Festival and parade
Traffic in Palo Alto takes on a whole new — and festive — meaning on May 4, when downtown will be flooded with antique autos, floats, kids parading pets, marching bands and strolling folks in costume.
At 10 a.m., the May Fete Children's Parade heads down University Avenue. Now in its 91st year, the event is held every year on the first Saturday in May. Participants decorate parade floats to join the multitudes of kids and families heading down the avenue on skates, bikes and feet. The parade ends at Heritage Park at 300 Homer Ave.
In the same block, the Museum of American Heritage at 351 Homer Ave. is hosting its annual Vintage Vehicles and Family Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Enthusiasts bring in retro vehicles from many decades; past offerings have included steam cars and vintage motorcycles along with muscle cars and other carefully polished wheeled beings.
The museum will also hold an open house during the festival, with visitors invited to view hands-on science demonstrations and other activities along with seeing the current exhibit, "From Fiber to Fabric: A History of American Textile Production."
Both events are free. For more about the parade, go to cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-648-3829. For more about the festival, go to moah.org or call 650-321-1004.
Nathan Englander's latest collection of short stories, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank," will be the center of an upcoming evening at Palo Alto's Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. The author is scheduled to speak on Monday, May 6, in conversation with Sue Fishkoff, the editor of the Northern California Jewish weekly newspaper j.
Englander previously published another story collection, "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges"; the New York Times has described both books as "poised at the trapdoor between spiritual thirst and physical hunger," containing tales dealing with Jewish life, vengeance and mercy, family and the past. The title story, the Times writes, "is a cordial, stoned salute to Raymond Carver, transposing New Mexico to South Florida, gin to vodka," a piece about a war between two couples.
Englander is also the author of the novel "The Ministry of Special Cases" and a new translation of the Haggadah.
The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at 3921 Fabian Way. Advance tickets are $10 general and $7 for seniors and students; admission is $15 at the door. Go to paloaltojcc.org or call 650-223-8699.
'Meditations on the Sacred Journey'
Besides hosting graduate classes in psychology and spirituality, Palo Alto's Sofia University is also home to periodic author talks and art exhibits. The current exhibit, "Meditations on the Sacred Journey," features the work of Palo Alto artist Gary Bacon.
In his digital artworks, Bacon seeks to create a narrative about humanity's physical and spiritual path through the millennia, along with Earth's own journey. His colorful works are like mandalas, rich with tapestry-like patterns. To create them, he weaves images from his photography together electronically.
In fact, Bacon was originally inspired by fiber arts. He remembers watching his grandmother create quilts, embroideries, rugs and other textiles, and now works similar patterns into his own art.
The exhibit is open every day through June 30 at 1059 E. Meadow Circle. Bacon plans to give artist's talks and exhibit tours at three upcoming receptions: April 27 from 1 to 3 p.m., May 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and May 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 650-493-4430 or go to the artist's website at www.ba-ez.org/art.htm.