For those who have been following this blog for a few years, you may remember an annual event we’ve been doing in Parkmead for the last 4 years: the Chili Cook-Off! The 2018 event took place on November 3rd from 3-6 p.m. We had nine chili-makers, a keg of Allagash White, cornbread, brownies, and kids with chalk and scooters running around the blocked off Lee street in the Parkmead community.
Usually, we have a great turn out and many different chilis to try in the neighborhood, then we crown a winner each year with the Parkmead Wooden Spoon! This year a new homeowner David Chiorini took home the bragging rights. He made an El Pato (spicy style) Texas Chili garnering over 24 votes. There’s nothing better than a few warm cups of chili and a cold beer on a Fall afternoon, especially when you’re doing it as a neighborhood community builder! The Parkmead Community Association organizes these types of events and it is what makes the neighborhood so darn special and desirable.
Hope to see you next year, and what a great idea to organize in your own neighborhood! And, if you are thinking you would like to live in this type of neighborhood, give me a call.
Looking for something to do in the neighborhood this weekend? Stop by for an Ice Cream Social to celebrate the end of summer and an opportunity to mingle with neighbors, new people, and me!
The festivities will commence on Sunday, September 30th, at 190 Arlene Drive, Walnut Creek from 3-5 pm. All you have to do is RSVP to me via my website, (kristinlanham.com/contact) and you will be good to go! Bring your family or a friend and a smile!
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!
It’s that time again, ghosts and ghouls! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (not sure it is technically a holiday, but it was in Nevada where I grew up – that was the day Nevada became a state!). I want to wish everyone out there a Happy, scary, sugar-filled Halloween tonight.
If you want to swing by my house and get treats from the best neighborhood in town, come to Parkmead! I usually get 200-300 Trick-or-Treater’s on Halloween, depending if it falls on a school night or a weekend. Our neighborhood is flat and on a horseshoe, so all the ghosts and goblins come to our street where many of the families have decorated or are hosting parties in their garages.
I usually invite friends over, make my famous Willie’s Chili, stoke up the chimney and pass out candy in my front driveway while having a mini-party with friends. I have even seen little red wagons carrying a child and a six-pack in the back as the parents roam their way around the neighborhood and their kids run from house to house!
My favorite part is seeing all the creative costumes and hearing the really young kids say “trick-or-treat!” You can see some of the awesome costumes from years past in the slideshow below! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Parkmead neighbors: come join us for our annual pool block party at Dewing Park this Saturday! We’ll be grilling burgers and dogs from 11-3 and the pool will be open to all.
Also, Adam (one of our board members) really wanted a keg of quality beer for the adults. So, he was given a budget and tasked with ordering: he decided on a triple IPA by Knee Deep Brewery called Simtra.
You don’t want to miss out on this Parkmead Community Association block party. The burgers, dogs, sunshine, 11.25% beer music by Funky Jams from Las Lomas and cool pool will be well worth your time on a hot day, temperatures are forcasted to be 95 degrees.
Living in the neighborhood all these years, I can attest to the close-knit community that is only grown through events like this. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors and be part of your community.
My Parkmead neighborhood, in Walnut Creek, is hosting a Garden Tour this Sunday. Come by and check it out if you have a chance!
Get to know the Parkmead neighborhood and learn about the local flora and fauna that thrive in our Mediterranean climate. We have 8 gardens participating this year!
Here are the details:
Sun, Apr 30
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Maps available at 1701 Lilac Drive
As listed above, you can pick up your Garden Tour map at 1701 Lilac Dr., anytime between 1 pm and 4 pm on Sunday, April 30th.
We will feature a garden designed by our very own resident landscape designer, Janet Cohen and one with Admirals Choice discussing irrigation, drought resistant plants and sprinklers that can be controlled by your phone. Plus the non-profit Sustainable Contra Costa, will have information on raising chickens at home and sustainable gardening tips. They will also have a “sheet mulching” demonstration and composting discussion! Additionally, we will be sharing some info on beekeeping at home and composting.
P.S. We will also be accepting donations to finish the walking path that takes you to Parkmead Elementary School. It has many potholes and when it rains, many puddles. Thus students, dog walkers and neighbors divert them by walking into the street!
On Saturday, October 10th, the Parkmead Community Association held their first Chili Cook-Off. Eight chili recipes were entered and the big crowd of tasters judged them while enjoying beer and cornbread.
Kids crafts and ping-pong also filled the area, and to ensure safety, Lee St. was blocked off for the event.
First place in the cook-off went to Adam Neilkie for his classic pork and beef recipe. Yours truly took second place with Willie’s Chili, which is a traditional beef concoction with a secret added tang. Michael was awarded third place for his chili dish. These chili recipes and the rest were devoured within two hours!
The combination of food, drink and perfect weather made for a memorable afternoon. Neighbors of all ages came by to join in the fun, making it a true community event. Because of the success of our first Chili Cook-Off, this may become an annual affair; bring your chili next year to spend a day in the sun with your neighbors and to test your chili against the best!