Recently, there was an unfortunate incident that involved a member of the Parkmead community. Ryan McLeod, a teenager who just graduated from Las Lomas and lives in the neighborhood, had a skateboarding accident up in Tahoe that resulted in a massive head injury.
Our neighbors John and Anne spearheaded an ice cream social to bring the neighborhood together to provide support for the family. Prayers and words of encouragement were said, cards were dropped off, and posters were made. There were individual videos created and all were sent to the family at the Reno hospital. It was a very uplifting event that hopefully provided some hope to Ryan and his family. It was heartwarming to see our little community rally around a neighbor, family and a friend to many.
Ryan continues to improve, and recovering will be a long process with a lot of unknowns still to come, but there are a lot of prayers and faith for the best. The Parkmead community has shown its true colors by springing into action to support the McLeod family however possible, and it makes me proud to live in such a wonderful community.
Recently, the Parkmead community had to say goodbye to one of its most magnificent, ancient, well-regarded friends. A huge redwood tree on Lilac Dr., that had served as a sort of landmark for the neighborhood, was cut down.
Many neighbors were out watching the tree come down, because it wasn’t just any other tree. This was a tree an arborist estimated was more than 150 years old. It was something recognized by anyone who traveled through, or lived in, Parkmead.
In its place now is a big gap of air, which will never replace the beauty of the huge redwood tree. Unfortunately, the tree had a disease in its roots, and was in danger of dying and falling on nearby houses.
Despite that danger, the owner was saddened, and told me it felt like he was losing an old friend. Even my son, who came home for Thanksgiving, noticed it had been cut down and was sad to see a gap in the skyline. It’s disappointing any time a tree has to be removed, but especially when it has lived through so much! Rick – the owner – speculated the neighborhood was designed around the tree as there are two other redwoods in rear neighbor’s houses that are estimated at 50 years of age each.
For the record, 150 years ago? That was 1867, when Walnut Creek was only 18 years old!
Walnut Creek has done a lot of cool things with the rebuilding of Broadway Plaza, but one of my favorite new additions is all the art that’s going in to complement the buildings!
Recently, I was wandering the Broadway Paseo near the parking garage and saw Joyce Hsu’s hummingbird statues in front of Tommy Bahama’s. I think they look awesome and really draw a pedestrian’s eye to the color and form (they look as if they’re in flight)!
After doing a little research, I discovered that it’s part of a larger art installation called “Rawr,” which will also consist of a large robot T-Rex and a dinosaur bench just outside Macy’s. They are meant as both art and as a place for children to take a break when shopping.
According to the official approval documents, Hsu has always been intrigued by childhood fables, because it’s a reinterpretation of how the “adult” society works. She created the sculptures to remind visitors to Broadway Plaza of the importance of fun, play and imagination when building a stronger community.
Here’s a fun fact that also inspired Hsu’s hummingbirds and helped make them an obvious inclusion in the theme of her overall project: hummingbirds are, in fact, the smallest living dinosaurs!
About 1 1/2 years ago, I joined Just Be Yoga after I went on a Just Be and Dragon Fly Yoga retreat to Nosara, Costa Rica. I went with my favorite yoga teacher who I originally met at Forma Gym, named Kelli.
The owner of Just Be Yoga, Jenny Wendell, has created an amazing community. The people and the instructors there are incredible. The yoga studio itself has a 2-door glass garage that opens and shuts whenever necessary. They have heated classes, a little courtyard outside of the studio, and multiple yoga retreats per year from Yosemite to Hawaii, among other domestic and international locations. Another of my favorite instructors, Malia Hill, even offers an occasional SUP (stand-up paddleboard) yoga class in Alameda! This summer she is headed to Croatia for a SUP/Yoga retreat.
I think my favorite thing about going to Just Be Yoga and the retreat in Costa Rica, were meeting all the great people and instructors and just feeling like I belong. The benefits of learning to breathe, sweat and get that afterglow/relaxed feeling is a big release from the stress of daily life as a real estate agent.
A big benefit to yoga, in general, is that they really get you in touch with your body. I had no idea how much I lacked in range of motion and flexibility. Kelli’s classes often focus on areas I never knew I could stretch like hips, IT bands and sides. These tend not to be the Deep Yoga class, but they have some great Vinyasa flow and I love the Yin classes. Just Be Yoga is located right behind Wish downtown. Check them out, try them out and come be part of this wonderful community. You can do an introductory trial month for $39.
As for the retreat, we stayed at Blue Spirit and I stayed in the Eco Hut. I thought it meant “eco-friendly hut,” but I was wrong. Oops! It had no A/C, it was a shared room, and it was more than 100 uphill steps to get to the yoga studio and it meant economy hut ;-).
Despite all that, the experience was unforgettable! There was evening meditation, yoga twice a day and plenty of time to enjoy the beach (which was right next to our resort), horseback riding, surfing and more. Check out this slideshow below!
Last Thursday, you may have been startled by big explosions in downtown Walnut Creek. Don’t worry, it was only fireworks signifying Broadway Plaza’s grand re-opening at their “Party in the Plaza” event! If you missed the food trucks and concert that night, you can still catch the encore to the celebration tomorrow (Fri., Sept. 9) from 6-9 p.m.
Tomorrow’s festivities are themed “A Night of Thanks” and is aimed to thank the community for its patience and support during construction. There will be in-store events, musical performances, food and wine tastings, and more. Boudin, Clarks, GAP, Diablo Magazine and the Walnut Creek Downtown are sponsors and partners of the event.
We can’t guarantee more fireworks, but this seems like a pretty great way to spend a warm summer night downtown, exploring the newest re-addition to the city. The one-night only celebration will include a special “Meet & Greet” from a NYX celebrity beauty influencer, a Fall Fashion sneak peek, and a fundraiser for Wardrobe for Opportunity.
Stores participating with special events or deals include:
Fringe Flower Co. in Walnut Creek is not your typical flower shop. With their unique designs, highly-green approach and free delivery to the nearby Kaiser hospital, Sarah and Jeanne do everything differently.
They were two florists who met by chance, conquered a big wedding together, and then decided they wanted a brick and mortar location in the area.
Last year, they founded it and opened up Fringe next to George’s Giant Hamburgers. And now, they’re really in business.
Both Sarah and Jeanne are from the Bay Area and are committed to a holistic business. They source their florals from premium flowers and local growers. Additionally, they work with recycled containers, compost, and deliver leftover florals to community groups, among other philanthropic efforts.
If you ever need a floral arrangement for an event or a wedding, make sure to give them a call! Deliveries can be made online, over the phone or via walk-in, and Fringe specializes in weddings, events, and corporate accounts.
They are open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Stroll through beautiful Downtown Town Walnut Creek while enjoying unique tastings from over 15 local wineries! The event will begin at Pro Home Systems located at 1561 Civic Drive, here you will receive your commemorative tasting glass and a map of businesses participating. During the event, you will also be able to enjoy stunning art displays and live music. Tickets are available for $40 the day of the event, or $30 pre-sale from these locations: Atlas, Mechanics Bank, Main St. Postal and Walnut Creek DBA Office. All proceeds from the June Wine Walk will be donated to the Walnut Creek Aquanauts.
Senator Desaulnier Town Hall Meeting- Health Care Reform:
The American Cancer Society is sponsoring at 5K walk around Heather Farms Park. This is a free event to raise awareness for cancer research and to provide support for both cancer survivors and those currently battling cancer. Registration will begin at Heather Farms at 8 AM, the walk will begin at 9 AM. Come enjoy a beautiful Saturday morning in the park and support a great cause! For more information, contact Ashley Fairchild at Ashley.Fairchild@cancer.org.
Free Advanced Compost Workshop:
Date: Saturday, June 22nd
Time: 10:30 AM- 12:00 PM
A free workshop hosted at the Walnut Creek Library for those who want to learn more about organic gardening and natural ways to control pests. For more information, Email Ashley@wastedivision.org.