On the Trail

It’s a small thing, I know, but the segment of the walkway that follows Redwood Creek beside the Arroyo Green senior housing project was opened to the public recently, and I had the distinct pleasure of walking along it.

It is only a short segment, but one more piece of the puzzle that eventually (hopefully!) will reveal a mostly continuous walkway from downtown Redwood City out to the bay waters. And as you can see, it is a very nice segment indeed, with a wide, smooth walkway that curves to follow the creek from the middle of the block along Bradford Street (pretty much directly opposite the Redwood City School District offices) out to Main Street, close to where it meets Veterans Boulevard. This segment has some nice plantings along the way, some attractive streetlights (I have yet to visit it at night) and a concrete bench (you can just make it out on the left side of the walkway right by the streetlight you see in the above photo).

Looking back, here is a view of the Arroyo Green building, and the walkway:

Facing the walkway, on the ground floor of this new building, is a great-looking community daycare center. That daycare center has its own entrance on Bradford Street, at the corner of the building closest to the creek and the new walkway:

As you walk alongside the creek, you can see into the play areas and classrooms that make up the daycare center. I saw rooms labeled “Infants,” “Toddlers,” “2 Year,” and “Preschool 3 Year” (the plans also show a room for pre-school 4-5 year-olds). The classrooms, and their associated outdoor play spaces, are securely separated from the public walkway by a tall open metal fence:

All told, this preschool has enough capacity for 70 children. It hasn’t opened, yet, but I look forward to the day when my walks along this pathway — which I plan to use a lot — are accompanied by the peals of happy children playing in the outdoor spaces.

I of course also look forward to more segments of this creek walk being built. One other section exists today, behind the Township apartment building at 333 Main St. (walk down either side of the building to get to the public walkway). That section is only as long as the Township building is wide, but soon, when the low-income apartment building currently under construction next door (at 333 Main St.) is completed, a longer section will be connected to it, enabling us to walk along Redwood Creek for the length of both buildings. I regularly visit the site of 333 Main St. to monitor and photograph its progress, and on a recent visit I took the following picture from the walkway behind the Township building, showing how the walkway will continue on behind the new building as well:

The other end of Township’s walkway segment also currently terminates at the property line:

Unfortunately, beyond that wooden fence is an existing office building and its parking lot; a section of that parking lot would have to be given over to the trail in order for it to continue. Here is that parking lot:

Imagine the trail running along the left edge of this parking lot, from the Township building (which you can see in the middle of the above photo) to the left of where I stood to take this photo. To the left of me the city has constructed another short segment of the walkway, which leads to and across Main Street, and then becomes the Highway 101 Pedestrian (and bicycle) Undercrossing.

So: the creek trail is still in pieces, but we’re slowly getting more of them. There is hope…

I love looking at our city’s natural features: there is art in that creek. And, of course, there is man-made art throughout the city. The latest is a new addition to Redwood City’s outdoor mural museum: the Perry Street parking lot (behind City Pub and the other businesses on that side of Broadway). The transformation of the long-idle Elgin’s Auto Supply building at 55 Perry St. into a modern office space has resulted in a large, mostly unbroken wall that was just crying out for a mural, and even before the office space has been leased an artist has gotten underway on creating that mural:

Unless the artist has been really busy over the last two or three days, the mural is as yet unfinished. But when it is complete it will consist of a truly lovely collection of flowers and birds. Next time you are in the area, take a spin through the parking lot and check it out! And be sure and take a look at the other murals in this collection, which surround the parking lot:

Not all art can be found on walls (or utility boxes); I consider food to be an art, as well. And all signs point to the latest addition to our dining scene being a Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop! This project has been in the works for a while, and still has a way to go: the shop will be located on the Broadway face of the “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative” building at 2075 Broadway (at the corner of Broadway and Jefferson Avenue):

When I was there taking the above photograph (last week) there were no signs of any activity inside the space, but although it will likely take months to turn it into a proper ice cream shop, have no fear: according to an article in Palo Alto online confirming all the details, “in the months leading up to opening the Redwood City shop, the owners plan to bring an ice cream truck to Broadway to serve scoops, sundaes and floats.” So watch for that truck, and give this San Francisco-based ice cream producer’s products a try.

Humphrey Slocombe should only be taking a portion of the building’s ground-floor space, incidentally. The bulk of the space is intended to be the new downtown branch of Wells Fargo Bank. However, the developer bringing Wells Fargo to this space doesn’t seem to be making much progress on outfitting their portion of the building: their application for an external “Wells Fargo” sign, which was submitted three months ago, is still being reviewed by the city. I also note that there is a pending permit to alter the building to accommodate an ATM machine; that one was submitted last September, and is also still marked “under review”. Either this project is being held up for reasons unconnected to the city, or our city staff (and the consultants to which some of their work is farmed out) is just swamped by all of the project submissions that the city has received, and not able to process these applications in a timely fashion.

Finally, for those of you who miss Lovejoy’s Tea Room (on Main Street in downtown Redwood City; their storefront has been closed for a number of months now due to the pandemic), they’ve created The Shoppe at Lovejoy’s Tea Room: an online store from which you can get a number of their wonderful offerings. Tea, scones, double cream, lemon curd and jams…even tea cups and saucers. It’s all here but for the in-person experience. My wife and I have been ordering a dozen scones, plus double cream and jam, every month or so, and I think it has help us survive the isolation we’ve all experienced over the last year. We also sent some as gifts during the holidays, and they were extremely well received. Until recently, though, we were simply using their take-away/delivery service (which can put scones on your doorstep the very next day). Although we’ll continue to use that service to meet our personal needs, when we are thinking about gifting, we’ll go online to their “shoppe.”

I’m hoping that Lovejoy’s Redwood City tea room will re-open soon, but if it does, it will do so under new ownership, apparently: Lovejoy’s is “actively looking for the right person to take over the reins of Lovejoy’s Redwood City.” The company is moving in a new direction (“The Shoppe” likely being part of that new direction), and is searching for someone who would like to own their own Lovejoy’s Tea Room. If you or someone you know might at all be interested, Gina & Dave Meyers have written a bit about it here, and have included their contact information. For the right person, especially now that we are starting to put COVID-19 behind us, this could be a terrific opportunity. Spread the word…

5 thoughts on “On the Trail

  1. We have been enjoying Lovejoy’s since the pandemic began. I have hosted many teas in our backyard for my parents. Complete with tea, scones, Devon cream, crumpets, lemon curd, tea sandwiches, petit fours and quiche! Their quiche is to die for. I’ve also sent tea boxes to friends including one who lived in England for years and burst into tears when she opened the package! She has missed English tea so much and she said this was the best substitute!

  2. Hi Greg, have you noticed that the county changed their design for the county office building #3 (COB#3) from the figure 8 looking design to one that uses mass timber construction? The county sure makes it hard to find any renderings but the one on Truebeck’s website looks interesting… would love to see some more renderings for that building. It will be right behind the courthouse so curious to see how they incorporated that into their design if at all.

    • I had not noticed that – thanks for bringing it to my attention! I’m a big fan of mass-timber construction, and think it particularly appropriate in a city named after a type of wood…

      The county indeed makes it hard to find renderings (or almost any information on some of their projects, frankly); Redwood City is far better than most in this regard.

    • I’ve been trying to find images of this updated design for a while. I also noticed they changed architecture firms…I agree the county makes it a pain to find info on projects, especially their own!

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