As Adobe Creek babbles its last few miles from Black Mountain to the San Francisco Bay, it crosses under the Louis Road Bridge, the only span connecting Palo Alto's close-knit neighborhoods Adobe Meadow and Meadow Park.
The slow pace of the stream is echoed by the slowed-down lifestyle the neighborhoods offer residents in the midst of the hubbub of the Peninsula. Between East Meadow Drive and Charleston Road east of Middlefield Road, things move a little more peacefully.
Patricia Prochaska and Gregory Klein were drawn to Adobe Meadow for its proximity to the International School of the Peninsula.
"Both kids bike 1.25 miles to school," Prochaska said. "I almost wish we weren't so committed to bilingual education because the schools are so good," she added.
And walk or bike four blocks in any direction and there's a park, she said.
But even more than the convenient location is the neighborliness of the residents.
Even though the children don't attend the neighborhood school, there's a pack of five kids on the block that her son can play with.
"It's a very warm, community feel," she added.
Upon crossing Adobe Creek into Meadow Park, one may not at first realize that this is a new neighborhood. Similar 1950s Brown and Kauffman homes adorn the streets, with a smattering of Eichler developments that also adhere to the one-story motif of the neighborhood.
Every Labor Day, the residents empty out of their homes and gather at 4.4-acre Ramos Park for the annual Adobe Meadow neighborhood block party. The event has evolved into a day of festivities encompassing the entire neighborhood, and allowing the residents to elect neighborhood association chairs.
Meadow Park Neighborhood Association President Cathy Swan moved to the neighborhood in 1964, and over the past 49 years has watched the former farmland develop.
Schools and parks within walking distance allow residents to thwart traffic. These local amenities have kept Swan happily in the area for almost five decades.
"There are a lot of really nice things that are close," Swan said. "We are within walking distance of the library, the grocery store and within walking distance of catching the bus. There are lots of things to do and lots of things to participate in."
-- Dean McArdle and Carol Blitzer
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS (nearby): Covenant Children's Center, 670 East Meadow Drive; Sunshine Preschool Montessori, 3711 Ross Road
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 3600 Middlefield Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
LOCATION: bounded by East Meadow Drive, Fabian Way, Montrose Avenue, Middlefield Road
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Meadow Park Residents Association, Cathy Swan, president, 650-494-2892, firstname.lastname@example.org; Adobe Meadow Neighborhood Association, Ken Allen, president, email@example.com
PARKS: Don Jesus Ramos Park, 800 East Meadow Drive; Mitchell Park, 650 East Meadow Drive
POST OFFICE: Main, 2085 East Bayshore Road
PRIVATE SCHOOL: Challenger School, 3880 Middlefield Road
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Fairmeadow Elementary School, J.L. Stanford Middle School, Henry M. Gunn High School
SHOPPING: Charleston Center, Midtown Shopping Center
MEDIAN 2014 HOME PRICE: $2,185,000 ($1,650,000-$2,600,000)
HOMES SOLD: 12
MEDIAN 2014 CONDO PRICE: $1,353,750 ($1,000,000-$1,508,888)
CONDOS SOLD: 10