The wide streets of Crescent Park are lined by tall, stately trees that spread their knobby branches and many leaves to shade the sidewalks. Runners and families wander through the green expanses of Eleanor Pardee Park and out into a neighborhood that boasts 1,800 individually designed homes, ranging from Craftsman to Bungalows to Colonials.
Andrea Saliba, a resident since 1997, greatly appreciates the trees in the area, even citing them as a reason for her move to community. She described them as "tall and majestic," serving to give her neighborhood "a sense of history."
"Newer developments don't feel like home," Saliba added.
Crescent Park is also home to a demonstration garden that is planted by master gardeners from the UC Extension program. On a lot next to what the locals call "Eleanor" Park, the garden has dirt paths that make their way through the carefully manicured beds. The garden features two distinct areas, one a "waterwise" garden that demonstrates regional plants that use little water and an edible garden that displays fruits and vegetables that are in season. Both of these gardens are open to the public during the week.
Crescent Park is bordered by San Francisquito Creek, a source of both pleasure and concern since past floods have caused property damage. The Crescent Park Neighborhood Association is working actively to get flood-control mechanisms installed so another flood can be prevented. But, despite the floods, residents are passionate about the creek.
Cathie Lehrberg, a resident since 1982, appreciates the wildlife that is found around the creek.
"We draw birds that other areas don't," she said.
But beyond the creekside location and easy access to University Avenue restuarants, residents enjoy a sense of community through their neighborhood association. Through daily emails, they ask for -- and receive -- recommendations about anything from taking in a dress to finding a good financial adviser. Recent messages referred to a lost cat, a teenager wanting summer work, someone seeking a house sitter and another selling an antique armoire.
Saliba enjoys participating in the Crescent Park Neighborhood Association.
"The association is wonderful, a chance to say hello to your neighbors."
A new resident, Ken Hawk, who moved to the neighborhood just two months ago, commented on how welcoming the community was.
"It is a great sense of community," he said. "The first day that we were here, a neighbor brought over a care package."
"The people here are fantastic and welcoming," he added, commenting on how his new neighbors aided his arrival with a detailed list of contacts ranging from dentists to babysitters.
Saliba is especially appreciative of the small things that help build community and friendship in her neighborhood such as "my daughter selling Girl Scout cookies," and the fact that there are "a few block parties."
Lehrberg told the story of how her neighborhood welcomed a newly moved-in neighbor.
"The people across the street had a party for the (new) people around the corner," she said.
And as for the neighborhood, she said that it could be summed up simply as "lovely homes, lovely trees and lovely people."
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Piccolo Preschool, 888 Boyce Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 3, 799 Embarcadero Road
LIBRARY: Main Library, 1213 Newell Road
LOCATION: bounded by San Francisquito Creek, Newell Road, Channing Avenue and Middlefield Road
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Norman Beamer, president, 650-327-7071
PARKS: Eleanor Pardee Park, 851 Center Drive; Hopkins Creekside Park along Palo Alto Avenue
POST OFFICES: Hamilton, 380 Hamiliton Ave.; Main, 2085 E. Bayshore Road
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: St. Elizabeth Seton School, 1095 Channing Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Duveneck Elementary School, Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto High School
SHOPPING (NEARBY): The Willows Market, 60 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park; University Avenue