Bordering the California Avenue shopping district and just a mile away from Stanford University's campus, sits what Paul Machado calls "a real gem."
He's talking about his neighborhood, Palo Alto's Evergreen Park, where he was born and raised, started a family and stuck around for the long haul. The Stanford Avenue resident said he'd describe Evergreen Park as "a close-knit community comprised of diverse families and individuals."
Evergreen Park has gone through its fair share of growing pains over the last couple of decades as Silicon Valley has come into prominence, including the addition of Visa's new 62,000-square-foot office and research-and-development space on Sherman Avenue. The formerly blue-collar neighborhood is now a little more upscale, boasting bigger houses than the traditional two-bedroom ones of days past, Machado said.
"It's become a destination spot," he said. "It's a residential neighborhood in what's becoming a very urban setting."
Homes in the neighborhood are eclectic, with different sizes, styles and lot sizes. There are about 206 single-family homes in the neighborhood and 178 multifamily units, according to Evergreen Park Neighborhood Association President David Schrom.
Oxford Avenue resident Irene Au moved to the neighborhood in 1999. She likes the neighborhood's proximity to California Avenue, the Caltrain station, parks, the Sunday farmers market, Stanford University and the freeway, along with its walkability. She also enjoys teaching yoga at Avalon Yoga on California Avenue, where she feels a real sense of community.
The neighborhood has lost some of its sleepy quality over the years, Au said, as traffic and parking challenges have begun to compromise the quality of life in the neighborhood. These days, cars block block fire hydrants, double park in front of people's driveways, and cruise the neighborhood looking for places to park as the area has become more popular, she said.
The City of Palo Alto has been working to alleviate some of this parking overload with a new program called the Residential Preferential Parking Program aimed at providing preferential use of on-street parking to residents and either restricts or eliminates parking for outside users during select periods. Parking permits in the Evergreen Park area became available in 2017. A total of 250 employee permits will be made available for the one-year pilot project.
"We hope that the RPP that will be implemented by the city soon will help relieve us from some of these issues," Au said.
Meanwhile, Christina Justiz Roush, an artist who moved into the neighborhood with her family at the beginning of February, is enjoying living in Palo Alto after 10 years of life in Brooklyn, New York, and a stint in Venice in Southern California.
"It's very charming and beautiful," she said. "It's around the block from (a) playground, which is important for my 2-1/2-year-old. It's a very community-minded place. The thought of moving to a much more suburban place and not being walking-distance to stores was very scary for me, so it was a bit of serendipity (to find Evergreen Park)."
She also has been enjoying taking her toddler to an indoor play space called Wund3rkid on College Avenue, which has helped her connect with neighbors, since she came to Palo Alto without knowing anyone, she said.
For additional community building and fun, the neighborhood has hosted an annual picnic for more than 30 years and holds a block party every year.
==I--Angela Swartz, 2017
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS (nearby): Casa dei Bambini Montessori School, 463 & 457 College Ave.; Escondido Kids' Club, 890 Escondido Road
FIRE STATION: No. 2, 2675 Hanover St.
LIBRARY: College Terrace branch, 2300 Wellesley St.
LOCATION: between California Avenue, Park Boulevard and El Camino Real
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: David Schrom, 650-323-7333
PARKS: Alexander Peers Park, 1899 Park Blvd.
POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOL: The Living Wisdom School, 456 College Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Escondido Elementary School, Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto High School
SHOPPING: California Avenue
MEDIAN 2014 HOME PRICE: $2,210,750 ($1,830,000-$3,700,000)
HOMES SOLD: 5
MEDIAN 2013 CONDO PRICE: $1,600,000
CONDOS SOLD: 1; 0 in 2014