Archive for the ‘Morgan Hill’ Category

El Camino Calendar

Friday, May 6th, 2011

It’s been a minute since the last El Camino Calendar. Sorry about the hiatus but I’ve been so busy lately I could hardly see straight. There’s so much awesomeness going on this weekend though, it has shocked me out of inactivity. I’m baaack!

Morgan Hill No Bull BBQ Cook-Off

Saturday May 7 2011
10 am to 6 pm
Morgan Hill Community Center

17000 Monterey Rd. Morgan Hill, CA 95037

The public is more than welcome at the Morgan Hill No Bull BBQ Cook-off. You’ll enjoy great music, vendor offerings, and of course the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the most dynamic gatherings of BBQ Pitmasters on the West Coast.


Friday May 6, 2011

JOIN US for the next South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk on MAY 6th!
7pm ’til 11pm — ART WALK venues are free and open to the public

SJ Eats

Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Peralta Adobe
175 W. Saint John
San Jose, CA

Some of the best food trucks and carts across the Bay come to Downtown San Jose. Silog plates, short rib burritos, samosas, lobster rolls, horchata ice cream and more. Free admission.

Stanford Powwow

May 6-8, 2011

Welcome to the Stanford Powwow. Come visit us on Stanford campus May 6-8, 2011. The Stanford Powwow is held every Mother’s Day Weekend in the Eucalyptus Grove on Stanford campus.

Open to the Public | Rain or Shine.

Donation for admission

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 8, 2011 all day

Technically this happens everywhere, not just on El Camino Real.

El Camino Calendar

Friday, November 19th, 2010


A little something for everyone this weekend. Don’t forget to check out the El Camino Calendars page for a list of venues which always have a variety of activities going on.

REBEKAH CHILDREN’S SERVICES Festival of Trees-Christmas Carnival

When: November 19, 2010
Where: Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill CA 95037
Time: 6:00pm to Midnight
Cost: (RSVP) $85 per person
Event Hotline: (408) 846-2470
For more information or reservations visit us online at:

Rebekah Children’s Services 8th Annual Festival of Trees Christmas Carnival is the perfect start to your holiday season. The night will feature a Champagne reception, fabulous dinner, live and silent auctions, and wonderful holiday cheer!
Rebekah Children’s Services has served children throughout Santa Clara County for over 100 years. We are known as a caring and nurturing safe-haven for high-risk children as they attempt to overcome difficulties in their lives.
Google calendar event


Friday, November 19 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm
The Usuals
1020 The Alameda
San Jose, CA

Local artist, dNA, presents recent works in the Front Room. We are also featuring his most recent volume of Illuskrate: twenty-six pages of Ira & Drac and selected journal comics.

Join us in the Back Room for more art, food, music, and an awesome, hidden SJ-made trunk show!!/event.php?eid=111303338937090

Tree Decorating Holiday Event

Join us as we kick off the holiday season!
Friday, Nov 19 @ 7PM

The Center has been selected to join the 2010 San Jose Christmas in the Park Community Tree Decorating Program! In preparation for the above, we will be hosting a free holiday event on November 19th at 7pm. In addition to making tree decorations, we will have freshly baked cookies on hand for those who enjoy decorating (as well as eating) Thanksgiving and/or Christmas cookies. To top off the evening, David Harvey will be playing the piano to get us all in the holiday spirit. LGBT families are especially encouraged to join us in what promises to be a very festive occasion.
Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center
938 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126

Welcome Santa Claus

Saturday, November 20 · 12:00pm – 1:30pm
The Shops at Tanforan – Upper level by JCPenney

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane…to The Shops at Tanforan!

Join the Radio Disney Road Crew, as they help us welcome Santa from the North Pole. Also, you won’t want to miss checking out Santa in his Workshop where you can get your picture taken with him!

The Shops at Tanforan | 1150 El Camino Real | San Bruno, California 94066

Holiday Boutique

November 20th and 21st 10:00-4:00
Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Annual Holiday Boutique and Drawing.
43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont.

Featuring the Dominican Sisters’ Famous Fruitcakes, baked goods, Mission and assorted flavored olive oils, handmade gifts, and raffle prizes.

A New (to Me) Morgan Hill

Monday, October 11th, 2010

On Saturday, October 2 I drove down to Morgan Hill to attend a community meeting planning a redesign of the stretch of Monterey Road which passes through downtown. The initiative is dubbed “A New Downtown” and is currently in the planning stages, accepting community input on ways to improve the appearance, strengthen the identity, and support the businesses on Monterey Road. This was only the third time I had ever been to Morgan Hill outside the confines of US-101 so I took the opportunity to try and make the acquaintance of our South County neighbor. Downtown was charming, but it was the residents who made a distinct first impression I’ll always remember.

For those unfamiliar with Morgan Hill, as I must admit I was, it’s a small town of 33,000 residents (as of 2000). I always thought it was adjacent to San Jose but I just learned as I’m writing this that there’s an unincorporated town called Coyote in between. Who knew? If there’s one thing you need to know about Morgan Hill, it is this: there is no hill there named Morgan. The town is named for a fellow named Hiram Morgan Hill who eloped with the granddaughter of Martin Murphy in 1882. Their ranch on Monterey Road, inherited from the Murphys, was often referred to as “Morgan Hill’s Ranch” and the name stuck for the railroad depot and town which developed around it. The name is ironic because the most visible CIMG0492_croppednatural feature of the area is a large hill west of downtown called El Toro, but which uninformed visitors would naturally assume to be the town’s namesake.

I drove down US-101 to get there. I needed gas so I hopped off the freeway an exit early to fill up which worked out well because I could cruise into town on Monterey Road which I consider to be El Camino Real in South County. CalTrans put El Camino Real bells on US-101 down there but there’s no question they missed the mark. Monterey Road was exactly that, the historic road from Monterey to San Jose and by extension, from Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel to Mission Santa Clara.

As I drove through downtown Morgan Hill, I was met by a surprise: a couple political demonstrations on opposite sides of Monterey Road at Third Street. One was very quiet: four ladies dressed in all black simply standing and holding signs promoting peace and a desire to bring the troops back home. The other was larger and louder with people waving anti-Democrat and anti-incumbent signs: a Tea Party.

CIMG0480I had never witnessed a Tea Party rally so I parked my car and went down to check it out. Tea Partiers are of course politically conservative activists who have become known for their energetic demonstrations and activities in the last year or so. The group I saw are the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots and they will be holding these Saturday rallies until the election on Tuesday, November 2. One of the sign-waving Patriots, a woman named Jean, saw that I was carrying a community meeting packet so we got into a pleasantly civil conversation about past and proposed Monterey Road development in Morgan Hill such as the newly renovated intersection at Third Street where we were standing. She expressed concern about tax dollars being spent on wasteful projects and about the evils of eminent domain. Her opinions were of course valid and reasonable and included important issues which need to be addressed in public affairs. I’m politically liberal and have found many national Tea Party positions dangerously extreme and objectionable, spanning the gamut from sinister to cynical to ridiculous. So my first face-to-face Tea Party encounter was refreshingly palatable and even beneficial. Are Bay Area conservatives kinder and gentler than their counterparts elsewhere? Or is Jean just a moderate exception? It’s difficult to say. She did express to me that her participation in the Tea Party is motivated by desire for fiscal responsibility, not race. I’m sure she was anticipating concerns I might have had (she was right; I did) and I believe her sincerity. Still I wonder if she doth protest too much.

CIMG0487By the time I finished talking with Jean the other, quiet vigil was over so I didn’t get to talk with them. I suspect they were the Gilroy Women in Black, part of an international movement of women who demonstrate silently for peace and justice. It was time then to put politics aside. I headed back to the repurposed storefront where the community meeting was being held to contribute my two cents. The meeting was not a meeting per se but rather a self-paced gathering of input on ways to improve the street. It was hosted by the city and staffed by individuals from Callander Associates, the urban design firm facilitating the planning process. They had different stations where we could share broad ideas on what constitutes a successful and unsuccessful downtown, and where we could vote for our favorite proposed changes. CIMG0484The best activity involved a scale drawing of a Monterey Road cross-section over which we could lay design elements of different sizes such as sidewalks, parking and traffic lanes, and landscaped medians. The challenge was to get everything to fit. Wide sidewalks, bike lanes, and a median large enough to hold a coffee kiosk would be wonderful but if it’s not going to fit, it’s not going to happen. I thought Jean would have liked that exercise in spatial responsibility. My end solution was to widen the sidewalk, shrink the existing median, and give up on having a bike lane.

They provided a free lunch. There is of course no such thing so while I was enjoying my roast beef sandwich from Ricatoni’s Delicatessen, I felt obligated to fill out an extensive questionnaire about everything from street parking configurations to my purchasing habits. I felt a little out-of-line making suggestions for a downtown I don’t live in but then I reminded myself that as a tourist my input was valuable. Downtown Morgan Hill has plenty of shops and restaurants that I’m sure would love to attract visitors from out-of-town. Their Tea Party isn’t racist, so I doubt the chamber of commerce is xenophobic.

CIMG0488My last assigned task in the process was to take a walk up and down Monterey Road and complete an additional questionnaire along the way. As if the “free” lunch weren’t enough, they also gave me a voucher for a free ice cream cone from BookSmart a block off Monterey Road. Full disclosure: it was the enticement of free ice cream which drew me to the community meeting in the first place. I brilliantly opted to get my ice cream up front and enjoy it during my walk so a short detour to BookSmart was my first stop. In front was a gigantic red pull-wagon which gave me a hint what was inside. BookSmart is a fun place with loads of books, educational toys, a small cafe, and of course an ice cream counter. I ordered a scoop of tin roof sundae on a sugar cone, left a tip, and made my way back to and down Monterey Road.

CIMG0495On my walk I enjoyed surveying the downtown businesses, scanning a few menus and shopping in a few windows as I went. I tried picking out with a critical eye design features I liked and disliked about Downtown Morgan Hill. I liked the abundance of trees, the visual variety and interest of the architecture, and the authenticity of the place, being heavy on small local businesses and light on generic national chains. I disliked the narrow sidewalks, some unsafe-feeling pedestrian crossings, and the relative lack of racial and cultural diversity in the population and businesses. I was ambivalent about the street art: a series of whimsically decorated fiberglass mushrooms up and down the street. I generally enjoy this type of civic icon pop art which has been quite popular for the last decade, but simply put I hate mushrooms, so there. I was happy to see that a farmer’s market was going on at Third Street, the apparent edge of Downtown. On the whole the street seemed cozy, well-apportioned, and thriving. I didn’t see anything blatantly amiss, but there’s always room for improvement.

CIMG0501I finished my walk, turned in my questionnaire, entered a drawing for some local goods and services (apparently I didn’t win), and bade farewell to Downtown. I have now participated in El Camino redesign community meetings in three different cities, the others being Menlo Park and San Jose. I think that officially makes me an El Camino wonk.  On my way out of town I stopped at the Morgan Hill House, the  former residence of the aforementioned Hiram Morgan Hill and his bride Diana Murphy. It’s now home to the Morgan Hill Historical Society. I stopped to take pictures of the El Camino Real bell in front, the only one I saw on Monterey Road. At the community meeting I actually recommended adding more bells downtown to enhance the historical identity. Someone has to represent the Royal Road! I suppose that makes me a special interest lobbyist.

I told you this was my third visit to Morgan Hill. The first was for a child’s birthday party many years ago during which I saw very little of the city. The second was earlier this year when I took a long drive up Monterey Road all the way from San Martin up to San Jose with the specific intention of laying rubber and eyes on the South Valley El Camino. That was when I first discovered the unexpectedly inviting Downtown stretch. I literally just passed through (though I did stop at an ATM) but I liked what I saw and made plans to return. This most recent visit was gratifying as I got to interact with residents, dabble in local politics, and even sample the ice cream. Having taken a deep dive into Downtown, the old cliche proved true: the third time’s the charm.

El Camino Calendar

Thursday, September 30th, 2010


More great events coming up this weekend. Be sure to check out my new El Camino Calendars page for a list of venues which always have a variety of activities going on.

Monterey Road Redesign

A New Downtown – Help Shape Monterey Road

Saturday, October 2nd
17380 Monterey Road (corner of 2nd and Monterey)
Morgan Hill

The City of Morgan Hill is seeking community input on the redesign of Monterey Road between Dunne and Main Avenues, in downtown. A series of community meetings and open forums will be held to provide opportunities for input. With the community’s help, several alternatives will be developed to address community priorities for this important segment of road.

South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk

JOIN US for the next South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk on OCT 1st, 2010!
8pm ’til LATE — ART WALK venues are free and open to the public
SoFA District (So. First Street between San Carlos and E. Reed streets)

Featured Exhibitions Artists Reception

KALEID Gallery presents new solo exhibitions by Mariana Barnes and John Eric Paulson on Friday, October 1st, 7-9pm.
KALEID Gallery
88 South Fourth Street
San Jose, CA

SJMA’s First Back to Campus Night

Thursday, September 30, 2010
7—9 pm

San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Free for college students, faculty, and staff. An exclusive after-hours event for a private viewing of the exhibitions, complemented by DJs, the chance to try your hand at an LED light project, and Treatbot, the karaoke ice-cream truck.

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon

Sunday, October 3, 2010
A 1/2 Marathon through the streets of San Jose complete with live bands along the course and a finish line concert featuring Blues Traveler.

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

San Jose McEnery Convention Center
150 W. San Carlos Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Dates: October 1-2, 2010
Times: Friday, October 1st: 1pm- 6pm | Saturday, October 2nd: 9am- 5pm

Free Admission – Open to the public!

More than 80 exhibitors will feature merchandise, free samples, interactive displays, and exciting sweepstakes.

Brandi Chastain Testimonial Soccer Game

An all-star Testimonial Soccer Game honoring the career of Brandi Chastain and raising funds for her new ReachUP! Foundation. Includes interactive family activities.

Saturday October 2, 2010

  • Family friendly interactive activities begin at 3 p.m
  • Clinic: 4 p.m. SOLD OUT
  • Game: 6 p.m.

Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara University

An Evening with the Bard

Hosted by the British Bankers Club
1090 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
October 3, 2010
4pm to 7pm

Special Fundraiser to support the 2011 Season

Eat, drink, and make merry with the creative minds behind the Los Gatos and Mid-Peninsula Shakespeare Festivals. Join us at the British Bankers Club for appetizers and sweets, surprising entertainment, silent auction, and some word (and sword) play to round out the evening. Huzzah!
Via InMenlo