Sunday, 26 October 2014

The promised day (or Oakland, Stanford, and Bridge School Benefit in Mountainview)

 The rain has ended, and there is BLUE SKY !  Staying at the home of Alan, Glenda, Gabriel, and Jocelyn has improved my well-being to such a degree that Alan and I are about to drive to Mountainview to see the Bridge School Benefit concert, a feat that seemed utterly impossible only yesterday.  For a person who has no brothers or sisters (and both whose parents were utterly sibling-free) there is a surprisingly large number of people in this world who call me uncle !  A good feeling ;-)
Another feel-good moment: Sunny skies

The first destination of the day is a Sushi restaurant in downtown Oakland, owing to my fear to subject my digestive system to anything substantial or greasy.  Someone had already reported sightings or small people in costume before, but today I get to see this 
Safe Trick-or-Treating in downtown Oakland
strange occurrence personally:  Today is the 25th of October, by all reckoned calendars definitely NOT Halloween, and there are kids in costume everywhere Trick-or-Treating in the middle of the day!  

After Sushi (and Sake, naturally) we drive along a highway built right on top of the Hayward fault line (One's behind is doing the Samba in anticipation of major jolts), then we cross San Mateo Bridge (Hint: it leads to San Mateo).

San Mateo bridge

Then it's time for a tour of Stanford University.  Apparently it's not intellectual brilliance that is needed in Standford, but rather an uncomplaining parental bank book (Remember: exceptions are the rule!).  And accordingly, both the facilities and grounds evoke an idea of a country club for young people, an impression that is only reinforced when one sees some of the actual students.  No Grunge here!

They have a very BC West-coast-looking totem pole here, but I'm almost willing to bet a large amount that it's NOT older than 4 years.  You'd be surprised what money can buy!
Yes, California, San Francisco, etc etc are all Spanish names, but the architectural style of Stanford is a bit much, especially since it was only founded in 1885 by a railroad tycoon.  Much too late to go for the Spanish Mission style, IMHO.

Style violations get worse when you enter the Stanford Memorial Church, a building completed in 1903 and built by the widow Standford for her deceased husband.  Even the stained-glass windows have a huge range of styles. I kind'a liked these two art-nouveauish ones, but some of the other ones just spoke "utter and complete lack of taste".

We get a little closer to the tower when I realize that there are people up there looking down.
As this blog probably has demonstrated sufficiently, I am unable to resist any towers with a viewing platform (Think Macau, Bruges, Cologne, etc etc). This one even has an elevator and it costs US$ 2.00 to be transported to the top.
The Tower is called the Herbert Hoover Tower.  Just in case anyone else is confused as I originally was:  Herbert Hoover was an American president and is the one who got Hoover Dam built. NOT to be confused with Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI and connoisseur of women's garb!
The view from the top is modest (What do you expect for $2?)
Stanford Cardinals against the Oregon State
 BEAVERS (The Beavers lost ;-(

Looking everywhere
A Google bike

A short drive (modest distance, but LOOONG time, due to Stanford reunions, football game & concert traffic) and we're in Mountainview, also home of Google.  Google must have known about the concert because they closed the gates to their parking lots so that our plan of parking at Google and riding two of their unlocked bikes to the venue is foiled.

It looks like Paris-Dakkar, but it's only the parking lot (free parking for concert goers !!!)

Alan (whose name starts with Poo and who would love to own one of these) should consider this a good omen

I should have followed her to see how her heels held up on the grass ;-)
We make it to the lawn at around 1 minute after 5 pm, which is not a minute too soon:
There are 5 pics of NY + students + dancers here
He's a bit over-represented in this post,

considering he only played two songs at the beginning!

Then it's time for his former wife to take the stage.  The titles she sings (Lonely women make good lovers, Memory) don't seem picked at random to me.
Then it's another one of those "See things you thought you'd never ever see" moments. Soundgarden in concert !

No,nothing UNUSUAL to say about the blue crooner in the picture on the left. I actually liked some of the songs that Sir Tom Jones sang!

 I didn't take any pictures of Brian Wilson of the former Beach Boys; one reason was that I was standing at a food outlet at the beginning of their performance and the other was that there are enough Zombie-lookalikes on TV already.  The most notable moment of that show (they were just playing Good Good Goohood Vibrations): A woman that didn't even looked that drunk approached me with outstretched arms and asked me whether she could have a hug.  Despite me carrying chicken tenders and a glass of wine, how could I refuse during this particular song? ;-)

The big surprise (to me) this evening is a band called Florence and the Machine.  To my banal music tastes it sounds like a mixture between Sarah McLachlan and Kate Bush.  I really liked it ;-)
Nothing new to say about Eddie Vedder and Pear Jam. Them REAL and sooo nice ;-)

Great fun was Vedder and Cornell together singing Hunger Strike. Here is the link to the actual YouTube (not mine) VIDEO.

A Hunger Strike revival of Temple of the Dog

We leave at midnight, assuming that the concert was over (at least half of the audience assumed that), and only read in the news the next morning that Neil Young started another set at 12:20 am.  Ah well, I've seen him often enough in the last 2 years, and Alan can look forward to seeing him next year again ;-)

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