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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Insiders' Guide to Project Los Altos

11.20.2013 ProjectLosAltosGuideCrowds wielding quarter-page red guidebooks meander around downtown streets in search of artistic gems as part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.” Although some of the creations unfold on screen or gallery walls, many of the project installations involve visitors in more immersive experiences.

The Town Crier team toured the sites during the inaugural weeks of the project and compiled an insiders’ guide with navigation tips. Readers can clip the guide out, photograph it for cellphone viewing or even memorize it as a tool to impress guests. For a PDF version of our guide, click here.

Whether tackling one or two project installations at a time or all exhibits in one trip, lace up comfortable walking shoes for a modern-art treasure hunt.

“Project Los Altos” runs through March 2. Read the Town Crier for updates on special events scheduled during its stay.

Outdoor installations are open at all times. Indoor installations are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. For additional information visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572.

– Text and photos by Ellie Van Houtte

_______________________________________________________________________

Indoor Installations

Costume Bank, 169 State St.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8190Mike Mills, “A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought Alone: Silicon Valley Project”

• Enter through the Costume Bank, to its back room.

• Inspired by Silicon Valley’s transition, Mills’ installation includes a video of local youth describing their ideas of the future with short biographies and photos of eight people who work or live in the area.

• A copy of the April 1, 1976, Los Altos Town Crier enables visitors to review news events during the year Steve Jobs incorporated Apple Computer. A copy of Apple’s incorporation papers is in the centerfold.

Tip: Mills collected pieces of clothing from the subjects included in his installation and displays the articles on a rack in the corner of the room. Look closely at the labels.

242 State St.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8171Jeremy Blake, “Winchester”

• Inspired by San Jose’s Winchester House, built circa the 1880s by Sarah Winchester, who also owned the property that became the city of Los Altos. Blake’s three-screen film seems more psychedelic than spooky.

Tip: Allow at least 10-15 minutes for viewing.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8178Spencer Finch, “Back to Kansas”

• Configured in the shape of a movie screen, the blocks of this colorful grid are inspired by the colors found in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

Tip: View Finch’s piece just before and after sunset. As the sun sets around 5 p.m., relax in one of the comfortable sofas as the squares fade to gray. Cards and pencils are available to allow guests to mark the times when the different colors disappear.

271 State St.

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7122Christian Jankowski, “Silicon Valley Talks”

• Comfortable bright-green furniture invites guests to relax as they enter the dim space of Jankowski’s installation.

• Filmed talks by nine local entrepreneurs – ranging from how to write a poem to falling in love and an introduction to fly fishing and vacation – challenge visitors to get lost in the artistic presentation of the spoken word.

Tip: Jankowski filmed the series earlier this month, and the presentation includes local residents.

359 State St.

COMM SFMOMAProjectLosA fmtCharles Garoian

• A Los Altos High School art teacher for 17 years, Garoian’s slide show highlights nine performance-art pieces created with his students during his tenure.

Background article "Former LAHS teacher Garoian inspired a generation of 'misfits'"

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7106Katerina Šedá, “Everything Is Perfect”

• In Šedá’s vision, every Los Altos or Los Altos Hills resident is someone with “ordinary characteristics and talents.” Her installation involves the community as the primary subject of her artistic experiment.

• Unlike most of the other installations, Sedá’s project is a work in progress. A physical desk with submission forms and a computer allow viewers to submit a record for inclusion in a “Los Altos World Record Book,” scheduled for publication in the spring.

Tip: After visiting the submission desk, visit everythingisperfect.org to see some of the current entries, ranging from the Youngest Mayor to the Longest Knitting Pig Hat.

Background Article: "Project Los Altos artist collecting everyday records from residents"

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7091bAlec Soth

• Enjoy a unique glimpse of Silicon Valley through Soth’s collection of black and white photographs.

• From obscure landscapes of tech headquarters to local residents in venues that defy the perceptions about the area, the collection illuminates iconic and everyday community scenes from a new perspective.

Outdoor Installations

Intersection of State and Fourth streets

10.21.2013 SFMOMA-9933Jessica Stockholder, “Cross Hatch”

• With an October unveiling, this street painting was SFMOMA’s first “Project Los Altos” exhibit to arrive in town.

• The piece incorporates shapes that mimic the triangular shape of downtown Los Altos.

• Sitting in the bleachers adjacent to the installation, visitors can observe pedestrians, cars and other elements as they intersect with the artwork.

Tip: Consider climbing the stairs located on the Plaza Central side of 142 State St. for a unique photo angle.

Background Article: "Bold strokes on State Street draw colorful reaction"

Shasta and First streets

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8204Chris Johanson, “If You Are Open to It, You Can Find a Sign That Can Be a Sign”

• Finding this installation by Johanson can be difficult, but if visitors pay close attention to the intersection, they can spot a green post jutting from a building on the north side of Shasta Street.

Tip: This piece is best examined by viewing from all angles.

Lincoln Park

11.8.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-7208Chris Johanson, “Door Sculpture to Talk About the Idea of Different Possibilities You May Have to Process Your Life”

• A series of three life-size doors open at different angles represents the opportunities for change that individuals encounter in life and their willingness to embrace them.

• Colorful frames entice visitors of all ages, especially children, who can be spotted wandering through the installation on the way to school in the morning.

Tip: Stop by the installation on a foggy morning to experience a sense of serenity and mystery. The vibrant doors seem particularly prominent to the eye as a blanket of fog fades the traffic of Foothill Expressway and the giant redwood trees of Lincoln Park into the background.

Village Park

11.8.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-5434Chris Johanson, “I Do Not Know But Am Open to Learning”

• Johanson’s giant, inflated question-mark installation is easy to find.

Tip: Walk through and around the perimeter of the park to see how the landscape changes the way the sculpture is framed.


Civic Center Apricot Orchard

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7137Chris Johanson, “The Field Became an Orchard Became a House and Became an Orchard (in Los Altos)”

• Surrounded by an orchard of trees, it’s easy to miss this installation – a weathered door that rests on the ground. The door mysteriously seems to predate the tree growing through it.

Tip: As leaves change color and small yellow flowers blossom, November is the ideal time to visit the city’s signature orchard to peek at the installation.

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