We continue our tour of Walnut Creek’s public art scene with one of the more recognizable sculptures in the city: “Hand of Peace,” located just outside the library in Civic Park. The aptly-named sculpture is a monument to peace by Italian-born artist Beniamino Bufano, who passed away in 1970.
Legend has it that Bufano cut off his trigger finger and sent it to President Woodrow Wilson to protest World War I. He was a peace activist who taught at the San Francisco Institute of Art, UC Berkeley and Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, according to a 2012 San Jose Mercury News story. Bufano has other prominent pieces in the Bay Area, including a sculpture in Chinatown, one at Mondavi Vineyards in Napa, and one at Lake Merced.
According to the San Jose Mercury News article, Bufano originally created the “Hand of Peace” for the San Francisco Arts Commission, but when the piece was put up for sale, developer Bill Swigert paid $50,000 to place the sculpture in Walnut Creek, outbidding Fox Plaza and Ghirardelli Square.
The sculpture sat in an office park in Walnut Creek from 1967 to 2009, when it was taken down for restoration. Now, it’s up for display for many years to come in Civic Park. The sculpture weighs nearly 5 tons, stands 30 feet tall, and is made of copper, mosaic and stained glass.
Did you know your credit score can affect your home purchase? In Keith Loria’s BHG story recently, he discussed this idea.
As he points out, “having a good credit score can be the difference between obtaining the mortgage you need to buy your dream home—or settling for less because you didn’t qualify for the money you need.”
This is important as many buyers don’t consider their credit score until they’re already involved in the process. At that point, it’s usually too late to fix anything that might be wrong with your score. So think ahead and monitor your credit score!
Don’t like your credit score? Paying off debts is the fastest way to up your score, but if you are in the process of applying for a loan, check with the lender first. Missing deadlines on your credit payments are huge hits to your credit score!
I also spoke with my local lender, Jay Vorhees of JVM Lending, about this, and he gave me a few benefits to having a high credit score :
Borrowers with higher credit scores usually get lower interest rates (especially when loan-to-value ratios are higher)
Borrowers are allowed to make smaller down payments, if necessary
Underwriting requirements become less onerous because there are fewer conditions and requirements
Second mortgage financing is easier to obtain, if necessary
If you have any questions about credit scores, purchasing a home, or the market in general, please feel free to reach out. I’m happy to help or guide you to the right person!
Since opening in 2013, ØL has become a mainstay on the East Bay beer scene.
With its dark, cozy interior and constantly-changing kegs of unusual, often strangely-named beers, it’s a great place to grab a drink.
The bar rotates small kegs of beer as they run out, so unless you’re a regular, chances are you’ll never taste the same beer here twice!
If you haven’t already, check ØLout next time you go downtown. It has plenty of tables in a small, private space, as well as a full bottleshop, separate bar area and a couple of refrigerators with unique beers available for purchase (both to drink at the bar and for take-home). If you’re hungry, you can order in a pizza from Skipolini’s next door or get some charcuterie.
And, of course, the crown jewel of ØL is its beer, which is just fantastic. When my team and I met there last week, we tried a few different beers, with the best of the bunch being a Mike Hess Ficus Fig Saison and a Mahrs Bräu Hell.
In past experiences, I’ve tried everything from barleywine to heavy ambers to sours. ØL is a local watering hole in Walnut Creek that resembles a European beer cafe, in that there are no TV’s and it’s not too loud to have a conversation.
The focus is on the delicious drinks and socializing with good company. ØL is a perfect place to start or end your night!
Walnut Creek isn’t just becoming a hot spot for dining options and to live – it’s also quickly filling up with quirky, mesmerizing art! That’s probably because city ordinance says 1% of any new construction project budget must be dedicated to erecting public art or donated to a public art fund.
Check out this new piece next to the Teleferic/Rooftop/Vineyard Vines building:
Take a stroll around town, you will be amazed at all the art there is to see … one just needs to be observant. Enjoy!
Sometimes you just have to get out of the office. Our Walnut Creek Lifestyle Group decided to take a little outing to the Bedford Gallery for its new exhibit (free to the public each first Tuesday of every month!), which preceded our meeting over beers at ØL around the corner.
The colorful art installation was built from chicken wire and disposable tablecloths and takes up almost all of the gallery space.
One of the most interesting things about the artist is that she does not pre-plan her installations; she looks at the space available and creates a twisting shape to fit it.
Wagner, according to the accompanying information at the exhibit, intentionally builds installations where the viewer is overshadowed by an enormous sculpture. She wants the viewer to be surrounded by bright colors and feel as if they are dwarfed by all the surrounding textures.
Her work is anchored in her anxiety about the compromised state of the natural world but is designed to bring joy to her audience. The piece was really quite remarkable.
Check out the timelapse from the Bedford website below, as well as all the pictures my team took.
Also, keep an eye out for that ØL blog next Tuesday!
Looking for something to do on a lazy weeknight in Walnut Creek? Maybe craving another local live music show after your BottleRock or OutsideLands weekends? Well, you’re in luck!
Broadway Plaza is hosting its Summer Concert Series every Thursday night of this month. Each concert is free and open to the public from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
You’ve already missed one show on August 4th, but you can still catch:
Foreverland on August 11th
Mustache Harbor on August 18th
Tainted Love on August 25th.
Also, don’t forget the Party in the Plaza on September 1st: it’s a special event featuring a concert with Mark McGrath and Pop Rocks! For more information, click here.
This year’s event will be located in Broadway Plaza’s brand new Event Plaza, which is near Macy’s and the newly opened Broadway Lane.
They don’t allow outside food or beverage, but will sell both at the shows! Of course, you could always wander over to pretty much any bar or restaurant for a drink or a bite afterward from that location, too.
Walnut Creek continues to find cool ways to get its people outside this summer – enjoy and have a great time! Just bit bummed about not bringing my cooler, but maybe that keeps it free!