drive around Menlo Park and Atherton at this time of the year and not be immediately thankful? The most obvious prompted us to put together this Thanksgiving top 10 list. 10. Yes, the obvious at this time of year — the fabulous Fall color. Is it our best kept […]

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Camarillo Pacific Railroad debuts special new bridge

There have been some major renovations of the Camarillo Pacific Railroad since we first visited, none more spectacular than the new eight-foot bridge built by Colin Camarillo in memory of his good friend, Bryce Gilbert, who passed away last year. “Bryce’s father gave me a really special locomotive — there are only a few hundred […]

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Tricky Software: Maker of fun-to-play mobile games

While on sabbatical from Electronic Arts, Zach Waibel looked to the future and saw two things — games would be digital and he’d be creating them himself. “Like a lot of startups, Tricky Software began in our house,” he said. “The space was so small that I had to walk through my son’s room to […]

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Badgeville CEO Kris Duggan on social gaming and loyalty programs

Like a dozen or so other startups, Badgeville is hiding in plain sight in a nondescript downtown Menlo Park office building. But that doesn’t mean it’s going unnoticed. According to CEO Kris Duggan, the 18-month-old company, which recently received an additional $12 million in funding, is expected to do between $5 and $10 million in sales […]

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From Fairwinds to Arbor House: The saga of one of Menlo’s most historic homes

As you transit the narrow winding section of Arbor Drive that runs beside St. Raymond Church and School, you may notice a large, rather elegant house set back from the road surrounded by a couple acres of lawn. This 16-room three-story house, built 100 years ago (1911) on an 11-acre plot, was first occupied by […]

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Under Menlo: Middlefield Road crosses San Francisquito Creek

A plaque placed on the south side of the Middlefield Road bridge by the City of Palo Alto in 1969 implies that a ford at this location was the earliest regular crossing of the San Francisquito Creek by north-south travelers. The plaque reads: “Before 1852 ‘El Camino de en Media’ crossing of San Francisquito Creek […]

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Under Menlo: Willow Place bike/pedestrian bridge

In 1888 Timothy Hopkins (1859-1936), the adopted son of Mary Hopkins, the otherwise childless widow of railroad builder Mark Hopkins, inherited Sherwood Hall, the massive 50-room estate that was located where the Menlo Park Civic Center is now. The Hopkins property included most of the land between El Camino and Middlefield and from Ravenswood south […]

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Menlo Park’s Bead Lady and her secret treasure house

Fifteen years ago, Menlo Park resident Marilyn (no last names in this post!) left her job at Klutz and found herself with tons of plastic beads from various projects. She started throwing them in her front yard, which was made up of crushed granite. The rocks set off the beads nicely. “When we’re here — we […]

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