"Quiet," "friendly" and "walkable" are just a few words Palo Alto residents use to describe their Charleston Meadows neighborhood.
It's a place where neighbors present you with produce from their gardens when you move in; check on you when you get home from a hospital stay; or loan you their recycling bins when yours are full, said resident Carlin Otto. She knows all of her neighbors within 10 houses and says they're friendly and outgoing.
Otto first moved into her Whitclem Drive home in 1983 when she was a lecturer in Stanford University's Spanish department.
"It (Charleston Meadows) had a reputation of being avant garde," she said. "It was a forward-looking, future-oriented place."
She enjoys the neighborhood's diversity, with its a mix of blue- and white-collar workers. "It's just a wonderful microcosm of the world to be exposed to," she said.
Made up of wide streets with lots of greenery and cul-de-sacs that isolate it from traffic, the neighborhood is also known for being extremely quiet and "outdoorsy feeling," according to lifelong Palo Alto resident Bo Crane. Even the homes, which are predominantly Eichler style with large windows that integrate the indoors and outdoors, reflect this feeling, he added.
Crane said he particularly enjoys the neighborhood's three parks. The Wilkie Way Bridge connects to Mountain View's San Antonio Shopping Center, making it easy to access shopping.
Longtime Wilkie Way resident Roger Kohler said there aren't quite as many people with younger children in the neighborhood now, as his generation's kids have all grown up and out of Charleston Meadows, leaving an older population.
Kohler, an architect, first moved to Palo Alto in the 1950s as an elementary school student, but landed on Wilkie Way in 1975.
He also enjoys the neighborhood's parks.
A highlight? Walking his golden retriever and German shepherd on Wilkie Way Bike Bridge over Adobe Creek to Robles Park, he said.
Otto said in addition to checking in with one another, the neighborhood finds many other ways to connect, too, including its annual fall social at Robles Park, where everyone gets together to visit and eat ice cream.
Angela Swartz, 2018
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Ventura Community Center, 3990 Ventura Court; Mi Casita de Español Preschool, 4133 Wilkie Way; Edgewood House Preschool, 493 West Charleston Road
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 3600 Middlefield Road; No. 5, 600 Arastradero Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
LOCATION: bounded by West Meadow Drive, Alma Street, Adobe Creek and El Camino Real
PARKS: Don Secundino Robles Park, 4116 Park Blvd.; Monroe Mini Park (nearby), Monroe Drive and Miller Avenue; Ventura Community Center Park and Playground, 3990 Ventura Court
POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Juana Briones Elementary School, Fletcher Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: The Village at San Antonio, Charleston Shopping Center, Alma Village