Wed08202014

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

For the past four years, I’ve returned to Los Altos for the summer. As a college student on the East Coast, I relished my annual escape from the heavy, humid weather of New England and looked forward to returning to my hometown. Yet these homecomings have never quite been a return to the normal, and they have certainly never been a return to the past.

In some ways, this is due to the fact that I myself am changing. Distance always provides perspective, and my time away from home has certainly done that. In other ways, it’s due to the fact that Los Altos itself has changed. The revitalization of the downtown area that has occurred since I left in 2010 has been noticeable, and it’s exciting to see a bit of the change that in my childhood was only the subject of parental sideline conversations at Hillview soccer games.

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You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

For the past four years, I’ve returned to Los Altos for the summer. As a college student on the East Coast, I relished my annual escape from the heavy, humid weather of New England and looked forward to returning to my hometown. Yet these homecomings have never quite been a return to the normal, and they have certainly never been a return to the past.

In some ways, this is due to the fact that I myself am changing. Distance always provides perspective, and my time away from home has certainly done that. In other ways, it’s due to the fact that Los Altos itself has changed. The revitalization of the downtown area that has occurred since I left in 2010 has been noticeable, and it’s exciting to see a bit of the change that in my childhood was only the subject of parental sideline conversations at Hillview soccer games.

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What Los Altos needs – a good downhome diner: A Piece of My Mind

From what I saw on our recent back-roads trip across the country, the United States has not become one homogenized culture from East to West – it only looks that way from the interstates. And though California has harvested much of the best of the East in creating a mix of cuisines, traditions and cultures we call Californian, we did leave a few good things out. One of the missing pieces: the diner.

The classic diner was a castoff railroad diner car, clad in aluminum outside and featuring big windows so that you could monitor passersby, a tiny kitchen, red-vinyl upholstered booths and a red Formica counter trimmed in aluminum, with red-vinyl upholstered stools along the counter. To the joy of children everywhere, the stools could spin. Fortunately, the diner also had waitresses of a certain age, who might be named Edna or Mildred or Gertie, but who could be counted on to tell children (and their parents, too) to stop fooling around and eat their vegetables.

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Letters to the Editor

With more people come more changes

The July 15 Town Crier featured a letter (titled “Column on construction garners support”) bemoaning the tall, ugly buildings sitting too close to the sidewalks and the loss of village character in Los Altos and Palo Alto.

I, too, am unhappy to see this take place. But as one who grew up in Morgan Hill, Sausalito, Berkeley, Los Gatos and Los Altos Hills since 1947 (and with many years also in Massachusetts and Texas), I have seen vast changes, all predominantly the result of many, many more people – all needing a place to live and work.

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Letters to the Editor

Resident offers wish list for Los Altos

I have a wish. Before the Los Altos City Council crowns any more Tech Royalty with permits to transform downtown Los Altos, I wish that our council would cast its attention to the outlying business areas in our small city.

For example, over the years, Loyola Corners and Woodland Acres have been promised changes in traffic flow, master plans, bridge repairs and business-friendly assistance. None of these needs or plans has been addressed. Instead, we are encouraged to travel downtown to struggle to find a place to park and admire some newcomer’s idea of living in “The Village.”

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Letters to the Editor

With more people come more changes

The July 15 Town Crier featured a letter (titled “Column on construction garners support”) bemoaning the tall, ugly buildings sitting too close to the sidewalks and the loss of village character in Los Altos and Palo Alto.

I, too, am unhappy to see this take place. But as one who grew up in Morgan Hill, Sausalito, Berkeley, Los Gatos and Los Altos Hills since 1947 (and with many years also in Massachusetts and Texas), I have seen vast changes, all predominantly the result of many, many more people – all needing a place to live and work.

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Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place to live and there is much to offer, but we are feeling like we need a little more breathing room.

I will miss the shops in town where the owners are hardworking people who truly care about their customers, regardless of the contents of their wallets – shops like Present on Main Street and Cranberry Scoop on State Street. I will miss the family-run restaurants where the owners are there to show appreciation to their patrons, many of whom they know by name. And I don’t know who I will trust to work on my car like I trust Jeff and Eric at Reitmeir’s on First Street.

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