Lower Stakes

Two weeks ago I wrote a post called Belmont Stakes. It was about a walk I took to and through Belmont, a journey I made in order to clear out some of the long-standing items in my “Pictures I Need” list. That walk went a long way towards checking items off of that list, but it didn’t clear the list entirely, since I also had a couple of items on there that were not conveniently reachable while on that particular walk. Accordingly, last week I set out to check off most of the remaining items. Fortunately for me, these particular ones were not quite so far away…

Because I have mostly Apple gear, I use the Reminders app, which keeps named lists of items synchronized across my laptop, my iPhone, and my iPad. Thus, whenever it occurs to me that I need to check something out, I simply grab whichever electronic device I have closest to hand and add it to the list I named “Pictures I Need.” Then, once I’ve visited the place named in the list item, I click the circle to the left of the item, effectively removing it from the list.

Items on my list can be major development projects — like the Redwood Square housing project I wrote about last week — or they can be something small, such as a piece of public art, a new (or closing) business, or even just a street sign. I add things that I hear about — sometimes from readers like you, sometimes from things I read online — and I add things that I notice when I’m out running errands. This makes for a somewhat jumbled list, one that I often reorganize prior to taking a walk. I did just that prior to heading up to Belmont, and as I did so I made sure that on that walk I was checking off the “big ticket” items on my list. Thus, what was left for last week’s walk were some smaller, though no less interesting in some ways, items. Items that I’ll go over today.

The first two are items that had been on my list for quite some time. I’ve written in the past about how unfortunate it is that Redwood City has lost so many places where families can have fun together (the miniature golf course, the go-kart track, the bowling alley on El Camino Real, the roller rink, the ice rink…) that whenever I see good news about things like that — even if they aren’t actually in Redwood City — I add them to the list of things I want to check out. Thus, when I heard about Rockin’ Jump (“The ultimate trampoline park”) coming to nearby San Carlos, it immediately went on my list.

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Located at 401 Quarry Rd. in San Carlos, this is an indoor “trampoline park.” Not only can you jump on the trampolines, you can also play dodgeball (on trampolines!), slam-dunk basketballs (using the trampoline to get you to the rim), enjoy a variety of activities within their “foam pit arena” and scale their climbing wall.

Rockin’ Jump hosts birthday parties and group events, but you needn’t be attending one of those in order to enjoy all of what Rockin’ Jump has to offer. They do have special hours that allow the younger set to play in safety — they call it “Rockin’ Tots” — so if you are looking for activities that you can share with your younger children (up to 6 years old) consider paying Rockin’ Jump a visit. Hours, prices, and details of all of the activities you can partake in there are clearly posted on their website.

I went expressly to check out Rockin’ Jump, but in doing so I noticed the sign immediately below theirs. Bintang Badminton is also making use of San Carlos’ apparently abundant warehouse space to provide another type of activity: badminton. This is a badminton club that you can join, although non-members can apparently just drop in. They offer classes, private lessons, and host teams. And of course you can reserve a court, or simply drop by during open hours and play.

Bintang Badminton is open seven days a week (with somewhat limited hours due to the pandemic). For pricing and information on reserving a court, check out their website.

Second on my list was a place somewhat closer to home, although still in San Carlos: PongPlanet, a table tennis club. Located at 848 Brittan Avenue, they’re on the block of Brittan closest to Highway 101, just across from REI (and adjacent to the active construction site at the corner of Brittan Avenue and Industrial Road). PongPlanet is a bit tucked in there, and a tad tricky to get to given the nearby freeway onramp/offramp, but if you are into Table Tennis (“Ping Pong”), they could be worth seeking out.

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I didn’t go inside, but from their website it certainly sounds nice enough. Don’t be put off by their rather humble facade:

Our 9600 sf facility houses international competition grade tables, professional Table Tennis flooring, excellent tournament level lighting, 18 foot high ceilings, barrier-enclosed courts, air-conditioning, two private party rental rooms, a Pro Shop, free Parking and free Wi-Fi. And last but not the least, we have some of the finest coaches in the area, with a proven track record with producing world-class players.

Like Rockin’ Jump, PongPlanet hosts parties and events (it would make for a great team-building exercise) and they have summer camps. You can drop in and play, or take lessons or play in a league. Full details, of course, can be found on their website.

Next on my list was= the former site of Bayshore Supply, an electrical parts and fixtures retailer. These folks actually moved out of their building at the corner of Industrial Road and Holly Street some time ago; not much is going on there right now. But the City of San Carlos is currently reviewing plans for a six-story, 191-room hotel intended for this prime corner lot. Currently the site looks like this:

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If the project is approved and built as proposed, it would look something like this:

Hotel Indigo render

Apparently the hotel would be called “Hotel Indigo.” Just one small building (the one-story “Bakers Local 24” building) would separate it from Marriott’s Residence Inn, which is located at 800 Industrial Road.

Turning back to my list, the next item was located in a different part of San Carlos: on Alameda de las Pulgas where it meets Howard Avenue. For quite some time I’ve been meaning to take “before” photos of the existing fire station, which is due to be completely rebuilt. Here is that station:

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From a slightly different angle, the new building will look something like this:

1280 Alameda fire station render

(In the above rendering, Alameda de las Pulgas is along the right edge. The building’s front door would face Howard Avenue.) This project was unanimously approved by San Carlos’ Planning Commission in July of last year, so assuming that this project is still on track (I don’t follow San Carlos politics as closely as I do in Redwood City, and thus cannot say) we may see construction here soon. If so, I’ll write more about the project then. But thanks to my little list, I now have a set of photographs showing what is there today.

Back in Redwood City, a couple of weeks ago I had noticed some activity in the old Pier 1 Imports store, in Sequoia Station, and thus added that storefront to my list. I had hoped that perhaps a “real” tenant was moving in, but no, it is just the annual renting of an empty storefront for a Spirit Halloween store:

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This is certainly better than nothing, of course. And the fact that they are so early — I noticed them back at the beginning of August — means that the storefront is at least occupied for four months out of the year… I don’t know what Halloween will be like this year, but if you or your young ones are looking for costumes or decorations, well, they’re baaack…

That was it for my list — almost. I actually still have two items still on it, both of which involve walking up into the hills west of Redwood City. Once our air is clear — hopefully next week — I plan to go up there and check on the progress of the 8-home development underway on Jefferson Avenue just east of Redwood Parent’s Nursery School, as well as take some photographs of the various creeks that run through the area. I have a fascination with the our area’s water systems, both man-made and natural, and plan to write more about them once I’ve spent more time tracing the various branches. I would also take a picture of Dug the Dinosaur — who has been “living” up there for a while now — but thanks to an article in The Daily Journal, I recently learned that he has moved back to his original home, at 3427 Jefferson Avenue (just a couple of blocks west of Alameda de las Pulgas, on the south side). So I’ve added him to my list…

Lists are great things; I not only love adding things to them, I love to check items off. Checking them off gives me a feeling of accomplishment — and this week gives me a bunch of somewhat random things to write about. While none of the items I checked off my list are what I would call “high stakes,” not everything needs to be. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the smaller, “lower stakes” ones.

4 thoughts on “Lower Stakes

    • Hey, Elayne –

      Until you subscribe I don’t have access to your email address. But it should be simple to add yourself to the subscription list (you don’t need an account or anything): if you are on a computer or tablet, just go to any of my posts and look for the “Follow Blog Via Email” section, along the right edge just below the banner showing the Climate Best sign. If you are on a smartphone, just go to one of my posts and tap the “Follow” button at the bottom of your browser window. Enter your email address in the box, and click Follow (on a computer or tablet) or “Sign me up” (on a smartphone).

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    • It may seem that way, but those businesses both probably just found the empty space they needed in San Carlos (and could have done so in Redwood City, if the space was available at the right price). I’m not sure the city had much to do with it. Redwood City’s Council has at least made some noises lately about bringing back family friendly entertainment, and some of the large project developers may indeed be including it in their projects. We *might* find ourselves with a roller rink and a bowling alley once again, although we’ll only know for sure when they actually appear. I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

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