Local connections led Brian Steen to his Greater Miranda home in 2003, and he and his wife have enjoyed the quiet neighborhood ever since. The previous owner attended their church in Palo Alto, and the couple had seen the home many times when they drove her home from church. The woman mentioned she was selling her home, and they inquired further with great interest and eventually purchased the home.
"She was thrilled to know who would go into her house," Steen said.
Now having lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, Steen said they have been pleasantly surprised with its international community, natural wildlife and connections to activities.
On their block, Steen listed off a cultural mix that includes Pakistani, British, Russian and Indian residents. Steen said it makes for interesting conversation and people have offered travel tips for different parts of the world.
Steen, who previously worked as a forestry officer in locations such as Big Sur, also notices the nature in his backyard. The largest piece being Adobe Creek that runs along his backyard, dividing Greater Miranda from Los Altos. In their time in the home, they have never had any issues with the creek overflowing, he said. Above the river, Steen said lots of birds fly around, including a resident hawk who has lived in the area for many years.
Down a few blocks, the bicentennial oak tree stands tall in a neighbor's yard, and other tree varieties also grow in the neighborhood, such as eucalyptus.
Steen also pulls out a map from the 1880s that shows what the area looked like back when Juana Briones, a pioneering businesswoman and property owner, had her name and family members' names on the land, which included a number of orchards.
Today the neighborhood doesn't have any orchards, but a nearby park carries the name of Juana Briones. That park is also near Juana Briones Elementary School, Terman Middle School and Gunn High School, making it convenient for families with kids.
"High school kids can dash off to school in no time," Steen said.
For those not in school, the neighborhood is also close to shopping and Foothill Expressway, which is great for walkers and bikers. Steen, who used to live further north in Palo Alto, appreciates how he can quickly connect with a number of bike trails.
The neighborhood also offers its own activities throughout the year, such as the Fourth of July. On this holiday, Steen said one of the blocks closes down and is filled with food stands and games.
"It's a great time for everyone to get together," Steen said.
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Whistle Stop Child Development Center, 3801 Miranda Ave., No. T6B
FIRE STATION: No. 5, 600 Arastradero Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
LOCATION: Miranda Avenue, Arroyo Court, Miranda Green and Moana Court
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Don Nielson, 650-941-2429
PARKS (nearby): Terman Park, 655 Arastradero Road; Juana Briones Park, 609 Maybell Ave.
POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.; 3801 Miranda Ave. (inside VA hospital)
PRIVATE SCHOOL: Bowman International School, 4000 Terman Drive
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Juana Briones Elementary School, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: El Camino Real, San Antonio Shopping Center
Previous Greater Miranda neighborhood profiles