NEW DIGS FOR NATURE GALLERY ... After 17 years at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village, the Nature Gallery is moving its sparkly amethyst clusters, gleaming tourmaline pendants and other jewelry, minerals and fossils to a larger storefront in Los Altos. The new 1,100-square-foot space, about twice the size of the current one, has "very tall, open, almost full-length windows" and lots of natural light, said Carolyn Digovich, who is doing PR for the business. The gallery is scheduled to close on Jan. 26 and then reopen on the corner of 2nd and State streets in Los Altos on Feb. 10. Renovations on the new space, which has held a boutique and a tile store in recent years, will be minimal, consisting mostly of painting and putting in new carpet, Digovich said. Gallery owner Carol Garsten said that she plans to start carrying larger home-decor items such as larger fossil specimens and sinks made of petrified wood. "When Town & Country Village informed me they might be developing the corner of the shopping center my gallery occupies, I saw an opportunity to grow," she said in a press release. Garsten opened the gallery with her mother, the late Norma Trager, in San Luis Obispo in 1987 and then moved it to Palo Alto in 1994. "Neither my mother nor I had degrees in geology ... but we did love rocks and crystals," Garsten says on the gallery's website, nature-gallery.com.
CHEESESTEAKS ON THE CAMINO ... Philly cheesesteaks, twister fries and Italian hoagies — with Tastykakes for dessert — are among the offerings at the new outpost of the Cheese Steak Shop that opened recently at 2305 B El Camino Real in Palo Alto, near California Avenue. Based in Hercules, Calif., the chain nonetheless bills itself as "Real Philly," with Tastykakes and Amoroso rolls "shipped directly from Philadelphia." The company started in 1982 with its first store in San Francisco. More info is at cheesesteakshop.com.
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