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Home&Real Estate Home Front JOY OF NATIVES ... Master Gardener David Peterson will give a free talk about “The Joy of California Native Plants” from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. He will cover native-plant growth habits, water and soil, as well as integrating natives with other plants in the garden. Information: Master Gardeners at 408-2823105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or http:// by Cristina Wong T he Ventura neighborhood is its own diverse community, and not just ethnically. With kids riding along the bike path, houses of individual styles and different families on every street, Ventura is unlike any other area in Palo Alto. “It makes it seem like a real place, other than the rest of Palo Alto,” Kirsten Flynn said, adding that the richer side of Palo Alto is mainly highlighted for business and jobs, and not family or community. Ventura is bounded by Oregon Expressway, Alma Street, West Meadow Drive and El Camino Real, and is an easy walk to the California Avenue business district or the Caltrain station for those who wish to take public transportation. And for those who like the movies, the Palo Alto Square movie complex is nearby, just on El Camino. Architecture in Ventura ranges from Spanish and English Revival to simple cottage. Recent renovations in the past couple of years contribute to the odd mixture of vintage versus newly designed homes. Kirsten and Frank Flynn, along with their three kids, have lived on Matadero Avenue for 20 years now, in a pale yellow, one-story and a half, English-Revival Cottage-inspired home from the 1930s. In 1991, they decided to buy their home in Ventura to be close to family. Surrounded by relatives who live nearby, they emphasized that moving to Palo Alto was not for “business or jobs, but for family.” Kirsten Flynn said that it’s a great neighborhood because they throw a block party every year — “every year since 15 to 17 years,” she added. Also, Flynn said she likes the diversity of people and careers. Adding that “the less affordable the neighborhood gets, the less diversity we have. Not just ethnically, but socio-economically as well.” Another benefit to living in Ventura is the convenience of the new bike boulevard, a bike-commuting route running along Park Boulevard. “That’s why you see so many people riding (continued on page 43) VENTURA Left, Frank and Kirsten Flynn stand in the backyard of their English-Revival Cottage home in the Ventura neighborhood, where they’ve lived since 1991. A neighborhood that speaks for years of family and community Veronica Weber Veronica Weber Veronica Weber GARDEN PLANNING ... Mark House, an assistant garden manager at the Ecology Action headquarters in Willits, Calif., will offer two classes on Saturday, March 10, at Common Ground Education Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. he will offer “Planning Your Garden with Master Charts,” where he will show how to calculate the amount of seed to sew, number of flats needed, when to sow and transplant, all using the seventh edition of “How to Grow More Vegetables.” From 2 to 4 p.m. he will teach a class on “Companion Planting,” which deals with attracting good insects and making efficient use of garden space. Each class is $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or www. UGLY LIGHTING CONTEST ... How ugly is your old incandescent or halogen lighting? Take a photo and submit it to Utility Marketing Services, P.O. Box 10250, Palo Alto, CA, 94303 (or visit and upload your photo with your entry). The winner, who must be a City of Palo Alto Utilities customer, gets a $400 LED lighting makeover. Submission deadline is March 15. Information: 650-329-2241 N Also online at NEIGHBORHOOD SNAPSHOT CELEBRATE THE TREES ... Canopy is hosting the City of Palo Alto’s Arbor Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Mitchell Park. Arborist Kevin Raftery will lead a tree walk; other activities include a tree circus, ceremonial planting, an “ask the arborist” booth, kids’ events, food trucks and introduction to the Stanford Tree. Information: www. PRACTICAL SEWING ... Ann Laveroni and Kathleen Koenig will offer a class in “Basic Slipcovering” from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 21 to May 30. The class, which is held in the Palo Alto High School Upholstering Room 904, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, will cover planning, design and construction of a slipcover, using a muslin master pattern. Cost is $195. A prerequisite is basic sewing skills, which will be offered by DeAnne Appleton from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 21 to May 30, at the JLS Middle School Sewing Room 140, 480 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto. Cost is $70, plus a $10 materials fee payable to the instructor. Information: 650-329-3752 or www. OPEN HOME GUIDE 56 One-story homes, such as these on Wilton Avenue (left) and Matadero Avenue, are typical of the Ventura neighborhood. *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊ>ÀV…Ê™]ÊÓä£ÓÊU Page 41

Palo Alto Weekly 03.09.2012 - Section 2

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