Horsehoes in Los Gatos?

All right, neighbors, where in Los Gatos can you find these beautiful horseshoes embedded in concrete? The first individual to email me the correct answer / location will win a prize! See below for the details.

Horseshoe in concrete in Los Gatos

Although clearly this is in concrete, it’s not a sidewalk – the town does not embed items into the sidewalk. Here’s another one, if you look closely, you can see it’s not the same as the one above:

Los Gatos horseshoe in concrete

With this second one, you can see that the horseshoe is adjacent to a large tree. Does that help?  Maybe one more, yet another:

A third horseshoe in Los Gatos

With this last one, it does appear that the horseshoe is next to a walkway or maybe a sidewalk. What do you think?

The first person who emails me the correct answer will get a $10 Starbucks gift card  – please email me at mary@popehandy.com and put the word Horseshoe in the subject line. Please also provide your first name 🙂

Sacred Heart Jesuit Center – formerly the Jesuit Novitiate

Perhaps you’ve driven over Highway 17 from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz and wondered about the large white building off to the left, perched on a knoll overlooking the valley and that same highway.   That’s the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, now a retirement home for Jesuit priests and brothers (members of the Society of Jesus) for the provinces of California, Oregon, and Washington (now collectively known as “Jesuits West”).  Many decades ago, it was the novitiate for the California province, meaning it’s where young men entered the order.  Two of my uncles did just that.   I am a fairly frequent visitor to this lovely place now, as one of my uncles has gone full circle and has retired where he first entered. Some of my old professors from Gonzaga University in Spokane are there, too, as well as Jesuits that I knew growing up in the area.

Pan of Santa Cruz Mountains toward Los Gatos
Pan of Santa Cruz Mountains toward Los Gatos – view from the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center (formerly the Jesuit Novitiate)

So today I wanted to share some photos with you, as many people living in Los Gatos would have no occasion to visit what my family still calls The Novitiate.   However, Testarossa Winery is next door (at what used to be the Jesuit Winery), so many of my readers will have been close.  Please enjoy the photos, which I took last Saturday while there to see my uncle.

I’ve learned that the Jesuits also have a wicked sense of humor. My uncles like to joke that “even the Sacred Heart has turned his back to the Jesuits!”

 

Please remember many people call this home, so please enjoy the winery and the public trails nearby and respect that the Jesuit Center grounds and it’s parking is for the workers, residents, and their guests.

Vasona Lake County Park on a warm, sunny, winter day

This may be an El Niño winter, but right now there’s a break in the precipitation.  As much as we appreciate the rain, we also appreciate the warm, sunny, dry days also.  Yesterday I broke out of work mode for an hour and enjoyed a walk at Vasona Lake County Park.  Here are a few photos.  To my readers in snowy climates, yes, Los Gatos really can be this nice in February!

Vasona Lake County Park in winter
Vasona Lake County Park in winter

 

Vasona Bridge View toward hills
Vasona Bridge View toward hills

 

Vasona Bridge View toward Lake
Vasona Bridge View toward Lake

Read moreVasona Lake County Park on a warm, sunny, winter day

Aerial views of Los Gatos

In June 2015, my husband, his brother, and neice enjoyed a flight in a small private plane that took them from Livermore to Santa Cruz and then over downtown Los Gatos. They’ve shared their images with me to share with you – hope you enjoy them!  (Not your typical Los Gatos real estate view!!)

View coming into Los Gatos from the Santa Cruz Mountains
View coming into Los Gatos from the Santa Cruz Mountains

 

Downtown Los Gatos – you can see Los Gatos-Saratoga Road heading toward Monte Sereno and Saratoga in the middle of this image

 

Los Gatos – Monte Sereno hill from the air – downtown Los Gatos is seen on the bottom right corner

 

Aerial view of east Los Gatos – closest in is the Santa Cruz Mountains, then the Shannon Valley with Blossom Hill just beyond it

 

The historic Broadway area neighborhood in Los Gatos

Broadway and El Sereno The very first subdivision or planned neighborhood in Los Gatos was along Broadway and nearby (Clifton Avenue, Broadway Extension and Wood Road).  There had already been quite a few houses built at that time in Los Gatos, but none were planned areas per se. John Lyndon was the developer and he bought the land and created 48 parcels which were sold in 1881 – a good six years before the far larger Almond Grove district was created and 6 years before the town was incorporated, too. A few homes in this area may already have been present, though, and seem to predate the 1881 date.

No doubt, Mr. Lyndon’s real estate buying decision was at least partially influenced by the location of his Lyndon Hotel, a whose bar was a popular hangout for the likes of John Steinbeck and Charlie Chaplain, which was located at the corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and Broadway, and now is the Lyndon Plaza (since sadly the hotel was torn down in the 1960s).

What was once a fairly quiet end of town is today mostly in the heart of it. The area closest to the post office enjoys a wide road (if desperately in need of repair), a good variety of Victorian and mostly older, historic homes, and is very uniformly well kept. Because it is either “in town” or “close to town”, the road is lined with cars most days – perhaps also because these houses of course pre-dated garages.

Where is the Broadway Historic District in Los Gatos?

The Town of Los Gatos has a Historic Districts Map – have a look:

Town of Los Gatos Historic Districts Map

 

Broadway neighborhood of Los Gatos real estate information

Read moreThe historic Broadway area neighborhood in Los Gatos

Aerial views of west Los Gatos

Last Friday, my husband, Jim, enjoyed a flight over much of the south bay area with his brother, John, and our niece, Christine.  I’m the lucky winner who gets loads of fantastic photos to share (with abundant gratitude to John Handy!)! Today I’ll begin with a shot over west Los Gatos.

Here’s a view from the plane that my wonderful brother-in-law shared with me.  Can you tell what you are seeing?

West Los Gatos aerial view

 

The biggest hint I can offer is to point out that the major road running along the right side is Highway 85, and what is off to the upper right hand side is north.

Can you tell where you’d see these things:

  1. Downtown Los Gatos?
  2. La Rinconada Country Club (golf course)?
  3. Rinconada Water Treatment Plant?
  4. Any of these schools:   Rolling Hills Middle, Marshall Lane Elementary, West Valley College?
  5. Downtown Saratoga?
  6. Vasona Lake?
  7. How about Quito Road?
  8. Pollard Road?

The first 6 I’ve put onto the same image but mapped.  Have a look….

Read moreAerial views of west Los Gatos

Hidden stop sign at Shannon and Hilow in Los Gatos

Saw this today – and we stopped. I wonder how many people fly through this intersection since they cannot possibly see the sign? Photo taken 9-3-2015 at the intersection of Shannon and Hilow in east Los Gatos. Not sure if it’s the town’s responsibility or the home owner’s…but it’s dangerous as it is!

Stop Sign Shannon and Hilow