In Foster City, we are blessed with an abundance of public parks, from the large soccer and baseball venues of Sea Cloud to the hidden neighborhood gems. I decided to take a tour of them, starting at those within walking distance from my home.
A two-minute amble on Sunday morning found me at Turnstone, which my daughter used to refer to as the "secret park" when she was younger. My wife and I have brought the kids there dozens of time over the years so they could run around and wear themselves out. Even now, though they are young adults, I encourage them to go run around there so I can have some peace and quiet at home. When I arrived during this visit, the basketball court and play structure were abandoned so I headed over to Gull Park.
Gull Park is one of the more popular places in Neighborhood Number Two. "Neighborhood Number Two" has a homey ring to it, doesn't it? Although there were only a couple dog walkers there on this day, you can often find a soccer practice, BBQ or an impromptu get together happening there. Gull Park is also a great place to catch the July 4th fireworks without having to face the crowds at Leo J. Ryan Park.
On the weekends, you'll often be able to spot a bounce house set up at Gull for a kid's birthday. This brought to mind the difference in birthday parties today and in my youth. Back in my day - does that make me sound ancient? - mini amusement parks created for a kid's birthday were unheard of. The luckiest of my friends might get a clown to show up for a half hour. I usually got a Twinkie with a candle stuck in it. I think these childhood experiences have contributed greatly to my snarky nature. But I digress.
There was not much action to write about on this day. An overcast Sunday morning is not an optimal time for activity. Perhaps I should have planned my visits better. Clearly my judgment is suspect. I think that is how I ended up with three kids and a mortgage. As I rose to move on, a new couple holding hands and lone dog walker entered the park. This is not exactly a news flash, so I went home for a brief pit stop.
My last destination for this day was Shad Park. Although this month marks my 17th year in Foster City, I had never set foot in Shad previously and actually never knew the name of it it until I asked my friend CB when I ran into her on my way home.
As I entered Shad, the couple I saw at Gull were on their way out. I found myself alone with my thoughts, which you can probably imagine is not a particularly comforting place to be. Shad reminded me a bit of Turnstone. It had a hoops court and jungle gym and definitely fit the definition, at least on my inaugural visit, of a "secret park." I took a few notes and then gave some thought to my next destination, which will be featured in an upcoming column.