A Runner's Mind continues specialized running tradition downtown

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Monte Keleher purchased On Your Mark in June and reopened it as A Runner’s Mind.

The new running store on Main Street in Los Altos inherits the personalized, service-oriented spirit of its predecessor, On Your Mark.

But when A Runner’s Mind opened downtown at the beginning of the summer, it expanded the selection of “athleisure” clothing aimed at all sporty types, not just runners, and started new traditions for local running culture

Oz Boutique marks decades in downtown Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Azar Abdollahi, right, is celebrating 30 years of running Oz Boutique. She operates the shop with Margaret Swiercz, left.

When Oz Boutique owner Azar Abdollahi moved to the area from Iran in 1979, she didn’t know a soul in Los Altos and had never even heard of the city.

In July, she celebrated her boutique’s 30th anniversary in downtown Los Altos and said it’s the “best place (I) could’ve landed.”

Creativity on Main St.

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Andrew Cambouris, a former football lineman at Mountain View High School and Foothill College, now operates the creative agency Contrast DesignWorks in downtown Los Altos. He said his vision for the 15-person firm includes “having fun with what we do.”

For Andrew Cambouris, the best place to work for clients such as Oracle and PayPal is on Main Street in Los Altos.

The founder and creative director of Contrast DesignWorks chose his hometown as the base for his creative agency, the better to zoom between San Francisco and San Jose – and still be home in time for dinner.

Author tackles secret history of ubiquitous iPhone

Photos courtesy Little, Brown & Co.
Brian Merchant recently released a book that documents the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. Merchant is the grandson of Los Altos residents Joan and Al Merchant.

With more than 1 billion sold, the iPhone has profoundly changed the world as we know it in just 10 short years. Everywhere you look, users are staring at their screens. Some of us find it hard to function in today’s world without our little magic boxes close by.

“The iPhone isn’t just a tool; it’s the foundational instrument of modern life,” author Brian Merchant writes in his new best-seller, “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” (Little, Brown & Co., 2017).

Brand-name retailers won't risk Los Altos, brokers claim

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Chico’s, the women’s clothing store on Main Street, is the exception to the rule of no big-brand shops in Los Altos. Some local residents want additional national retailers downtown, but brokers say that more people and new buildings are needed first.

Even if many Los Altos residents want to be closer to their favorite stores, that does not necessarily mean those retailers want to be closer to them.

According to two local real estate brokers, big-name retailers find Los Altos too risky an investment because of its somnolent downtown.

New Pilates studio gets to the roots of familiar fitness routine

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Nicole Grand, proprietor of Empowered Body Pilates in downtown Los Altos, guides Bill Friedman of Atherton through a Pilates lesson. Joseph Pilates himself looks on from a black-and-white photo on the wall.

Nicole Grand has been practicing Pilates for more than a decade and believes that she has learned a thing or two about the physical fitness system. The regimen, she said, has a misunderstood history.

Grand’s Second Street studio, Empowered Body Pilates, is decorated with black-and-white photographs of Joseph Pilates training boxers and gymnasts in his Manhattan gym. She calls the man “Joe,” and shares anecdotes of his life in class.

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