tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Indeed, I ended up doing the third June Challenge in September, just as I did the second in July and the first in August.

From the options for Theme III, I ruled out the first two (lately I drive to work, plus if I used the public transit route I used to use, the results wouldn't be very interesting; finally, it was a weekend, so I didn't want to end up at work) and chose option D randomly. Starting from my apartment in downtown San José, I picked an hour for my duration, and went:

left on South 2nd St. to begin, passing by familiar scenery (the only urban density on the route)

right onto Paseo de San Antonio, a pedestrian corridor going past the Camera 12 movie theater among other things (hmm, "Red Hook Summer", I should see that)

left onto South 1st, right onto West San Carlos, left onto Market: this gets closer to the convention center area, with hotels and stuff, but also lots of empty storefronts with "For Lease" signs

right onto Balbach and left onto Almaden Ave., entering a residential area (the rest of the walk continued to be residential), after which I crossed under the 280 freeway (I had thought that starting this challenge from my apartment would be tricky since I live in a neighborhood that's completely encircled by four different freeways, but fortunately there are enough underpasses).

right onto Grant, passing a bakery that smelled really nice (but seemed to be closed), left onto Almaden Blvd. (not to be confused with Almaden Ave.), which became Vine; I passed by an apparent salsa dance class going on in someone's front yard, to the tune of a Spanish cover of "My Heart Will Go On"

right onto Oak, where I found a store to buy a new flavor of paleta (changunga), left onto Locust, right onto Willow, which had a brief spattering of businesses, including several yummy-smelling taquerias, left onto Palm, right onto Humboldt, left onto Lick. From here I could see Tamien Station, the next station south of Diridon, where I get off to go home if I'm taking public transit from work or San Francisco. Only a few trains actually stop there, so I'd never been before.

Right onto Alma, where I was convinced I saw a bear in the parking lot of a new-looking high-rise development, but it was actually a woman in a brown dress. My hour ran out just before I would have crossed under the 87 freeway and train tracks. Walked back to Tamien to catch the light rail to go home (only 11 minutes, as compared to an hour walk; for once, the light rail is good for something).

Also there are pictures.
tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (travel)
[personal profile] tim
I did theme I for the June challenge in July, and now I've just done theme II in August. I assume I'll be doing theme II in September.

Theme II(c), which I selected randomly from the four variations on Theme II, says "Visit your local council's website and find their walks page (example: Walks in Hillingdon). If they don't have one, choose a neighbouring local council and try again." I had to alter this a bit since I live in America where we don't have such quaint notions as city councils that put together walks guides. I wanted to do a walk in Mountain View, where I work, so I could go back to the office afterward and also because the first hit for "walks in San José" (where I live) was a dog walking service, so that's not very promising. The city of Mountain View itself does have a page of walks, but it was really just a list of multi-use trails and I wasn't that interested in walking on a bike trail. Then I found a list of walks on the Mountain View Trees web site. Bonanza! As per instructions, I picked the first walk, the Bush Street Tree Walk [PDF].

This was a very short walk, but came with a detailed description [link to a Word document for some ungodly reason] of 21 trees along the route. I'm not gonna lie: I may not agree with anything about Ronald Reagan's politics, but "once you've seen one tree, you've seen them all" does ring true for me on a personal level. And this walk didn't really change that, with two exceptions: the two giant Coastal Redwood trees (those were pretty awe-inspiring, and I didn't realize they were just two blocks off from a street I regularly walk or bike on to get to work) and the avocado tree. Food >> trees, and I hadn't seen avocadoes outside a supermarket in a while.

Pictures to come once my camera is charged enough to upload them. This was far from the most exciting walk ever, but only needing to walk about 10 minutes from work to get to the starting point was a big factor in me actually finishing this theme :-)

ETA: For those who *don't* think that once you've seen one tree, you've seen them all, pictures of the first couple of trees. After that, my battery ran out. (Also, today I learned that I don't like Shutterfly; however, I used up all my bandwidth on Flickr.)
tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (public transportation)
[personal profile] tim
I was busy in June, so I decided to do the June challenges in July. I don't expect credit or anything :-)

Theme I, option A says:

"Get on the first bus that comes along (and that you're able to get onto).
While travelling on the bus, look out of the window until you see something interesting.
Get off at the next stop, go back, and thoroughly investigate the interesting thing"

I started from home, in downtown San José, California. I live right on a transit mall street, so I literally walk out the door and see a bus stop with six or seven different bus lines. VTA buses are terrible, but even on a Saturday afternoon, where I live is enough like a transit hub that there are buses every few minutes. I only had to wait a minute or two before the 23 bus (destination: De Anza College, in Cupertino) arrived...
Read more... )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
So the very same evening that I did my aforementioned walk, I decided to try another challenge, since the walk was kind of lackluster. Having already done one from each category, I picked a theme at random to repeat, and chose Theme I (buses). Generating another random number, I picked challenge (d), where you pick a number n between 3 and 20, figure out what the nth stop is on a bus line running from the closest stop to your home or workplace (I was at work, so I picked work), and navigate there using any method other than buses.

My random number was 12, and the closest bus stop was the westbound 22 bus stop at El Camino Real and Castro in Mountain View, CA. The 12th stop going west was at El Camino Real and Curtner in Palo Alto, near the California Ave. Caltrain station. I had the options of biking there, walking, or taking the train; generating another random number, I ended up walking. The 22 bus in this area runs down just one major thoroughfare, El Camino Real, so my walk was just down the one street.

The walk took about an hour and a half, and I left at 8 PM, so more of it was in the dark than I would have liked. It made for an interesting contrast with my suburban residential walk earlier, because El Camino Real is boring in a different way: scaled for cars, not people; businesses oriented towards keeping your car going (lube shops and gas stations) and keeping you alive and awake long enough to drive your car somewhere else (motels and fast food). That's El Camino Real. The Mountain View part is junkier and more oriented towards selling you cheap stuff you don't need; when you get to Palo Alto, it's more about motels and one contemplates a time before interstate freeways when you would take a lengthy road trip that was just down 40-miles-an-hour roads through suburban areas.

When I got to the bus stop, the terrain was just starting to look like someplace people lived instead of a strip-mall/motel wasteland. Not counting waiting, the bus ride back to El Camino Real and Castro took 15 minutes.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
This is a walk I did a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get around to doing the writeup. For Theme III, I chose option (d): "First, choose the duration of your adventure; anything from five minutes to five hours. Start at your home or workplace. Take the first left, then the second right, then the first left, then the second right, etc, etc."

I started from the Mountain View public library at Franklin and Mercy in downtown Mountain View, California (two blocks from my workplace), and decided to walk for an hour, extending it for another hour if I was having fun.

I didn't extend it. )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
For theme II (lines), I picked (a), where you choose a railway terminus and walk along the line that terminates there, or as close to it as possible. Since I started my walk at 8:30 PM, I went for the minimum of one hour.
It didn't go all that well )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim

Yesterday I did the first theme in the June challenge: buses. I picked the first option, where you get on the bus closest to your home or work, and stay on until you see something interesting.

(+26) Ten years ago, Stevie O said, 'Look me up if you're ever anywhere near Santa Clara' )

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