Seven superb Silicon Valley podcasts NOT about tech

From Stanford to NASA, the Peninsula has a lot to talk about By Emily Olson (Illustration by Kaz Palladino) This New Year’s, resolve to choose local and learn something new by changing up your podcast game. We’ve done the long-range listening for you, cutting out well-worn topics (read: tech), and narrowed it down to a curated list of our seven favorite Peninsula podcasts. Just listen in for 10 (or 30, or 60) minutes a day to get ...

Read More

Veteran food blogger David Lebovitz on his new book and Bay Area beginnings

The Chez Panisse alum speaks on the evolution of blogs, his most important kitchen tool and his favorite food haunts What’s cookin’?: David Lebovitz has been a food blogger since 1999. (Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press) David Lebovitz was a food blogger before the term even existed. He launched his popular website in 1999, long before the advent of Facebook, Yelp or Wordpress. The longtime cook steadily made a name for himself over the ...

Read More

Feral Photography: amazing animal imagery from Silicon Valley trail cams

Peninsula resident Katharina Pierini has compiled a unique glimpse into the unseen world of Bay Area wildlife By Charles Russo A lone bobcat photographed along the coast. (Photo by Katharina Pierini) Katharina Pierini is surprisingly quick to refer to herself as “skittish.” That can come across as a bit of a dubious admission, especially if you’ve seen the images of her in action— with a chainsaw strapped to her back as she rides a dirt bike ...

Read More

Journalist Franklin Foer tackles Silicon Valley’s “sham populism”

The Atlantic’s staff writer talks big tech (and whether or not we should just throw our smart phones into the sea). By Charles Russo (Illustration by Kaz Palladino) It still doesn’t seem all that long ago that the likes of Google and Facebook were still just enterprising young companies, with slogans like “Don’t Be Evil,” pointing us towards a dynamic futurism. In the last decade, the sweeping influence and staggering power of those same corporations ...

Read More

National Geographic’s Cristina Mittermeier on how imagery can spark activism

Talking photography and environmentalism ahead of Redwood City’s Nat Geo speaker series by Charles Russo At the water line in the Great Bear Sea, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Cristina Mittermeier) There are no shortage of quotes about the power of photography, many of them overwrought, but some finely tuned to the nuance and potential of the craft. Speaking with Cristina Mittermeier — contributing photographer, speaker and explorer for National Geographic — I kept thinking of a simple quote, ...

Read More

The secrets of Bruce Lee’s heritage are in….San Bruno?

The Bay Area’s most famous native son provides a case study for what can be unearthed from your family’s official records. By Charles Russo Cheeks of Fury: A four month-old Bruce Lee pictured with his mother in family immigration files. (Document Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration in San Bruno, CA) Don’t let the chubby cheeks and dopey expression fool you, that kid is in fact the most badass martial artist to ever walk ...

Read More

The Time Lapse: Stanford Class of ‘17

A centennial glimpse back for millennials going forward by Charles Russo The gentlemen of Phi Kappa Psi, circa 1917. (Courtesy of the Stanford Historical Photograph Collection) The 2017 school year begins today at Stanford University, and The Six Fifty sees it as an opportune launching point for our new visual history column — The Time Lapse, which will showcase a wide range of historical photography from many areas and eras of the Peninsula over the years. For this first ...

Read More

Get Your Art on at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

How to Get Your Art on at the Palo Alto Arts Fest Tips from a local on getting the most out of the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts by Caitlin Wolf It’s the end of August in Palo Alto, and that can only mean one thing: time for the annual Festival of the Arts! Having grown up here, I remember being dragged along University Avenue as a child waiting impatiently as my mother and grandmother ...

Read More

How Vinyl Solution is feeding Silicon Valley’s record store addiction

Vinyl Solution in San Mateo is one of the Peninsula’s last vintage music holdouts. And yes, they have cassettes. by Jennifer Christgau-Aquino Vinyl Solution stocks all manner of analog doohickeys, like this turntable. Photo by Jody Troxel. On a Tuesday morning, in the middle of a quiet street in San Mateo dotted with nail salons and Asian restaurants, Vinyl Solution Records is buzzing. Twentysomething employees rack records, customers stream in and out picking through ...

Read More

My own private Peninsula: permit-only hikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains

You know those people who always come back from fabulous vacations bragging about how they “had the whole place” to themselves? Next time, summon a smirk of your own and direct them to your Instagram feed, where they’ll see you cavorting in a beautiful park right here at home with NO CROWDS AT ALL, because you got a permit or arranged a special tour to get there. “We could have ...

Read More