Once a field of orchards, Blossom Valley is now filled with houses, many with young children. Families stroll with their pets and zoom by on bicycles along the wide intertwining streets and cul-de-sacs lined with ranch-style houses. Most homes stayed true to the original single-story 1950s design but some have been updated or enlarged with an added floor.
The child-friendly neighborhood attracted Jimmy Dworkin who moved into Blossom Valley 11 years ago with his wife.
"My wife was pregnant at the time. I knew the area had a lot of young kids and thought it would be great for our kids growing up," he said.
Now with elementary-age children, Dworkin is very impressed with the schools in the area. Springer Elementary school is close to the Dworkins' house and has a great special-needs program to accommodate his son. "Love the schools," he said.
The amenities in the area also attracted Dworkin. He appreciates being able to walk to Blossom Plaza, with its stores, eateries and various services. The short distance to the foothills was also desirable since Dworkin enjoys running.
Sinead Toolis and her family moved to Blossom Valley in 1990 and have lived there since. According to Toolis, her family sought a quiet neighborhood close to work, and like the Dworkins, a neighborhood fit for raising children. Now in her 20s, Toolis says the neighborhood does not offer much for 20-something-year-olds but there are many options in nearby downtown Mountain View.
According to Toolis, Blossom Valley has remained as quiet as she remembers it when she was younger and has always felt very safe. There have only been a few instances of reported prowlers and within the past couple years, an occasional ice-cream truck pierces the silence.
Although Blossom Valley has maintained a steady appearance, throughout the years there have been slight changes. Toolis said most of the small, family-owned stores are gone and home values have significantly increased. According to Dworkin, added traffic on Cuesta Drive has become an issue as it seems more drivers use it as a shortcut.
Both Dworkin and Toolis also noticed more children in the community. Toolis said she has seen more young couples with families. Among them are Andrew and Lisa Pattison who live in the latest housing community, the Satake Estates.
The Pattisons have lived in Blossom Valley for a year and a half and were initially attracted to the new homes. "I love that these homes are on cul-de-sacs. It's perfect for our kids to play," Lisa said. Like the families before them, the schools as well as the quiet and safe setting were also appealing.
Lisa also appreciates how her neighborhood has a great sense of community. The neighborhood associations in Blossom Valley play a large role in creating this atmosphere. According to Dworkin and the Pattisons, the Springer Meadows neighborhood association offers online groups to keep informed and community events such as summer block parties, barbecues, dinners and Halloween parades.
Toolis recalls attending the block parties as a child. She describes one year when she entered a sidewalk chalk competition. She does not remember what she placed but knows she was very proud of winning a bag that said "You Won!"
"I like knowing my neighbors. Everyone waves as they pass by," Toolis said. "It's a nice place to live," she added.
-- Monica Guzman
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS (nearby): Children's House of Los Altos, 770 Berry Ave.; Little Acorn School, 1667 Miramonte Ave.; St. Timothy's Nursery School, 2094 Grant Road
FIRE STATION: No. 2, 160 Cuesta Drive
LOCATION: between Springer road and Miramonte Avenue, Marilyn and Lincoln drives.
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS: Eastern Varsity Park Neighborhood Association, Lianne Mintz, coordinator, email@example.com; Orchard Trees/South Fordham Neighborhood Group, Kirsten Frietzsche, coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org; Springer Meadow Neighborhood Association, Francis Mueller, coordinator, email@example.com
PARKS: Varsity Park, Duke Way and Jefferson Drive; Cuesta Park, Cuesta Drive
POST OFFICE: Blossom Valley, 1768 Miramonte Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): St. Joseph Catholic School, 1120 Miramonte Ave.; St. Francis High School, 1855 Miramonte Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: (Eligibility for school districts depends on resident's address) Los Altos School District -- Springer Elementary School, Blach Intermediate School; Mtn. View-Whistman School District -- Bubb Elementary School, Graham Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District Los Altos or Mountain View high schools
SHOPPING: Blossom Valley Shopping Center, Miramonte Avenue and Cuesta Drive; Rancho Shopping Center, Foothill Expressway and Springer Road; Grant Road Plaza Shopping Center, Grant Road and Phyllis Avenue
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $1,480,000 ($950,000-$1,990,000)
HOMES SOLD: 29