Neighborhoods

Maria Fadiman is returning to her Menlo Park roots in a story telling performance set for August 3. “It’s about about my experience of being a National Geographic Explorer, researching around the world and being a self-proclaimed cool tough person!

“Then I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder (reaction to mold) and my world collapsed around me: having to throw away everything, tearing apart the house, learning to navigate my own irrational mold induced behaviors.

“I got help, worked with my body and my environment to get healthier, and life moved forward. I was forced to question my need to always be on the go, to be reaching for more. To stay healthy, I am exploring how to fit into my new self — and how great that can be!”

Maria grew up in the Menlo Oaks neighborhood, the daughter of documentary filmmaker Dorothy and psychologist and author Jim Fadiman. “Growing up with my parents, there were no limits on what I thought I could do,” she recalls. “I grew up not knowing there were boxes.”

She attended Peninsula School where climbing trees and planning class trips were as important as traditional academics. Entering Menlo School for high school required an adjustment.

“It was a whole new deal for me in so many ways,” she said. “At Peninsula, you wrote to express how you felt. At Menlo they expected us to know grammar. It was a huge culture shock!”

She eventually settled in and quickly realized how fortunate she was. Here was a place where she could talk to teachers after school, participate in sports and drama. Maria signals out drama teacher Stephen Gill “who always found a part for me in musicals even though I couldn’t sing!”

“Most important, I made the most wonderful friends there. A group of us just celebrated our 50th birthdays with a bicycling trip to Iceland.”

Adventure beckoned the day Maria, an Associate Professor in the Geosciences department at Florida Atlantic University, got a phone call saying she’d been selected to be an Emerging Explorer, a National Geographic program that funds and supports scientists, conservationists, educators, and storytellers.

“I recall thinking, ‘If I’d known to dream this, this is what I would have dreamed,'” she says.

Maria will be bringing that experience and more to her appearance on August 3. Free tickets are available online for what is expected to be a sell out event.

“I always wanted to come back and live here, but didn’t,” Maria says. “So, it’s great to be coming back, enveloped by family and the community I grew up in, people who had a huge influence in my life. It’s so welcoming and supportive!”

Still photos from video by Grant Taylor, courtesy of Marie Fadiman

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Laderans get creative for the annual 4th of July themed bake-off

Long-time InMenlo contributing photographer Laura Hamilton captured some of the fun at the annual 4th of July bake off at the Ladera Recreation District yesterday. Among the winners was   Zoe Gostyla (right) and EB Hoffman’s BBQ baked goods (below). Entries are judged in a variety of age and family categories along with special prizes for […]

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Old Glory still flies on Bay Laurel thanks to Bill McClure

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Good fun at the Menlo Oaks [almost] summer picnic

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Saga of early Menlo Park farmer (yes!) and his Stanford Dairy – and why there is a jog in Avy Avenue

John Murray and his wife Mary were both Irish immigrants who came to New York City in 1848 or ’49 and met and married there. Mary was pregnant with their first child when the decision was made for Murray to go to California to seek the family’s fortune, while Mary stayed in New York City […]

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Belle Haven Spring Fair takes place on April 27

Connect with local resources, enjoy food and local entertainment and meet representatives from every city department at the Belle Haven Spring Fair. Enjoy: – Fun activities for children and the whole family – Festive music – Free food – Free raffle for prizes The event takes place on Saturday, April 27 from 11:00 am to […]

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Mailboxes in Ladera are sure signs of Spring!

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Belle Haven residents invited to meet Police Chief Bertini on Feb. 25

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Menlo Park to host 19th annual Black History Month celebration on Feb. 22

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When a dairy farm existed in Menlo Park close to where Avy is today

Editor’s note: With the new year, we’ll be looking at some of the historical roots of Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley. This post originally ran in 2012. John Murray and his wife Mary were both Irish immigrants who came to New York City in 1848 or ’49 and met and married there. Mary […]

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Ravenswood students and families celebrate early holiday thanks to huge community response

A few weeks ago we reported on the urgent need for donations to the annual holiday party held for students of the Ravenswood City School District and their families. The Willows neighborhood group spearheading the effort had less than a week to recruit volunteers and collect toys, gift cards, and blankets to serve the more […]

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