At the end of Loma Alta Ave in the foothills sits the Los Gatos campus of Uplift Family Services, formerly Eastfield Ming Quong (EMQ) Family First. Tucked away among quiet residential streets, this unassuming establishment often goes unnoticed by locals, but it has deep roots in this Town and across the Bay Area, and especially within the Chinese community.
Origins: “Radiant Light”
Discriminatory laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943) took their toll on US Chinatowns. Organized crime took hold in US Chinatowns and with it, human trafficking. Tong kidnaped Chinese women, smuggling them through the Golden Gate and into prostitution and slavery. In the late 19th century, Presbyterian missionaries in San Francisco began an effort to help the victims, women and children, escape to safety.
This undertaking expanded, providing safe houses and orphanages: Chung Mei (“China America”) Home for boys and Ming Quong (“radiant light”) Homes for girls.
All of Santa Clara County (the San Jose and Silicon Valley region) has great weather, low crime, beautiful hills in sight and excellent schools. So why chose Los Gatos to call home in particular?
Los Gatos enjoys all of the features that most people want, such as good schools, nice neighborhoods and low crime. The downtown area is nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, making it especially scenic. It’s more than that, though: it’s a fun place in which to live. It’s got great community involvement. There’s truly something for everyone in this lovely town which was once dubbed the “Gem City”.
Beautiful architecture in Los Gatos
In a valley full of tract housing and strip malls, Los Gatos offers several historic neighborhoods with lovely Victorian architecture. While most of the town’s subdivisions are not so old or distinctive, the downtown area includes several districts you’ll enjoy seeing, among them these: Edelen, Almond Grove, Fairview Plaza, Broadway, and Glenridge. The downtown commercial district includes a few historic buildings, too.
The outdoors is well appreciated in Los Gatos, and it is a big part of what makes this town special. The Los Gatos Creek Trail pleases athletes, who can enjoy fabulous scenery for biking, rollerblading, running, or walking. We have great parks throughout the town, and they have everyone in mind from little tots to people on horseback. Our county park, Vasona, has boating and kids and adults can take sailing lessons. Doglovers even have a dog park which is shared with neighboring Campbell.
Outdoor wintertime festivities include the tree lighting ceremony the first Friday evening in December, carriage rides through the historic downtown, and a holiday parade the first Saturday in December plus a beautiful Fantasy of Lights display each night at Vasona Park from about Thanksgiving through the last day of the year. There is a Plein Art show, an arts & crafts fair, a Fourth of July town picnic, and an annual fall carnival too – you name it!
When this blog first began, I did a post as to why folks chose to live in Los Gatos (as opposed to Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden Valley, or anywhere else). I’ve updated it and now pose the question to you: why live in Los Gatos? I would love to get the feedback of town residents!