Saturday, August 30, 2008

A festival without a theme

Bicycle trails are few in the south bay. We can only dream of a system, similar to the "crossings" (knooppunten) in Belgium. On labor day, my son and I hopped on our bikes for a ride to downtown along the Guadalupe River.

The Guadalupe river trail (wiki) is a 11-mile pedestrian and bicycle path in the city of San Jose, Ca. It starts near the San Jose airport and brings you straight to downtown San Jose and ends near the discovery museum.

Sadly signalization can be improved a bit. For one, the fish pointing left always point left. They are not an indication of the route. Secondly, you have to cross the river on several occasions if you do not want to dead end. At least with a dead end you can not get lost.
The trail is interesting as you get to observe the flood protection system of San Jose. The last time the river flooded big parts of San Jose was 1995, a couple of months before I arrived in San Jose.
The trail is a nice and safe sneak road into downtown. You pass along the headquarters of Adobe and end at the San Jose discovery museum on Woz way, named after Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple computer.

Labor day weekend in San Jose typically means the San Jose Tapestry Arts festival. Feel free to skip it. It lacks some sizzle and frankly a theme. Most festivals are artsy and have paintings, soaps and hats. You need a better theme to lure people in. Wine or beer festivals do the job. Or a fruit or vegetable. The Kendall Jackson tomato festival, the Watsonville strawberry festival, the Castroville artichoke festival or the Gilroy Garlic festival are examples. I do have a suspicion that all good fruits and vegetables have been taken: all Hayward could come up with was the Hayward zucchini festival. That leaves lifestyle as a theme, which San Francisco has a monopoly on: the Haight Ashbury street fair, the Folsom street fair or Castro street fair. Does mean that the only options were a geek themed festival or a festival with not really a theme? They might as well called it "surprise"-festival to get the crowds of free loaders. We caught the end of day one of the festival. It was very much dead, with only a few people strolling around. I must have missed the lunch time crowds.

On the way back, we passed by the Shark tank (officially called HP Pavilion) where the San Jose Sharks hockey team play. We continued to San Jose airport, currently under construction as another terminal is being added. And then headed for home (another 10-15 minutes).

This was the longest bicycle trip for my son. So his demand for double icecream desert was definitely granted. And for pappi too.


1 comment:

kate said...

How nice it is to be able to have you kid get some excerise and you be able to get some at the same time. Think how many times you had to take your kid to gymborie, karate, soccer or the park and wanted to get your pulse up but instead you had to sit and watch.